Have You Ever Gone Thirsty to Benefit Someone Else?
By Rick Warren
“After this, Jesus knew that everything had been done. So that the Scripture would come true, he said, ‘I am thirsty.’ There was a jar full of vinegar there, so the soldiers soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a branch of a hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ mouth” (John 19:28-29 NCV).
The Bible says that as Jesus hung on the cross, he “knew that everything had been done. So that the Scripture would come true, he said, ‘I am thirsty.’ There was a jar full of vinegar there, so the soldiers soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a branch of a hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ mouth” (John 19:28-29 NCV).
When Jesus said, “I’m thirsty,” it shows how much he really loves you and me.
Jesus was willing to suffer and thirst for you so that you can go to Heaven. This is called redemptive suffering — when you suffer not for your own sins but on behalf of other people. Jesus had done nothing wrong. He was perfect, yet they killed him. Why? He died for the redemption of others. He was thirsty for our benefit.
Have you ever gone thirsty for anybody else’s benefit? Romans 5:8 says, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (NIV).
Back in 1987, my brother Jim was sitting in a plane on the tarmac at the Detroit airport, waiting to take off. He was looking out the window, watching the plane in front of his, which happened to be Northwest 225. My brother watched as the plane took off and then 20 seconds later crashed and killed 155 people.
Only one person on that plane survived the crash — a 4-year-old girl named Cecilia from Tempe, Ariz. They couldn’t figure out why she lived when everybody else died until they asked her what happened. When the plane began to decline and everybody realized they were going to crash, Cecilia’s mother took off her seatbelt, turned around, and got in front of her child. She surrounded her with her arms and legs and body, smothering her in her love, protecting her little girl. The mother gave her life for another.
That’s exactly what redemption is. It’s what Jesus did for you! He went through Hell on the cross so you don’t have to go through Hell for eternity. He covered you and protected you from the punishment, the flames, and the pain.
God demonstrated his love for us by thirsting and dying on the cross.
Talk It Over
- Why do you think Jesus had to fulfill Old Testament Scripture by saying “I am thirsty”?
- When you think of redemptive suffering, what adjectives come to mind to describe God?
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