I Thirst

Is it possible that He who claimed to be living water...  Is it possible that He who said, "Come unto Me and drink..." Is it possible that He who told the Samaritan woman that He had water she knew nothing about... Is it possible that this Man could mouth the words, "I thirst?"

And because He did, the incarnation message of Christmas is voiced in this human cry of Good Friday. Jesus the divine Creator of life is now subject to the creation and the creature's basic needs. Yes, Jesus, the Son of God, actually needed water. For six hours He hung from a calloused cross on a hot barren hill beneath a darkened middle-eastern sky.

He was bleeding profusely and losing vital body fluids. What is more, without sleep the night before, without food or drink, He had been tortured, teased and tried before a tribunal before the crucifixion had even begun. His lips were parched. His tongue swollen as He managed to blurt out His human thirst... A thirst that spoke of His total identification with all our needs, drives, hopes and sufferings.

Jesus' physical thirst only symbolized the deeper thirsts that every human being who has ever lived has felt: the thirst for companionship the thirst for acceptance, the thirst for immortality the thirst for end to suffering, and most important the thirst for relationship with God.

Augustine said it centuries ago: "Thou has made me for thyself, O God And I am restless till I rest in Thee."

But the Psalmist said it long before Augustine: "As the deer pants for flowing streams, so thirsts my soul for Thee, O God." A restlessness, a panting, a thirst to end all thirsts, a thirst no water, no wine,  no gall could ever quench. And for once Jesus knew that desire of all ages himself. As the bearer of all sin of all people of all time, Jesus knew the separation and desperation that all creation has known apart from God. And He cried, "I thirst." The Baby of Bethlehem. The Christ of the Cross knows the creature's cage. He's acquainted with our pain, our pressures, our panic our plight apart from the Father. And because He's been there, He knows how to quench our thirst.

An Easter poem by Rev. Greg Asimakoupoulos