After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” (John 19:28)
Knowing what was about to take place, Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane saying, ‘Father, if possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will’ (Matthew 26:39). Imagine the heart of the Father in this moment—hearing His only Son crying out to Him in sheer agony. How it must have broken His heart. But still, because of the Father’s great love for humanity, He willingly chose to fill the cup with sins of the world and give it to His Son to drink. Knowing that its weight would surely crush Him.
When the soldiers came to arrest Jesus, Peter tries to defend Him with his sword. But Jesus quickly subdues him saying, ‘Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me? (John 18:11). The transfer of the cup had already been made, and Jesus obediently took it from His Father. With every step He took towards Calvary, He took another drink from the sin-cup, transferring the sins of the world from the heart of man to His own heart. The weight was unbearable.
As He hung on the cross, abandoned by His Father and His friends, imagine the premature celebration that took place in hell. The enemy threw everything he had into that cup, believing it would result in victory over the Almighty. But as Jesus approached His final breath, knowing that all was now finished, said, ‘I thirst’. A simple phrase becomes a victory cry! He declares in the face of an enemy who thought he had won that the cup was not too much for Him; still, He thirsts! And He will rise again in victory, for there is no power of hell and no scheme of man that can defeat our God. He has overcome! May we never forget the strength and power of our God.