E. Last words of humanity:
“After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had now been accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, ‘I thirst’” (Jn 19:28). We reflect on John 1:14 when John revealed that the eternal Word became flesh and dwelt among us as a man. “I thirst” are words that reveal the incarnation of God the Son who became in all ways as a man in order to deliver us from our destiny of doom.
In His suffering as a man, it would only be natural that He would thirst. But there was more in the preceding statement than the natural thirst of one who was in great suffering, and nigh unto death. The statement is a fulfillment of the words of Psalm 69:21. In these last words, Jesus wanted to remind us again that He fulfilled all the prophecies concerning Himself and His kingdom reign. Every detail of prophecy was fulfilled, and thus, in the miracle of fulfilled prophecy all honest people, who would be seeking the true God beyond this world, would indeed conclude as the guard who was standing at the foot of the cross, “Truly this was the Son of God” (Mt 27:54).
F. Last words of finality:
“When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished’” (Jn 19:30). What was finished was the plan of redemption. He completed His business. The One who was crucified in prospect before the creation of the world had accomplished His destiny. After Jesus had created the world (Cl 1:16), He rested from His creating work (Gn 2:1,2). And now He had finished His redemption work for those whom He had created. All the prophecies from Genesis 3:15 to the cross had been fulfilled in reference to the eternal plan of redeeming those of His creation who believed.
After the resurrection, and before His ascension, Jesus walked and talked with His disciples in order to remind them of the finality of His eternal plan of redeeming those who believed. Before His ascension, He said to the disciples,
These are the words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled that were written in the law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms, concerning Me” (Lk 24:44).
At the very beginning of His ministry, Jesus revealed His purpose in reference to the fulfillment of all prophecies concerning His destiny. “Do not think,” He reminded His audience, “that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I did not come to destroy, but to fulfill” (Mt 5:17).
Once all the prophecies were fulfilled, He brought to finality the Sinai law. It was set aside when the purpose for which it was given was accomplished. So at the time He was on the cross, the Sinai law, as well as all presumptuous and meritorious religious ordinances of men, were terminated. In being nailed to the cross, “He has made [us] alive together with Him, having forgiven us all trespasses” (Cl 2:13). In order to do this on the cross, He wiped “out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He took it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross” (Cl 2:14). He took away all meritorious religious laws that resulted in sin, for no man could keep law perfectly in order to save himself (Rm 3:20; Gl 2:16). And so, the words of Paul are true:
Therefore, my brethren, you also became dead to the [Sinai] law through the body of Christ, so that you should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, so that we should bring forth fruit to God (Rm 7:4).
In the last words of Jesus from the cross, He had accomplished what He had said only a few hours earlier when He was in prayer to the Father in the garden of Gethsemane: “I have glorified You [Father] on the earth. I have finished the work that You gave Me to do” (Jn 17:4).
[Last of lesson tomorrow]