The Fifth Word – “I Thirst.”

imgresThe Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke tell us of the Passover meal Jesus shared with the Apostles, His Last Supper. If you’ve ever participated in a Passover meal you know that participants share four cups of wine. During the Last Supper Jesus instituted the Eucharist during the third cup of wine, the cup of redemption. He did not consume the last cup then. Instead He told the Apostles he’d not drink from the fruit of the vine until the day when they could drink it new in the Kingdom of His Father. (Mt 26:29, Mk 14:25, Lk 22:18) The Passover would not be complete until the end of the age.

The Gospel of John, which does not mention the Last Supper, makes a specific point to describe the last moments of the life of Jesus. After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, ‘I thirst.’ (Jn 19:28) Then he drank the common wine which was offered to Him on a reed of hyssop. His drinking this last Passover cup signalled the end of the old age, the end of the Old Covenant, the end of sin and death. The New Covenant had begun.

Jesus’ thirst was assuaged. So is ours. We are part of the New Covenant, and participate in that covenant every time we celebrate the Eucharist. We need never thirst again.

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