John 19. 28-30 cont.
28 After this, Jesus, Knowing that all things had been accomplished, and that the scripture might be fulfilled said (says): “I am thirsty”.
29 A jar full of vinegar was there, so they put a sponge full of vinegar on a stalk of hyssop and put it to His mouth.
30 Therefore, when He took the vinegar Jesus said: “It has been accomplished”, and bowing His head He delivered up His spirit.
There is some differences of opinion as to what John meant when he wrote: that the scripture might be fulfilled.
It is generally thought that this is a reference to Psalm 69.21: But instead, they give me poison for food; they offer me sour wine to satisfy my thirst – (NLT). However, this is a Psalm of David crying out for God to rescue him, therefore, it may be seen as not quite the same context.
Others suggest that John may have been referring to the fact that at the point of Jesus crying out ‘I am thirsty’ he had fulfilled all the Scriptures, which prophesied about His life and sacrificial death.
John paints a vivid word picture of Jesus on the cross, recalling how He had called out because of the agony of thirst. In this we see the humanity of Jesus in His suffering. Even though there was the joy set before Him of resurrection and ascension into Heaven to be at the right-hand of the Father, yet He still had to endure the torture of the cruellest method of execution.
W Barclay makes the point that there may have been another reason for John stating this. At the time when John was writing there was a group of people known as Gnostics. Their philosophy and religious teaching was that all the created order (matter) was evil and wicked, but that all spiritual things were good and pure.
Therefore, to them there could be no contact between spiritual things and created matter, because it was evil.
Their thought process led them to believe that Jesus did not have a physical body, because it would have been a created body, which is evil. Therefore, he only had a phantom body, appearing as though it were a genuine, physical body.
Such a body would have no sense of feelings, meaning that Jesus would not have suffered at all.
It is quite possible that John may have had this in mind when he gave some description of the physical agony that Jesus suffered.
This is why John wrote:
And the word became flesh , and lived amongst us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth – John 1.14. This is the testimony of John.