Later, knowing that all was completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips.
We know there was cheap wine, a sponge, a stick—
and sometimes Roman soldiers offered it
to men whose dusty throats were choked with blood,
much too weak and parched to even spit.
So perhaps there was a stranger in the crowd
who, puzzled at the anger of the mob
(or perhaps a Galilean Christ had healed),
was moved by Mary’s soft and anguished sobs.
But someone braved the jokes and jabs and jeers
who knew the Living Water had run dry;
he turned and quickly ran to find the wine
after leaning close enough to hear Christ cry.
“I am thirsty” was a simple, anguished need.
And love is not a word. It is a deed.
©2001, Wally Metts
“Easter illustration”, limited edition wood print by Bill Bippes, acquired 2001. Used by permission. All rights reserved.