Two Simple Words

“And My tongue clings to My jaws . . . They pierced My hands and My feet.”—Psalm 22:15-16 (NKJV)

David penned the 22nd Psalm approximately 1,000 years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem. It was originally written during a time in David’s life when he was experiencing great emotional distress, which is plain to see as he pours out his personal pain in this song of sorrow.

Yet this Psalm is so much more than that. It’s also one of the most powerful prophetic passages in the Old Testament, pointing ahead to the life of Christ. Specifically, this Psalm foreshadows the agonies Jesus endured on the cross a millennia in advance . . . in high definition detail!

We see one of those details in verse fifteen with the words, “My tongue clings to My jaws.” This describes the physical dehydration that Jesus would experience as He sweat and bled on the cross. John, who was an eyewitness to the crucifixion, deliberately records this in his account: “Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, ‘I thirst’” (John 19:28 NKJV).

Notice how John not only tells us of Jesus’ thirst, but he goes a step further to make the connection that it fulfilled Scripture. He undoubtedly had Psalm 22:15 in mind here.

Interestingly, when you examine all that Christ said from the cross, the only mention He makes of any sort of physical suffering is right here . . . that He was thirsty. Now, we know this wasn’t because there weren’t other physical sufferings! There was no end to the physical inflictions that Jesus could have cried out about. Yet He didn’t; He confined it to thirst. Why?

  1. was a way to prophetically fulfill what David has written so long ago, but it was also a means of identifying with him. The Lord was actually sharing in something, thirst, that the Psalmist had also suffered.

The same principle is at work in all of our lives. None of us has written a prophetic Psalm. But when Jesus hung on the cross, He was identifying with us as sinners (2 Corinthians 5:21); demonstrating His understanding of our plight under the penalty of sin, and His willingness to remove it at the cost of His own life.

“I thirst!” Two simple words infused with so much meaning. They reveal a Creator willing to share in our suffering in order to ultimately save us from it.

DIG: What meaning do the words, “I thirst,” hold?

DISCOVER: How does this truth comfort you?

DISPLAY: As a Christ-follower, an ambassador for God, we should do as Jesus did. Today, we saw how Jesus identified with us on the cross; likewise let us identify with nonbelievers. Let us identify with the lost, hurting, outcast, the hopeless and helpless, and take up their cause!​​​​

About the Author

Pastor Dan Hickling

Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.