Go back only a short time in the life of Jesus and you will find him saying ‘those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”’(John 4) and again in John 7 ‘On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me!’
But on the cross the one who can satisfy the thirst of a disciple finds himself the thirsty one with no help at hand. The offering of wine-vinegar on a sponge is little more than a mockery of his apparent impotence.
This is the moment where Jesus’ humanity stands in stark contrast with his Divine nature. The creator of streams and rivers, oceans and thunderstorms, the sustainer of all life, is himself thirsty and will not use his infinite power to provide a drink for himself.
The contrast between his Deity and his Humanity is there for all to see. The songwriter puts it this way:
You laid aside your majesty
Gave up everything for me
Suffered at the hands of those You had created
You took all my guilt and shame
When You died and rose again
Now today You reign
In heaven and earth exalted
The cross with its suffering and shame was not the end – but that was still in the unforeseen future.