Jesus made seven final statements as he hung on the cross and breathed his last breath. One of them was "I thirst". This particular one sticks out to me because it speaks to Jesus' physical state on the cross. We see his vulnerability as he expresses a very real and physical need: water to rehydrate his body.
Your body sends a signal to your brain when it is getting dehydrated and it makes you conscious of the fact that you need to find some fluids for your body. You know the feeling, right? Your mouth gets all dry, your lips are perched and sometimes if you keep ignoring the signs, you end up with a headache. Our bodies are designed to send messages to our brains to take care of itself.
Jesus’ body was telling him he needed to rehydrate. One can only imagine what it was like hanging there on the cross and literally dying of thirst. The pain must have been excruciating. When I think about Jesus’ physical state of being and what he has endured, I remember that he was walked the journey of life here on earth and can empathize with us when we thirst for something. Not only a physical thirst but also thirst for justice.
Fast food workers across the country are thirsting for justice. They are responding to their own need for dignity and livable wages. They are saying that the conditions in which they work and are paid are not conducive for taking care of themselves and their families. When we see a call for justice, a thirst for justice, we must walk with them. We walk with them because their thirst for justice is ours as well.
Jesus is with those who thirst. Jesus is with fast food workers and Walmart workers who thirst for better wages and respect on the job. Jesus is with farm workers who thirst for breaks with access to clean drinkable water. Jesus is with migrant workers who thirst for water as they cross our southern boarders through the desert in search of any job that will help support their families.
On this Good Friday, I encourage us to remember those around us who thirst.
Workers across the country are thirsting for justice and calling for a living wage. Will you join them for a National Day of Action on April 15? Click here and commit to go out on April 15.