Thursday, April 09, 2009

God's Promise in the Wine-Soaked Sponge

Chapter 10
I Understand Your Pain

Later, knowing that all was now 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 the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
John 19:28-30 NIV

This is the final act of Jesus' life. In the concluding measure of his earthly composition, we hear the sounds of a thirsty man.

And through his thirst-through a sponge and a jar of cheap wine-he leaves a final appeal.

"You can trust me..."

Before the nail was pounded, a drink was offered. Mark says the wine was mixed with myrrh. Matthew described it as wine mixed with gall. Both myrrh and gall contain sedative properties that numb the senses. But Jesus refused them. He refused to be stupefied by the drugs, opting instead to feel the full force of his suffering.

Why? Why did he endure all these feelings? Because he knew you would feel them too.

He knew you would be weary, disturbed, and angry. He knew you'd be sleepy, grief-stricken, and hungry. He knew you'd face pain. If not the pain of the body, the pain of the soul. . . pain too sharp for any drug. He knew you'd face thirst. If not thirst for water, at least a thirst for truth, and the truth we glean from the image of a thirsty Christ is- he understands.

And because he understands, we can come to him...

In his final moments, [Jesus was determined to fulfill prophecy]. He knew we would doubt. He knew we would question. And since he did not want our heads to keep his love from our hearts, he used his final moments to offer proof that he was the Messiah. He systematically fulfulled centuries-old prophecies...

Did you know that in his life Christ fulfulled 332 distinct prophesies in the Old Testament? What are the mathematical possibilities of all these prophecies being fulfilled in the life of one man?


000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,

(That's ninety-seven zeroes!) Amazing!...

His confession of thirst is a signal for all who seek it- he is the Messiah.

His final act, then, is a warm word for the cautious: "You can trust in me."

(Excerpt taken from He Chose the Nails page -91,93,95-96)

No comments: