28 After this, Jesus, knowing that everything was now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst.” 29 A bowl full of sour wine was placed there. So they put a sponge full of sour wine on hyssop and held it to His mouth.
The Roman soldier, the Jewish leaders, the mob and even Pilate himself may have been unwitting participants in the most important event in the history of the world. They didn’t know or understand that they had just suspended the God of the Universe on a Roman instrument of torture, the cross, and left Him to die in the hot Palestinian sun. They simply thought they were ridding themselves of a nuisance: a holy and good man.
But, Jesus knew why He was there. He had come to the cross by Divine Appointment. The might of Rome, the jealousy of the Sanhedrin, the indifference of Pilate and the screaming mob hadn’t suspended Him between Heaven and Earth on that Friday. He had gone voluntarily to the Cross—He was there because of love, dying as the great climax of the Father’s will for the redemption of humanity from the power of Satan, sin and death.
His words “I thirst” are more than a plea for a drink of water to moisten his lips as He suffers under the hot sun. He is ever conscious of His fulfillment of Prophecy and that all the hopes and desires of humanity are fulfilled in Him at Calvary—the Savior of the world.
David, hundreds of years before as recorded in Psalm 69, had cried out “they gave me vinegar for my thirst” as part of his great prayer for deliverance from his enemies. Now Jesus to fulfill the Scriptures prophecies concerning Him says, “I thirst”. But instead of water they give Him, the true and Living Water, cheap red wine vinegar on a hyssop branch.
For many Jewish readers of John’s gospel the reference to hyssop would transport them back to the original Passover in Egypt when whoever sprinkled the blood of the Pascal Lamb on the lintel and posts of their door with a hyssop branch, would be passed over by the Angel of Death.
Through the Lamb’s sacrifice they were delivered from the crushing slavery of Egypt and freed to follow God to the Promised Land. To look up into the face of Jesus was to look into the eyes of the Pascal Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, who taketh away the sins of the world.
* Please remember to pray for the Christians who are suffering persecution for their faith in many countries around the world. There is a great evil settling on this earth and we must be vigilant in our prayers and stay close to Christ. Our hope is in Christ and he is faithful to his people. Please take the time to read about what is taking place in the world around us at http://thebeggardanced.com/nine-oclock-club/ there is much more on the internet…