Sour Wine

Sour wine mingled with gall

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Sour Wine
JOHN 19 COMMENTARY
John 19:25-27 (C) Father, Forgive Them

John 19:28-30 (A) Sour Wine

John 19:28-30 (B) It Is Finished
John 19:28-30 (C) Veil of the Temple
JOHN 19:28-30  28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He delivered up His spirit.

Didn't Jesus refuse to drink sour wine a few hours earlier?
Yes: "And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull, they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink" (Matthew 27:33-34).

Why did Jesus drink the latter sour wine but not the former?
He refused the former sour wine because it contained "gall," that was intended as a crude anesthetic for the holes the Romans were about to drive through His wrists and feet. The fact that He drank the latter "sour wine" - the one without gall - may have had more to do with hyssop, the plant on which it was offered, than the sour wine itself. The usage of this plant is mentioned ten other times in the Bible (Exodus 12:22, Leviticus 14:4, 6, 49, 51, 52, Numbers 19:6, 18, Psalm 51:7 and Hebrews 9:19). Nine of the ten mentions are in the context of an innocent substitute being sacrificed and/or cleansing from impurity. Here is the other (the first) mention of hyssop in the Bible: "Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb. And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning. For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you" (Exodus 12:21-23). Even in seemingly small details, Jesus expressed that His sacrificial death on the cross cleanses us of our sins, so that we may be spared the wrath of God against sinners.

What does "they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth" (John 19:29) indicate about the height of His cross?
A hyssop is no more than 50 centimeters long and the outstretched hand of a man standing on the ground could add another 2 meters, so Jesus' mouth was no more than about 2.5 meters (8 feet, 2 inches) above the ground.

Why did the Romans use such short crosses instead of the towering ones seen in Roman Catholic art?
To send a message to the passersby (see Golgotha and Criminals on the Cross).

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