I am afraid of needles. I have been under the knife 38 times; the number of Iv’s has more miles than I have travelled in the last ten years.
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So, a few years ago, I am real sick. I am rushed to the hospital where they rush me past waiting patients to an opened room. They have doctor’s orders to draw blood and as per usual, my fists are clenched, and I have that look on my face. My wife looks at me and tells me to take it like a man.
Think about it for just a second. How many times have we been told to take it like a man?
The problem is that we take life for granted. We take God for granted. We are all going to suffer when we die because we don’t put everything in His Hands.
It is near the end of Jesus’ human life. He senses it. He has hung on the cross for six hours now. He is struggling to get one more breath. Imagine for a minute, being hung up from the ground with your arms nailed above your head. This was Jesus on the cross. His shoulders ache, his mouth is parched. He is exhausted. Not completing the prophesy, he asks for a drink to wet his lips to complete His task at hand.
This leads us to today’s scripture reading: John 18:28-29
This is week five of our eight-week series titled “The Bucket List”. This week’s message is called “Suffer Well”.
Jesus must fulfill the scriptures but to do this he had to ask for a drink. He did by saying He was thirsty. Psalm 69:21.
Jesus had been offered wine prior to His saying He was thirsty. Prior to being crucified, Jesus had been offered bitter wine. Matthew 27:34
We have no ideas as to why the wine was offered but it’s suggested:
- It might have been an offering to offset the pain that Jesus was going to endure;
- It might be speculated that it was a Jewish religious custom to provide a condemned man wine containing a grain of frankincense to numb;
Whatever the reason, Jesus did not drink the offered wine. He had offered himself as the sacrifice and to drink the wine would make the act less of a commitment.
Today’s scripture tells us they offered Jesus a drink of wine, but this was the second time and only after He says I’m thirsty. This was to quench his thirst as he had been on that cross for hours. John 19:29
One might stop and asked the obvious question here, what was a container of wine doing on Golgotha that day? The soldiers had brought it to quench their thirst while they worked on the crucifixion day.
Let’s remember that Jesus is hanging on the cross with his hands nailed above his head. Obviously, he can’t drink from a cup. So, when Jesus indicated his thirst, the soldiers used a sponge to give him a drink to solve his thirst.
Today we see many cases of dying. Whether it be in person or the dramatic end on a television show, it’s not a pleasant thing to watch for most people. Centuries later though, we still find it hard to deal with death. However, back in Jesus’ days they didn’t have the coping mechanisms we have today. So, what was it like for the bystanders or Jesus’ Mom or His disciples to watch his slow death? 1 Peter 2:22-23
Peter tells us as it is also in the book of Isaiah 53: 1 Peter 2:24
The soldier offered Jesus a drink of the wine vinegar as an act of mercy for the man that was sacrificing it all for mankind.
In verse 29 they tell us that they attached the sponge to the stalk of a hyssop plant and lifted it to Jesus.
We are told by John that Jesus takes a drink the second time he is offered. John 19:30
Jesus only drank enough that His final words could be heard across the hilltops of Golgotha.
We must look at this and determine what exactly was the meaning of this from the spiritual point of view.
- shows that he was human at the point in time. This shows us that Jesus died in the flesh to pay for our sins.
- He was aware of the scriptures concerning his suffering and death;
- “I thirst”, strengthen himself and eased his throat. This was to allow him to cry out “It is finished” loud enough so that it could be heard.
Is there really a definition for suffering well? Well Jesus not only defined it but his disciples not only wrote about it but some of them witnessed it. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 Galatians 6:2
I would have to say that the scripture from Galatians 6:2 to be a good scripture to remind us about discipleships.
Because Jesus said, “I Thirst’, anyone can come and drink of the life-giving water He gives, and anyone can truly never thirst again. We are all going to suffer, and we are all going to die. Many of us are going to die suffering, but because of Jesus, we can put on our bucket list that we will suffer well.
So what changes do you need to change, add, delete, or modify to be able to check off on your bucket list that you suffered well?
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Crossing Barriers Ministry serves the Homeless Community with both outreach as well as transitional services. We also publish an online blog with a weekly biblical message and a mid-week bible study. We also do these in an audio / video format on YouTube. Finally, we produce a podcast every week updating news and events that affect the homeless community.
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