"A jar of sour wine was there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth."
John 19:29 ESV
No Comfort for the Damned
Jesus Drank All Death's Dark Curse
There is no comfort in hell. At every moment those who are damned are afflicted with pain. There is no dulling of it; nor is any “getting used” to the sensation.
The puritans would talk about souls “writhing” in hell. That is an apt description because there are no comforts to be had.
If you’ve ever had a bad back, you have tried to get comfortable. It isn’t possible. You keep turning and twisting. You are writhing on your bed because the pain will not let you sit long in any given position.
Such is the experience of one who is in hell, and such was the experience of Christ in his death.
At his dying moment, Christ received no comfort whatsoever to sooth him.
As his body languishes away on that cross, it withers with the pains of dehydration. He had had nothing to drink for at least 12 hours, and the day’s trauma has taken its toll. He thirsts.
Typically, when someone is in their dying days or last moments of life you do everything in your power to set them at ease. You give them a pillow so they might be comfortable. If they are thirsty, you may put a cool cloth to their lips or give him some ice chips. You give them some sort of reprieve.
Today we even have hospice care. It is a whole business developed around the idea that the sick and dying should be given as much comfort as possible before they pass from this life into the next.
Yet when Christ was in the throes of death he received no such succor. His thirst was not quenched with a damp cloth or even a sweet wine—a sensation that would have brightened his eyes exceedingly, if even it be only for a fleeting moment.
No! He was damned of God. Instead they shoved putrid wine in his face. They made him suck on rancid liquid, akin to vinegar; something so repugnant that it would make your body lurch and spit...something very hard to do on a cross.
His bitter death was made even more bitter; yea, bitter to the end.
Hell is a place where every comfort in life is removed. As God pours out his wrath and curse he strips away every grace and every blessing that he allotted you in life. Water and refreshment is a luxury that is afforded to us now by means of God’s benevolence. When we are deprived of it we should recognize that it is the due wages of our sin.
Here on the cross Christ was drinking down that dark curse. And he must drain this cup to the very dregs!
It was not enough for him to be deprived of the soothing sensation of hydration. The bitterness of the judgment of God must be tasted in its full. It was not enough for him to thirst, he must writhe. He must have his pains increased and intensified. He must be utterly vexed.
His taste buds must be aggravated through the irritating stimuli that sin justly deserves. He must gag and choke even to his dying breath. Even that last breath must not be easy. It must come through a throat clogged with a cocktail of death.
And there he acts as our substitute. The hot hostility of justice was shoved down his gullet to the very end so that we may taste the sweet gift of eternal life. There was no mercy given to him so that we might have every drop of mercy given to us. He lost all comforts, so that we might be comforted. He was made to writhe, so that we may be able to sing.
Celebrate the Resurrection
Worship with the Hopewell Church Family
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1995 Baney Road
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