Tag Archives: crucifixion

The Wine Jesus Drank

I was doing a little research for a story I was working on (I’ll be posting it tomorrow) and I came across this article.  It pointed out something I’d never thought about before.  Instead of trying to explain it, I though I’d repost it.

The Wine Jesus Drank

Twice Jesus was offered wine while on the cross. He refused the first, but took the second. Why so?

The first time came in verse 23, “they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it.” William Lane explains,

According to an old tradition, respected women of Jerusalem provided a narcotic drink to those condemned to death in order to decrease their sensitivity to the excruciating pain . . . . When Jesus arrived at Golgotha he was offered . . . wine mixed with myrrh, but he refused it, choosing to endure with full consciousness the sufferings appointed for him (The Gospel of Mark, p. 564)

This first wine represented an offer to ease the pain, to opt for a small shortcut—albeit, not a major one in view of the terrible pain of the cross, but a little one nonetheless. But this offer Jesus refused, and in doing so, chose “to endure with full consciousness the sufferings appointed for him.”

The second time came in verse 35. After some bystanders thought he was calling for Elijah, “someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, ‘Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.’” Lane comments,

A sour wine vinegar is mentioned in the OT as a refreshing drink (Numbers 6:13; Ruth 2:14), and in Greek and Roman literature as well it is a common beverage appreciated by laborers and soldiers because it relieved thirst more effectively than water and was inexpensive . . . . There are no examples of its use as a hostile gesture. The thought, then, is not of a corrosive vinegar offered as a cruel jest, but of a sour wine of the people. While the words “let us see if Elijah will come” express a doubtful expectation, the offer of the sip of wine was intended to keep Jesus conscious for as long as possible” (Ibid., 573–574).

So the first wine (mixed with myrrh) was designed to dull Jesus’ pain, to keep him from having to endure the cross with full consciousness. This wine he refused.

And the second (sour) wine was given to keep him “conscious for as long as possible,” and thus have the effect of prolonging his pain. This is the wine Jesus drank.

Other condemned criminals would have taken the first (to ease their torment) and passed on the second (so as not to prolong their horrific pain). But Jesus would take no shortcuts on the way to our redemption.

At the cross, he drank the wine of his Father’s wrath down to its very dregs, and he did so for us—that we might enjoy the wine of his Father’s love, join him at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, and live redeemed forever in the glorious presence of the one who took no shortcuts in saving us.





Lord I come before You

Tears so bountiful I cannot see

If you are really there and really care

Please take this burden off of me


I can feel Your presence now

So close, but just out of reach

Take my hand and lead me

To the place I may find peace


I need You more than ever before

For I have sinned and need Your grace

You have saved me; You have healed me

You have forgiven my soul’s disgrace


You have brought me out of darkness

And into your promising light

You have given me strength

When I was too weak to fight


You saw me when I stumbled

And You caught me in Your arms

You have shielded and protected me

Throughout my many storms


 But now it seems to me

That I have lost Your grace

I look all around me

But I can’t see Your face


I see my sins and wrongs I’ve done

And they block You from my view

I see the devil mocking me

Saying he has conquered You


Then I see a drop of blood

The devil starts to cower

As more blood falls, my sins are covered

Satan cannot overcome Your power


I look up and see You on the cross

I see Your pain and cry thanks to You

For I know Your blood covers my sins

And gives me life anew


I am thankful that someone like You

Would die for a sinner like me

I’ll praise you all my days

Because of Your grace, I now can see


Since it’s almost Easter, I thought I’d share this poem I wrote a few years ago.  Enjoy!