Today's verses are John 19:29,30: "A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, "It is finished, and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." My child, like all humans, I became thirsty and said so from the cross. There was a jar full of sour wine that was at the base of the cross. The soldiers had it there to quench their own thirst. My friend Mark, in his account of my death, tells how I was offered a "wine mixed with myrrh," which was a sedative. It was offered and refused by me (Mark 15:23). I knew I needed to feel the full weight of the world's sin upon me. That was my Father in heaven's will for my life. This wine was simple drinking wine, used to quench thirst.
Hyssop was a plant. This simple shrub was used for sprinkling blood on the doorposts of the original Passover (Ex. 12:25). It has a sponge-like quality that absorbed liquid quickly. The wine was placed on the hyssop and brought to my lips.
The wine moistened my parched throat and lips. It allowed my to make a loud cry of triumph at the end of all my suffering: "It is finished." What is the "it?" It is the finished work that my Father in heaven had sent me to accomplish. Where Adam had failed, I was now successful. I had completed living the perfect, sinless life he called me to live. I had now born the penalty for all your sins. There is now no more penalty for your sins left to be paid. All my obedience and suffering were completed.
Then I bowed my head in obedience to the will of my Father for my life. I "gave up" my life, thus fully expressing the voluntary nature of my self-sacrifice. This act also fulfilled the prophecy of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53:12. My human spirit was now released from within from my body to be in the presence of my Father in heaven. It remained there until my Father chose to return it to my resurrected body on Sunday morning.
My child, do you know that the same thing will happen to you when you die? Your spirit will be released from your body and appear before my Father in heaven. There you will face your eternal judgment. At that moment, you will be judged either according to your works or my work for you.
On the cross, I finished the work of perfect righteousness you could not accomplish. I perfectly took upon myself the penalty of your sin. If you believe this, when you appear before my Father, all you have to do is plead my gift of salvation for you on the cross. If you don't, you appear before my Father in heaven with your own unrighteousness unresolved. You face eternal separation from him.
My child, accept my gift of eternal life today. It is a free gift, not based on your works, but solely on my grace. Know your sins are forever forgiven. Know you have no fear of death. Your eternal presence is guaranteed. I have conquered sin and death! And if this is true about your eternal security...
You can trust me today.