Vinegar on the Cross

By Genelle Austin-Lett

Categories: Easter (Passion Week), Jesus


The Bible says when Jesus was on the cross he refused the wine, so why did he later drink the vinegar?


A company of merciful women went to every crucifixion and gave the criminals a drink of drugged wine to ease the terrible pain. They offered the wine mixed with myrrh to Jesus, but he refused. It's interesting to note that myrrh was one of Jesus' baby gifts and now it was offered to him to ease the pain. The drugged mixture was similar to a narcotic sedative. "The vinegar (posca) was the equivalent of a first-century Gatorade, a sour wine that the soldiers drank to prevent dehydration in hot and humid climates."1 When Jesus said he was thirsty, he was fulfilling Ps. 22:15 [My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.], which describes what a victim of the cross experiences. A Roman soldier dipped a sponge in vinegar and lifted it to Jesus mouth. This fulfilled the prophecy in Ps.69:21[They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.] So Jesus wasn't asking for a drink to take away his pain, he was quenching his thirst.

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