John 19:28-30 I didn’t make it very far today, I just kept thinking about this small, somewhat seemingly insignificant moment on the cross. “Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” I have heard this passage spoken about in regards to the 4th cup of the Passover Feast, the cup of competition and how Jesus did not dink from that cup at the Last Supper but now he “does”. However, this morning, I just couldn’t shake this scene. I considered the hyssop, used a handful of times in Old Testament in the application of sacrificial blood and twice in the New Testament, here at the cross and in Hebrews used in the same context.
The first time we see this word used in the Bible, the Israelites are being instructed to use the leaves of this plant to apply the blood of a lamb to the doorframe of their homes, during the 10th and final plague on Egypt the Angel of Death would see the blood and passover the the house. The blood on the door would protect them from death. Moving forward through scripture, the hyssop plant is continued to be used in the sprinkling of blood to symbolize a cleansing. In Psalms 51:7 the psalmist cries out, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” The hyssop symbolized a cleansing or purification from sin. As I pictured this Roman Soldier, a man of great human power, hold up this hyssop stalk to Christ and offer him a wine vinegar soaked sponge to quench His thirst, I couldn’t help but see the irony of this scene. This soldier offered Jesus a bit of sour wine (a drink the soldiers often brought with them to pass the time while waiting for the crucified to die). This is all the world has to offer us, the penalty of death for our sins, and a sour wine soaked sponge on the end of a hyssop stalk to pass the time until we die. Yet, hanging on that cross, Jesus shed his blood to offer us forgiveness of sins, pardon from the penalty of those sins and reconciliation with God. He is the “door”, the way, to the Father, and His blood applied to our hearts is our protection from penalty of sin, death. He doesn’t simply hold out