“When Jesus therefore saw His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son! Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.
After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His Spirit”. (NKJV)
Jesus had just been through a grueling time, which most of us would have never survived. He had been whipped and beaten, and cruelly mocked and tormented for hours. Already weak and faint with pain, the loss of blood, and a lack of food and water, He was made to carry a heavy wooden cross on shoulders that were raw and bloody. His head bled from wearing a cruel crown of thorns, and every part of His body ached with the weight of the sins and sicknesses of humanity. On top of all that, our precious Lord was raised up on a wooden cross about 6-9 feet high, secured to it by huge iron Roman nails, as well as tied with ropes. The Bible does not mention this, but historians and archaeologists talk about the crucifixions of the time, and the use of iron nails which were between 4-8 inches long, passed through the wrists and feet. The pain Jesus must have felt as these nails went through His flesh and nerves cannot be imagined.
It is amazing that while Jesus hung on the cross in absolute agony, He still thought of the future of the earthly mother He loved, and made arrangements for her to be cared for by the beloved disciple John. His love knows no bounds! I believe that as He suffered in those last moments, you and I were also on His heart. He knew that He was carrying that pain on our behalf. Our faces were on His heart as He suffered the sicknesses which had our names on it. He bore the punishment which we had been given. Jesus took upon Himself the heartbreak, the torment, the depression, the cancers, the arthritis, and all the other mental and physical sicknesses and sins of the whole world for all time. His suffering was extreme and unimaginable, but we are told in Hebrews 12:2 that Jesus “for the joy set before him endured the cross.”
A few weeks ago, we spoke about the two cups that Jesus offered His disciples in Luke 22:17-20, the cup of joy and the cup of suffering. We see here that even while Jesus suffered such extreme agony, He found joy in the completion of His mission. He found joy in laying down His life in fulfillment of the Father’s plan of salvation for mankind. He found joy in making sure His earthly mother would be taken care of. He found joy in the thought that His pain was opening Heaven’s door for you and me, and giving us the opportunity to know salvation and complete freedom here on earth. Jesus gave His all that you and I might have it all, all the abundance and joy of life in Him. He withstood this suffering that we might know His joy forever more. “Greater love has no man than this, that He should lay down His life for His friends” (John 15:13).
When Jesus expressed that He was thirsty, He was offered sour wine. What His hurting, dying body needed was fresh, cool water to slake His thirst, but He was given sour wine. As He drank of it, He drank on our behalf all the sour, sad and painful things that Satan brings to the people of the earth. “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I (Jesus) came to give life and give it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Our adversary the devil constantly tries to steal what God has blessed His people with, to kill them with sickness and other unexpected situations, and to destroy the abundant life that Jesus died to give us. We have two choices when we are attacked with something bad that comes against us: We can flow with what the devil brought to our door, fear him and his infirmities, and cave in when he pushes us. Or we can receive the fact that Jesus already drank the sour wine, He already took the pain that is standing at our door. We can stand on Isaiah 53:5 and believe that “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and By His stripes we are healed.” We can say “No” to the devil and proclaim God’s Word. We can slam the door in the face of the lies of the enemy, and walk in the powerful protection of the Truth of our Lord, which tells us that we have already been given whatever we need for healing, health, peace and provision, and it is ours if we reach up and take it in faith!
When Jesus drank of the sour wine, it was His last sip from the cup of suffering. After He had drunk it, He said “It is finished!” He had done all that had to be done. The sacrifice was complete and the Divine Demand was satisfied. He paid the price that we should have paid. The judgment was fulfilled. There was no more that needed to be done. You may have not seen the manifestation of this powerful truth in your body as yet, but truly, by His stripes we were healed in body, mind and spirit, in our marriages, relationships, finances, work and play. Jesus did it all for all time and for all people. The key is to appropriate and receive the physical manifestation of it by faith. As we believe, we receive! It is all about a choice we make. The devil has lied to people for thousands of years and they have believed him instead of the sweet Spirit of God who constantly shows us how much we are loved by Abba, and how much He wants us to walk in His joy, health and provision. This is a negative faith, which is for example, a belief that some sicknesses cannot be cured, or that death is too permanent for a resurrection, or that a person with an addiction or compulsion can never change! It works against the faith from God. There is nothing impossible with our God! He raised Jesus from the grave!
Friend, this Good Friday week, the Holy Spirit would have you open your heart afresh to the meaning of the sacrifice of Jesus. Ask Him for a deeper revelation of what He did for you. He died that you and I could live. He was wounded and punished that we could be free. He carried our infirmities so that we could walk in health! Whatever the sour situation you are facing right now in your body, mind, home, finances or family, remember that Jesus already paid the price. He drank the sour wine. Whatever bitter memories still rush into your mind, Jesus drank of it so that your heart could be healed and free. He took those stripes upon His body. He took those piercings upon His hands and in His side. The devil would like humanity to forget this completely, but there is no problem we cannot overcome, no sickness that cannot be defeated, no marriage that cannot be healed, because Jesus completed the work – He said “It is finished”! If you believe you are saved and your sins forgiven, it is not difficult to also believe that you are healed and whole. It is all part of the same package Jesus made possible when He said “It is finished”. It is an unshakeable, unchangeable, powerful truth. It is not just a promise but a contract sealed in the precious blood of the Lamb of God.
Beloved of the Lord, let me leave you with these few thoughts:
1) Jesus loves you and you were on His heart as He hung on that cruel cross. He knew the issues that would come against you and paid in full the price that you were to pay. Now you can receive His gift of love by believing His Word and appropriating into your life everything which is yours through the blood of Jesus. There are many precious people who never feel they are worthy of the love, grace and forgiveness of God, but the Lord Jesus tells you today that He loves you and you were worth dying for. Your face is engraved upon His heart, your name on His hand!
2)Jesus drank the sour wine so that you would not have to drink it. All the issues that crop up in your life have an answer and a solution – Jesus! People may let you down, misunderstand you, or stab you in the back, but choose to let it go because Jesus already took the bitterness of that sour situation for you. He knows all about it – He has been there too. Lay it at His feet and ask for His sweet sacrifice to be made so real to you that you will feel His love picking up your load and removing it right off you. You do not have to carry the burdens the enemy lays on your shoulders any more!
3) Jesus finished the work. Jesus completed His mission on earth. He lived a sinless life and went to the cross on behalf of all mankind. He took the punishment which was ours. He gave us a pardon we did not deserve. He surrendered to the will of the Father as He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. It was finished so that you and I would not have to suffer as He did. We are recipients of all the promises in the Word. We are joint heirs with Jesus Christ (Romans 8:17). If you happen to be reading this message but have never given your life to Jesus, please experience the power point show on this website or email me on the address below. Jesus loves you and wants you to know His love.
May today be a turning point in your life, as you say ‘no’ to the devil and ‘yes’ to the powerful reality of everything Jesus died to give you. He loves you and has awesome plans for you! I pray that the sweet Holy Spirit will overshadow you today and begin to fill your heart with heavenly faith. I pray that you will rise up and receive everything that Jesus died to give you. May you be healed and whole, and walk in the power of His Word and His blessing, in Jesus’ name, Amen!
Minoli Haththotuwa, 02 April 2012