Jesus, seeing that everything had been completed so that the Scripture record might also be complete, then said, "I'm thirsty."
A jug of sour wine was standing by.Someone put a sponge soaked with the wine on a javelin and lifted it to his mouth. After he took the wine, Jesus said, "It's done . . . complete." Bowing his head, he offered up his spirit. (John 19:28-30, The Message)
Jesus’ ministry was launched with the supernatural creation of wine at a merry celebration. It was the very best wine, which he had miraculously fashioned from water, served to the surprised guests at a wedding in Cana.
This was the wine of life.
His ministry ends with wine in a much crueler, darker setting. Cheap, sour wine forced into his parched, dry mouth by a sponge at the end of a Roman spear.
This was the wine of death.
We remember Christ’s life and his death with the wine of the Eucharist, representing his blood shed on the cross. Remembering him, honoring his deep, sacrificial love for us every time we drink it.
This is the wine of love.
We thirst for that love. Our souls are parched and dry for it. He willingly gives it—abundantly, fully, beyond our possibility even to endure it.
Look what he did to love you.
Jesus, your sacrifice for me takes my breath away. I know you love me. I thirst for you, and for your love. Help me to die to my own selfish, self-protective, deceptive ways, and live in your love. And to give that love away in sacrificial ways. Amen.
[Adapted from LIVING LOVED: KNOWING JESUS AS THE LOVER OF YOUR SOUL, by Peter Wallace. Church Publishing 2007]