“Golgotha … They gave Him vinegar to drink … He would not drink.” Matthew 27:33-34 KJV
“Golgotha … They gave Him wine to drink … He was unwilling to drink.” Matthew 27:33-34 NASB
By comparing the Gospel accounts, it appears that there were three different occasions when the Lord Jesus was offered something to drink. Matthew records the first occasion: vinegar and gall to ease His pain. Luke tells us that they came in mockery offering Him something to ease His thirst (Luke 23: 36).
You can envision them holding the sponge inches from His lips, taunting Him and mocking Him! Like hunters playing with their captive prior to the kill, they mocked His suffering. Finally, John tells us that they offered Him vinegar when He cried, “I thirst.” Men who had mocked His thirst now responded, compelled by a sovereign hand, to fulfill His request.
The vinegar and gall mixture, offered here, was intended to deaden the senses and mitigate some of the suffering. But the Lord did not wish to avoid any aspect of suffering. He would plumb the depths of suffering without any lessening – not as a martyr, but as an intelligent, voluntary sacrifice.
Questions to Consider:
- Why do you think Matthew says, “When He had tasted, He would not drink”? Do you think that if He had refused before tasting that some would have thought it ignorance or insolence on His part?
- Why didn’t this offering of vinegar and gall fulfill the prophecy of Psalm 69:21 ? What does that show about how carefully the Lord fulfilled Scripture?
- Golgotha was the place of the skull. What does this suggest to you in keeping with the world by its wisdom, not knowing the Lord Jesus, and crucifying Him?