Look In The Mirror
Devotional Thoughts About Matthew 27:33-43
33And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, 34They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink. 35And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. 36And sitting down they watched him there; 37And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. 38Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. 39And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, 40And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. 41Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, 42He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. 43He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.
In today’s reading we come face to face with the cross of Christ. We see him suspended between Heaven and Earth and reconciling the two together. Here we discover the reason he came, to suffer and die so that sinful man can be at peace with holy God.
This reading about the cross of Christ stirs so many questions. I will try to ask and answer just two of them.
1. Why Did He Refuse To Drink?
Jesus was offered the vinegar wine mixed with gall. Some say that the gall, which means “bitter” was mixed with the sour wine as a cruel joke played upon Jesus by his tormentors, but I believe it may have been a rare moment of sympathy, an attempt at easing his pain. Mark tells us the name of that bitter substance.
Mark 15:23 And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.
One of the many uses of Myrrh was as a drug. This mixed with the wine would have offered some mental escape from the torment. That is what the book of Proverbs had said to do for those suffering death.
Proverbs 31:6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, And wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
If this be true then why didn’t he drink?
He must drink of another cup, the one the Father had placed before him, the one that he had prayed in the Garden to pass. He must drink every bitter drop from that cup. He must endure every pain and could not escape even the slightest suffering.
Why didn’t he allow his mind to be numbed and his pain to be eased?
Look in the mirror.
He bore our cross and endured our pain.
2. Why Didn’t He Come Down?
There were those passing by him mocking. They said, “save thyself”. The chief priests and elders ridiculed him saying, “he saved others, himself he cannot save”. Even the criminals next to him joined in. All of them were asking him to prove to be the one he had claimed, the Son of God. So, why didn’t he call down the angels? Why didn’t he speak himself free?
Look in the mirror.
For the person you see to escape the sin debt owed then he had to pay. For him to save others, himself he could not save!
This morning I looked in the mirror and saw just one of the reasons my Savior suffered and died. I am strangely saddened and joyful at his sacrifice. His suffering makes me sad but the salvation it brought me makes me glad.
So, will you look in the mirror and think of him today?