This was a stupefying drink…it was a mercy of sorts, to help deaden the pain and effects of suffering. He refused it. Would it not have been enough for Him to have suffered all of these things? Did He have to feel every slap, every nail, every lash of the whip? Yes, He did. He drank the cup of pain, anguish, isolation, grief, humiliation, injustice…to its fullest…for you and me.
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Heb. 4:15
So…that hospital visit, chronic illness, terrible accidental injury? He knows physical suffering in the extreme. The pain of cruel accusations, gossip, misunderstanding, and isolation? Yes, He knows that. The bewildering anguish of injustice? The searing stab of betrayal? He understands perfectly. Every sorrow.
He needed to go through every bit of this, because He was the perfect Lamb. He was appointed to bear the sins of these offenders…and not only these, but all sinners…past, present, and future. The enormity of that weight is something beyond our comprehension. To be sinless, pure, holy, blameless…and yet, bear it ALL. Who can begin to grasp that?
We can’t. But we can meditate upon it today. And, the next time we are asked to enter into the “fellowship of His sufferings” in one or more of these ways, we know we can come boldly and without hesitation to the One who knows, and ask for “grace to help in time of need”.