28Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.”29A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips.30When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.
You may remember that at the Last Supper when Jesus shared the cup of wine with his disciples he told them he would not drink of the fruit of the vine again till he drinks it anew in his kingdom. Jesus knew how and when his kingdom would be established. He knew he had complete his tasks, fulfilled the Word. This moment, the moment of his death in this world, would be the beginning of a new life, for him and for us. Though it was still bitter, it was time to taste the fruit of the vine once again.
I also think Jesus is clearly tying the bitterness of this life with the glory of the next. Both for him and for us. His tasting the sour wine says that his kingdom had come in that moment and in that awful situation. So often in our lives Jesus’ kingdom begins or grows or is shown in our moments of anguish and misery. At those times perhaps we are called to do as Jesus did and claim the glorious kingdom that is our destiny.
And lastly, I cannot passover the “It is finished”. The Jews had a tradition that when they paid off a debt, they would take the bill or loan agreement, if it was written, and write across it “It is finished”. They would then nail the form to the doorpost to tell the world the debt was paid. They would have nailed the form against the blood of the lamb that they put on their doorpost as the passover. Jesus paid our debt of sin, nailed to a cross, as the final and true passover lamb.
Lord, how can I ever thank you? You know I cannot and yet I hear your Spirit whispering “by claiming the kingdom in your time of misery”. Help me to look forward to my time of misery. *obbs*