I left off last post, It All Begins and Ends With Trust, with a teaser to read Numbers 5:18-27. If you haven’t read it here it is:
“The cohen will place the woman before ADONAI, unbind the woman’s hair and put the grain offering for remembering in her hands, the grain offering for jealousy; while the cohen has in his hand the water of embitterment and cursing. The cohen will make her swear by saying to her, “If no man has gone to bed with you, if you have not gone astray to make yourself unclean while under your husband’s authority, then be free from this water of embitterment and cursing. But if you have in fact gone astray while under your husband’s authority and become unclean, because some man other than your husband has gone to bed with you…” then the cohen is to make the woman swear with an oath that includes a curse; the cohen will say to the woman, “…may ADONAI make you an object of cursing and condemnation among your people by making your private parts shrivel and your abdomen swell up! May this water that causes the curse go into your inner parts and make your abdomen swell and your private parts shrivel up!” — and the woman is to respond, “ Amen! Amen!” “The cohen is to write these curses on a scroll, wash them off into the water of embitterment” and make the woman drink the water of embitterment and cursing — the water of cursing will enter her and become bitter. Then the cohen is to remove the grain offering for jealousy from the woman’s hand, wave the grain offering before ADONAI and bring it to the altar. The cohen is to take a handful of the grain offering as its reminder portion and make it go up in smoke on the altar; afterwards, he is to make the woman drink the water. When he has made her drink the water, then, if she is unclean and has been unfaithful to her husband, the water that causes the curse will enter her and become bitter, so that her abdomen swells and her private parts shrivel up; and the woman will become an object of cursing among her people.” B’midbar (Num) 5:18-27 CJB
(If you want to read the whole of this directive in Numbers 18 start with verse 11.)
What got me to this verse was actually studying why Jesus didn’t drink the first drink He was offered before the Cross and why He drank the second offer of bitter drink. There is always purpose in everything He did. So as I studied the two words for the two drinks offered to Him at the Cross there was a distinction in the words and the origin. I have talked about looking at the Greek and Hebrew and meanings and also when they are used: first time word is used etc. So, let’s dig in to the words!
The story is found in Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and partly in John 19. Let’s look at Matthew 27:34 and 48-50; and John 19:28-30 to get a full picture:
“they gave him wine mixed with bitter gall to drink; but after tasting it, he would not drink it.” Matthew27:34 CJB
“Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, soaked it in vinegar, put it on a stick and gave it to him to drink. The rest said, “Wait! Let’s see if Eliyahu comes and rescues him.” But Yeshua, again crying out in a loud voice, yielded up his spirit.” Matthew 27:48-50 CJB
“After this, knowing that all things had accomplished their purpose, Yeshua, in order to fulfill the words of the Tanakh, said, “I’m thirsty.” A jar full of cheap sour wine was there; so they soaked a sponge in the wine, coated it with oregano leaves and held it up to his mouth. After Yeshua had taken the wine, he said, “It is accomplished!” And, letting his head droop, he delivered up his spirit.” John 19:28-30 CJB
In verse 34 wine is made from grapes and the gall is bitter herbs. You can check here Verse 34 at biblehub for yourself or here is the definition from biblehub.com:
1. bile, gall: Matthew 27:34 (cf. the Sept. Psalm 68:22 ()) (cf. B. D., under the word Gall); Acts 8:23 (on which see πικρία); for מְרֵרָה, Job 16:13.
Then we can get to the Old Testament word from Job 16:13 in which we learn the root word for this is marar (4843) which is found in our opening scripture with the woman drinking the bitter water. He tasted the bitter waters we have had to drink because of our transgressions: “These bitter herbs, called maror (ma-ror), are symbolic of the bitterness of slavery and the miserable existence in Egypt. To us as Christians, the eating of bitter herbs reminds us of our lives before we knew the Savior. The maror also symbolizes the bitter cup our Lord tasted on our behalf. The horseradish brings tears to our eyes as we taste it and remember”(Celebrating Biblical Feasts, Zimmerman, pg. 67). This means, He knew what it was like to be us. Yet, He was still sin free. Remember, He had been fully tested in the 40 days in the desert (see Matthew 4). Thus, when Jesus tasted this drink yet chose not to drink He was stating He is like us in that He understands the bitterness and that He is the one and only pure Passover Lamb (fully man and fully God) that would choose to be sacrificed for the whole world (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Now that we are sure He is THE PASSOVER LAMB of all Passover lambs let’s see why He drank the last vinegar offered to Him? This is the last act He does before yielding up His Spirit. And it is a critical move on His part. This is the only time this word is used in the New Testament scripture. The Greek word for vinegar here is:
3690 óksos – Definition: vinegar, sour wine mixed with water, a common drink of Roman soldiers.
Just before His last statement, after He had taken all of the worlds transgressions, iniquities, pain, diseases, wounded for our crimes, punished for our sins, disciplined for our wholeness (Isaiah 53), Jesus cries out My God, My God why have You forsaken Me! Jesus says this because His Father allowed Jesus to become each of us on the Cross. Jesus became every person that has ever been born and all of our wrong doing, all of our disease was put on Him the perfect sacrifice.
Before Jesus gives up His Spirit he does one last thing He drinks the sour wine, vinegar or vinegar wine. I believe I am only scratching the surface here. I believe Jesus drinking this sour wine/vinegar symbolizes a few things and I want to point out two of them. First, this word vinegar is associated with Number 6:3 chomats (2558) and is something a Nazarite could not drink when making a vow to God to separate him or herself from the world and live only for God. I believe His drinking this chomats Jesus was making it known that through Him you would now be separated from the world (John 15:19). That only through Him is access to a relationship with God. We no longer had to make a vow and work for the relationship with God. A relationship was provided by the work Jesus accomplished on the Cross.
Second, we needed to understand that the full cup of God’s wrath had been finished on the Cross within Jesus Himself. There are many scriptures that state cup of wrath but the one I want to look at is in Isaiah 51:22
“this is what your Lord ADONAI says, your God, who defends his people: “Here, I have removed from your hand the cup of drunkenness, the goblet of my fury. You will never drink it again.” CJB
Isaiah 51-54 tells of the hope that is coming in and through Jesus Christ. It tells of ALL that will be accomplished through Him. It tells of God’s plan for ALL the people of the world through His Son’s sacrifice. When Jesus took that drink after He had asked why have You forsaken me, it was that He had fully drank the cup of fury or anger and we as believers in Him NEVER HAVE TO DRINK IT AGAIN because He physically removed it. He kept His promise. He proclaimed, “IT IS FINISHED!” ALL OF IT!
Let me make this as clear as day. The curse has been removed from us. We as believers DO NOT, CAN NOT EVER live under a curse, EVER. Once you understand and truly know this truth you stand in the power and authority Jesus Christ suffered, drank, died and resurrected for us to have. Read Isaiah above again actually go and read Isaiah 51-54 for yourself and understand or see ALL of what God did for us through His Beloved Son and remember Who lives in you through His Holy Spirit. Many times I have known Christians have believed we can be cursed but that is not TRUTH. We can not be cursed….now if you believe you can then I believe that causes the ability for the curse to alight (Proverbs 26:2). Since Jesus swallowed God’s fury that should have been our due, I stand fully aware in what Jesus did for me. I simply trust, believe in what Jesus did for me. So can you!