November 10, 2010
To be given something to dull the pain, and to be given it by your torturers at that, would be the greatest blessing to a person about to be crucified. Crucifixion was terribly painful, to the point that the guards took pity as they watched the crucified suffer. Incoherent babbling or delusional talk was probably caused by the bodily shock, intense pain, dehydration, and blood loss. This may be why they offered the Master wine a second time (15:34-36). They probably looked at him and said, “Poor soul!” They most likely felt incredibly guilty about the whole execution.
The Master refused the wine because of his words in Mark 14:25 when he told his disciples that he would not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when he drinks it anew in the kingdom of God.
Even in the weakness of his flogged state of mind, Jesus still had the will to reject what felts good in order to keep his word to his disciples. Jesus, though not deserving it, took the pain without any anesthetic.
Like the Master, the saint must learn to reject what feels good in order to be a man of his word. The saint must not be driven along by the command of his flesh, but by the command of the Spirit, who delights in integrity (see 1 Chronicles 29:17).
There will be days when the saint must choose between his word and his stomach. This is where the importance of fasting is laid bare.
A step to living like Jesus is keeping your oaths, even when it hurts, and learning to deny what feels good in order to do what is right.
(See also: Psalm 15)