Lesson for the Lord’s Day

They gave Me also gall for My meat, and in my thirst they gave Me vinegar to drink. Psalm 69:21

What do you like to drink when you are very thirsty? One of my favourites is lemonade, if it’s not too sweet. Cold water is never a bad choice. Some people enjoy iced tea, others a fruit juice or another of the hundreds of varieties of thirst-quenching beverages available. But the Lord Jesus, as he was enduring thirst far beyond what any of us have ever known, was given sour lukewarm vinegar. Probably nothing more unpleasant could have been offered. When we gather to remember He who thirsted for us, let us remember the lesson of the vinegar and the bitter gall.

According to Wikipedia, the word ‘vinegar derives from the Old French vin aigr, meaning ‘sour wine’. Vinegar is a result of a fermentation process in which a pleasant, sweet-tasting wine is converted into a liquid that is marked by a strong sour taste, among its other properties. In the Scriptures, wine speaks of joy. Vinegar, on the other hand, is seldom given a good context in the Bible. What we have is a source of joy and refreshment being converted into that which is by itself unpleasant. This reminds us of man’s original relationship with God. Surely it was joyous for Adam and his wife to meet with God and to commune with Him. But sin turned that joy into sorrow and trouble. We are therefore reminded concerning the Lord Jesus, that He was made sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).

He drank the vinegar that was ours. He bore the horrible abuse, and even the thirst, of Calvary’s cruel cross. Because He drank our vinegar, we can drink the wine of fellowship and are filled with joy at His presence. -Jim MacIntosh

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