Scripture reading for May 31st: John 19:23-42
It is said that a man’s last words as he leaves this world have meaning. They reveal something about the heart of the person and leave something for those left to remember him by. Jesus, as He hung on the cross, spoke some last words that have been contemplated by those who followed Him.
Around the cross, soldiers gambled for His seamless robe. They cast lots to see who would get this robe. It would be a little extra payment for their gruesome job. This fulfilled Scripture written by David in Psalm 22:18. Over the cross was a sign written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek, “The King of the Jews”. This was written by Pilate–a designation He refused to change even when requested by the Jews. This was the setting as Jesus suffered.
“Near the cross of Jesus stood His mother, His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw His mother there, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From this time on, this disciple took her into his house.” “ (John 19:25-27) Jesus, in His agony, took note of His mother. He placed her in the care of His beloved disciple. This was John, who wrote this account! We have an eye-witness account that is not recorded any where else. What love and compassion we behold in Christ!
“Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it and put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When He had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” (John 19:28-30) John records these last words of Jesus.
Psalm 69:21 state that they would give vinegar for the thirst. This prophesy was fulfilled here. I believe that Jesus was also thirsty for His Father’s house! (Psalm 42:2) His work was done, fulfilling all Scripture and now He wanted the glory of heaven and fellowship with the Father! “It is finished” simple states “Paid in full”! He then yielded His spirit to God!