Why did Jesus refuse
wine mixed with gall?
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Question: Why did Jesus REFUSE wine mixed with gall when he was dying?
Answer: First, let us look at the scriptures that discuss wine mixed with gall:
"And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull, they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink." (Matthew 27:33-34, NKJV throughout)
"After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, 'I thirst!' Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, 'It is finished!' And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit." (John 19:28-30)
Although Jesus refused to drink what the guards initially offered, he later did take some sour wine.
The word GALL comes from the Greek word chole (Strong's Concordance #G5521) which means POISON, and as such was very bitter. As an ex-chemistry teacher, I use to teach that all poisons are BITTER but acids are SOUR.
Christ refused the mixture first given him knowing the bitter taste meant it was a poison. He did not want to die from poisoning, but by His shed blood so that he could become the supreme sacrifice for the sins of all man.
As Matthew 27 and John 19 states, a Roman soldier pierced His side with a spear and blood and water came out. This is what finally killed Christ. It was not solely the crucifixion or the beatings he took that killed him. It was the penetration of a spear in his side:
"And immediately one of them ran and, taking a sponge, filled it with vinegar and put it on a stick, and gave it to Him to drink. But the rest said, 'Let Him alone! Let us see if Elijah comes to save Him.'
"Then another took a spear and thrust it into His side, and out came water and blood. And after crying out again with a loud voice, Jesus yielded up His spirit." (Matthew 27:48-50, Holy Bible in Its Original Order)
This was the fulfillment of a prophecy found in the book of Zechariah:
"'And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.' " (Zechariah 12:10)
By taste, the wine was acceptable for his thirst because it had a sour taste, and Christ knew that it was not poisonous. Perhaps the person that mixed the gall with the wine was trying to end Christ's suffering as soon as possible --- it does not say for sure. However, Christ knew that He had to shed his blood in order for Him to become the supreme sacrifice for the sins of all man, and He refused to take the easy way out of it.