Unlimited: Wine Mixed with Myrrh
Jun 4, 2021 1721
Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it (Mark 15:23, NIV).
The Jews had a tradition of offering those about to be executed a strong narcotic made with wine mixed with frankincense and myrrh in order to ease the pain. It was probably the women who followed him to the place of execution who offered Jesus this kindness.
The Jewish tradition of offering those about to be executed strong drink probably comes from Proverbs 31:6, which says,
“Give strong drink to those who are perishing and wine to those whose hearts are bitter” (CEB).
We also know from the written traditions of the Jews that a pinch of frankincense was added to the wine so that the mind of the man to be executed became disturbed and insensible.
Furthermore, the tradition was that it should be provided by the honourable women of the city, and if they refused to do it, then it was to be provided by the members of the local synagogue or congregation as an act of charity.
This wine which Jesus was offered just before his execution was different to what the soldiers later offered him on a sponge, which was vinegar mixed with gall.
Why did Jesus refuse to take this mind-numbing drink?
It was because the battle against the sin of the world was being waged within his mind at that very moment, and he could not afford to weaken his mind. Against the raging sin of all the world he had to hold on to the love of the Father with a clear and steady mind.
– Eliezer Gonzalez
Eli’s Reflection: What are the ways in which you try to numb your mind in the deepest struggles of your life? What can you learn from Jesus at Calvary?