There is no success without struggle. There’s no win with a war. We can only appreciate all the resurrection means by first remembering the price that was paid at Calvary. This week we contemplate in order to celebrate. Take some time to let the immense truths of the cross steep into your soul. Then receive the reality of the resurrection. As you journey through these Devos invite others to read them as well. Or, read them out loud as a family, or with a group of friends. Feel free to pass the content along in your conversations.
“. . . they tried to give Him wine . . . but He did not take it.” Mark 15:23
Hurt is something we instinctively avoid. There are many ways to numb out, be it bottles, pints, pitchers, or by the glass, either salted, shaken, stirred, or shots. Sadly for many Christians, alcohol continues to be the primary solution to problems.
However, those who witnessed the death of Christ never forgot how when a drink was handed Him, He quietly and deliberately refused to drink. In the past, He had not turned acts of graciousness down. By a well, He had accepted water from a woman’s jar. He had shared a meal with Matthew. When He buckled under the weight of the cross, He allowed it to be placed on the shoulders of Simon. But now, He refuses to drink.
In many churches, drinking alcohol is used as a rite of freedom in Christ. It is the idol of many Christians. But the Son of God refused to drink. One can only ask, why?
Because He would not have His senses drugged and dulled. He would not have His mind clouded. He would not use an unspiritual means to go through a spiritual experience. He would go through the valley of the shadow of death with clarity of body, mind and spirit. He refused to deaden the sense of pain. The book of Hebrews tells us He did it “so that He might taste death for everyone.” With open eyes and raw nerves, He took it all in, He went through agony fully conscious.
Every day there are many pressures, many temptations, so many unpleasant realities to escape, so many disturbing feelings that we like to keep out of sight from ourselves and others. We would just as soon shut ourselves out from the piercing awareness of suffering. Swimming to the bottom of a bottle seems like a natural solution.
By taking the drink, we shut ourselves out of fellowship with Christ. By deadening our pain, by drugging our spirits, we keep our life from being exposed to costly sympathy. We also keep others from experiencing the spirit of God through us. Next time life gets tough before reaching for a bottle reach for the cross.
Have you deadened yourself to something that needs to be dealt with instead?
Let this verse be the prayer of your heart, “that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, . . .” Philippians 3:10