This new piece by @julietillustrates was inspired by John 19:28-30 and depicts the lavender-colored Oriental Poppy. This little-known flower played an important part in showcasing the depth of Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross. Here are her reflections on the piece:

As Jesus suffered on the cross, He was offered sour wine (vinegar) – the sour wine had gall, which is a kind of sleep-narcotic, mixed into it. This gall was likely derived from the Oriental Poppy and was then mixed into the wine possibly to make crucifixion more humane and less painful. However, after tasting the sour wine, Jesus rejected drinking it (Matthew 27:34).

Yet, as Jesus drew His last few breaths, He said ‘I am thirsty’. And this time, when the sour wine was offered to Him, He drank it. Then, He said ‘It is finished.’ (John 19:30), breathed His last breath and gave up His spirit.

Juliet shared that this brought tears to her eyes as she meditated on why He rejected it, before drinking it in the end. She felt immense love with the holy conviction that Jesus did not want to be spared any ounce of pain. All of it, needed to be experienced, the humiliation, the physical torture, the pain, so that we need not experience them. He redeemed us fully, not just in our spiritual connection with our Father God, but all of sickness, humiliation, and pain as well.

It was only when Jesus knew His time was up, and when all the pain and weight of sin to be experienced had been experienced did He allow Himself to drink the sour wine.

May we never forget the depth of Christ's love and the magnitude of His sacrifice. As we contemplate the events on that fateful day at Calvary, let us be reminded of the boundless love that led Jesus to endure the cross, so that we might find salvation and healing in His finished work.

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February 08, 2024 — TCCO (Troubleshooting)