And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. (Mk 15:23)
My dad never let the dentist give him novocaine when he had a cavity filled. I am still in awe of him. Me? I’m like, “Doctor, give me the shot, the gas, everything you’ve got!”
We grew up with a dentist who was pretty stingy with the novocaine. When I got a job and moved away from home after college, my first visit to the dentist was amazing. Yes, I had a cavity to be filled. But I felt nothing, since they went right to the novocaine. I was amazed. I thought a dentist appointment was supposed to be torture, designed to make you talk. This guy almost made it enjoyable!
Those about to be crucified were offered a wine-myrrh cocktail, designed to give you a buzz. It would make you easier to manage, especially if nails in the hands and feet were involved. It’s kind of like a shot of whiskey before the doctor stitches up your wound. Or cuts off your leg in a civil war field hospital.
Make mine a double.
Jesus refuses. No anesthetic. Nothing to dull the pain. Bring it on.
I can’t even imagine. I keep thinking of a power-lifter who has someone slap his face to get his adrenaline pumping before he attempts a lift. Or a football player who needs to get hit a few times before he’s really in the game. Or a depressed person who needs to cut themselves in order to feel something.
Jesus came here to feel. He felt compassion when he saw helpless and hurting people. He felt grief when his friend Lazarus died. He felt sorry for what Peter would have to go through. He felt hungry after forty food-less days in the desert. He felt the anger of his Father’s house being turned into a bazaar. He felt the whips and nails of his suffering and death. He felt it all.
No one can ever say, “Jesus, you don’t know how it feels…” He does. He’s been here, done that, just like us. In every way. So when you are talking to Jesus, he gets it. He knows what you’re going through. He knows what it’s like to be left, betrayed, framed, insulted, teased, taunted, and laughed at. He knows what it’s like to be you.
He gets it.
Thank you, heavenly Father, for a Savior who gets it, who knows me, who understands me, and saves me. Amen.