JESUS REFUSES TO DRINK THE WINE MIXED WITH MYRRH
SCRIPTURE: Mark 15:23 Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it.
REFLECTION: When Jesus was hanging on the cross he refused to salve his thirst with wine mixed with myrrh.
Certainly, it was not because he was against drinking alcoholic beverages. After all, he changed water into wine at the wedding feast.
Perhaps the wine was offered to help numb the inhuman pain he was about to suffer. Having spikes driven through both hands and both legs would create excruciating pain. I have a difficult time believing even wine with myrrh would serve to protect the receiver from pain under this circumstance.
Why else could the wine have been offered to Jesus? Perhaps it was a form of apology, of asking for forgiveness…
I suspect that Jesus didn’t want any numbing of the pain. I suspect he wanted to experience the fullness of the coming experience.
My friend Linda, a victim hurt soul-deep by extreme abuse, spoke about “numbing out” when the stress and pain of her situation became unbearable. She was adept at numbing out without the aid of external aids like medications and drug substances.
She was, however, courageous enough to allow herself to experience life to its fullest under most circumstances. She wanted to experience the pain throughout her healing process.
She numbed out only when things piled up and became so excruciating that she felt there was no other way to handle things.
Jesus knew he still had work to do, and numbing out was not the way to finish the work effectively. Being drugged up would not allow him to fulfill his duties.
I cannot answer as to any theological reasons why Jesus would have refused the beverage for relief. Whatever the reasons, we may never really know.
Drugging out is not an effective way for us to deal with our problems, either. We need to face them, not numb them out. We need to look to God and those God sends our way to meet our problems in a healthy manner, even if this proves difficult and painful. After all, problems do not disappear through numbing out. Usually, they intensify.
The next time you feel like numbing out with alcohol or medication try looking toward God and facing the problem head on.