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John 19:29

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

A vessel full of vinegar - This was probably that tart small wine which we are assured was the common drink of the Roman soldiers. Our word vinegar comes from the French vin aigre, sour or tart wine; and, although it is probable that it was brought at this time for the use of the four Roman soldiers who were employed in the crucifixion of our Lord, yet it is as probable that it might have been furnished for the use of the persons crucified; who, in that lingering kind of death, must necessarily be grievously tormented with thirst. This vinegar must not be confounded with the vinegar and gall mentioned Matthew 27:34, and Mark 15:23. That, being a stupifying potion, intended to alleviate his pain, he refused to drink; but of this he took a little, and then expired, John 19:30.

And put it upon hyssop - Or, according to others, putting hyssop about it. A great variety of conjectures have been produced to solve the difficulty in this text, which is occasioned by supposing that the sponge was put on a stalk of hyssop, and that this is the reed mentioned by Matthew and Mark. It is possible that the hyssop might grow to such a size in Judea as that a stalk of it might answer the end of a reed or cane in the case mentioned here; but still it appears to me more natural to suppose that the reed was a distinct thing and that the hyssop was used only to bind the sponge fast to the reed; unless we may suppose it was added for some mystical purpose, as we find it frequently used in the Old Testament in rites of purification. The various conjectures on this point may be seen in Bowyer's Conject. and in Calmet.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible
Verses 28-30

See the notes at Matthew 27:46-50.

That the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst - See Psalm 69:21. Thirst was one of the most distressing circumstances attending the crucifixion. The wounds were highly inflamed, and a raging fever was caused, usually, by the sufferings on the cross, and this was accompanied by insupportable thirst. See the notes at Matthew 27:35. A Mameluke, or Turkish officer, was crucified, it is said in an Arabic manuscript recently translated, on the banks of the Barada River, under the castle of Damascus. He was nailed to the cross on Friday, and remained until Sunday noon, when he died. After giving an account of the crucifixion, the narrator proceeds: “I have heard this from one who witnessed it; and he thus remained until he died, patient and silent, without wailing, but looking around him to the right and the left, upon the people. But he begged for water, and none was given him; and the hearts of the people were melted with compassion for him, and with pity on one of God‘s creatures, who, yet a boy, was suffering under so grievous a trial. In the meantime the water was flowing around him, and he gazed upon it, and longed for one drop of it; and he complained of thirst all the first day, after which he was silent, for God gave him strength” - Wiseman‘s Lectures, pp. 164,165, ed.

John 19:30

It is finished - The sufferings and agonies in redeeming man are over. The work long contemplated, long promised, long expected by prophets and saints, is done. The toils in the ministry, the persecutions and mockeries, and the pangs of the garden and the cross, are ended, and man is redeemed. What a wonderful declaration was this! How full of consolation to man! And how should this dying declaration of the Saviour reach every heart and affect every soul!

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Here are some remarkable circumstances of Jesus' death, more fully related than before. Pilate would not gratify the chief priests by allowing the writing to be altered; which was doubtless owing to a secret power of God upon his heart, that this statement of our Lord's character and authority might continue. Many things done by the Roman soldiers were fulfilments of the prophecies of the Old Testament. All things therein written shall be fulfilled. Christ tenderly provided for his mother at his death. Sometimes, when God removes one comfort from us, he raises up another for us, where we looked not for it. Christ's example teaches all men to honour their parents in life and death; to provide for their wants, and to promote their comfort by every means in their power. Especially observe the dying word wherewith Jesus breathed out his soul. It is finished; that is, the counsels of the Father concerning his sufferings were now fulfilled. It is finished; all the types and prophecies of the Old Testament, which pointed at the sufferings of the Messiah, were accomplished. It is finished; the ceremonial law is abolished; the substance is now come, and all the shadows are done away. It is finished; an end is made of transgression by bringing in an everlasting righteousness. His sufferings were now finished, both those of his soul, and those of his body. It is finished; the work of man's redemption and salvation is now completed. His life was not taken from him by force, but freely given up.
Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 741-57

This chapter is based on Matthew 27:31-53; Mark 14:20-38; Luke 23:26-46; John 19:16-30.

“And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him.” DA 741.1

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Ellen G. White
Early Writings, 175-80

Satan's rage was great as he saw that all the cruelty which he had led the Jews to inflict on Jesus had not called forth from Him the slightest murmur. Although He had taken upon Himself man's nature, He was sustained by a Godlike fortitude, and departed not in the least from the will of His Father. EW 175.1

The Son of God was delivered to the people to be crucified; with shouts of triumph they led the dear Saviour away. He was weak and faint from weariness, pain, and loss of blood by the scourging and blows which He had received; yet the heavy cross upon which He was soon to be nailed was laid upon Him. Jesus fainted beneath the burden. Three times the cross was placed upon His shoulders, and three times He fainted. One of His followers, a man who had not openly professed faith in Christ, yet believed on Him, was next seized. Upon him the cross was laid, and he bore it to the fatal spot. Companies of angels were marshaled in the air above the place. A number of Christ's disciples followed Him to Calvary, in sorrow, and with bitter weeping. They called to mind His triumphal ride into Jerusalem but a few days before, when they had followed Him, crying, “Hosanna in the highest!” and strewing their garments and the beautiful palm branches in the way. They had thought that He was then to take the kingdom and reign a temporal prince over Israel. How changed the scene! How blighted their prospects! Not with rejoicing, not with cheerful hopes, but with hearts stricken with fear and despair they now slowly, sadly followed Him who had been disgraced and humbled, and who was about to die. EW 175.2

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 69.2

The love of God was Christ's theme when speaking of His mission and His work. “Therefore doth my Father love me,” He says, “because I lay down my life, that I might take it again” (John 10:17). My Father loves you with a love so unbounded that He loves Me the more because I have given My life to redeem you. He loves you, and He loves Me more because I love you, and give My life for you.... Well did the disciples understand this love as they saw their Saviour enduring shame, reproach, doubt, and betrayal, as they saw His agony in the Garden, and His death on Calvary's cross. This is a love the depth of which no sounding can ever fathom. As the disciples comprehended it, as their perception took hold of God's divine compassion, they realized that there is a sense in which the sufferings of the Son were the sufferings of the Father.... TMK 69.2

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 123

Let him who is struggling against the power of appetite look to the Saviour in the wilderness of temptation. See Him in His agony upon the cross, as He exclaimed, “I thirst.” He has endured all that it is possible for us to bear. His victory is ours. DA 123.1

Jesus rested upon the wisdom and strength of His heavenly Father. He declares, “The Lord God will help Me; therefore shall I not be confounded: ... and I know that I shall not be ashamed.... Behold, the Lord God will help Me.” Pointing to His own example, He says to us, “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, ... that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.” Isaiah 50:7-10. DA 123.2

“The prince of this world cometh,” said Jesus, “and hath nothing in Me.” John 14:30. There was in Him nothing that responded to Satan's sophistry. He did not consent to sin. Not even by a thought did He yield to temptation. So it may be with us. Christ's humanity was united with divinity; He was fitted for the conflict by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And He came to make us partakers of the divine nature. So long as we are united to Him by faith, sin has no more dominion over us. God reaches for the hand of faith in us to direct it to lay fast hold upon the divinity of Christ, that we may attain to perfection of character. DA 123.3

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Ellen G. White
Early Writings, 177

As Jesus hung upon the cross, some who passed by reviled Him, wagging their heads as if bowing to a king, and said to Him, “Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save Thyself. If Thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.” Satan used the same words to Christ in the wilderness—“If Thou be the Son of God.” The chief priests, elders, and scribes mockingly said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He be the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him.” The angels who hovered over the scene of Christ's crucifixion were moved to indignation as the rulers derided Him and said, “If He be the Son of God, let Him deliver Himself”. They wished there to come to the rescue of Jesus and deliver Him, but they were not suffered to do so. The object of His mission was not yet accomplished. EW 177.1

As Jesus hung upon the cross during those long hours of agony, He did not forget His mother. She had returned to the terrible scene, for she could not longer remain away from her Son. The last lesson of Jesus was one of compassion and humanity. He looked upon the grief-stricken face of His mother, and then upon His beloved disciple John. He said to His mother, “Woman, behold thy son!” Then He said to John, “Behold thy mother!” And from that hour John took her to his own house. EW 177.2

Jesus thirsted in His agony, and they gave Him vinegar and gall to drink; but when He tasted it, He refused it. The angels had viewed the agony of their loved Commander until they could behold no longer, and they veiled their faces from the sight. The sun refused to look upon the awful scene. Jesus cried with a loud voice, which struck terror to the hearts of His murderers, “It is finished.” Then the veil of the temple was rent from the top to the bottom, the earth shook, and the rocks rent. Great darkness was upon the face of the earth. The last hope of the disciples seemed swept away as Jesus died. Many of His followers witnessed the scene of His sufferings and death, and their cup of sorrow was full. EW 177.3

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Ellen G. White
The Story of Redemption, 224

The eyes of Jesus wandered over the multitude that had collected together to witness His death, and He saw at the foot of the cross John supporting Mary, the mother of Christ. She had returned to the terrible scene, not being able to longer remain away from her Son. The last lesson of Jesus was one of filial love. He looked upon the grief-stricken face of His mother, and then upon John; said He, addressing the former: “Woman, behold thy son!” Then, to the disciple: “Behold thy mother!” John 19:27. John well understood the words of Jesus, and the sacred trust which was committed to him. He immediately removed the mother of Christ from the fearful scene of Calvary. From that hour he cared for her as would a dutiful son, taking her to his own home. The perfect example of Christ's filial love shines forth with undimmed luster from the mist of ages. While enduring the keenest torture, He was not forgetful of His mother, but made all provision necessary for her future. SR 224.1

The mission of Christ's earthly life was now nearly accomplished. His tongue was parched, and He said, “I thirst.” They saturated a sponge with vinegar and gall, and offered it Him to drink; and when He had tasted it, He refused it. And now the Lord of life and glory was dying, a ransom for the race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father's wrath upon Him as man's substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God. SR 224.2

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Jesus' Ministry according to John