Summary: Our reaction to the resurrection.
The resurrection John 20:1-18
Let me go back to where we were a few weeks ago and look at the last couple of verses of chapter 19 before we get into the area of the resurrection. And the last time we were here we ran a little short of time and I didn’t get to verses 28-30 where it says, “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, it is finished: and He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost.”
So, this tells us Jesus knew that everything He came to do was finished and in absolute awareness of everything that was happening He fulfilled the scripture that’s found in Psalm 69:21 that says, "and in My thirst they gave Me vinegar to drink." Now, at the beginning of His crucifixion they had tried to give Him gall according to Matthew 27:34 and gall was a mild sedative but was given as an act of mercy to the criminals and yet we saw that Jesus wouldn’t take anything to lesson the pain or to diminish His understanding of what He was going through because He wanted to consciously endure all the suffering they inflicted on Him and then knowing that the scripture needed to be fulfilled He said, "I thirst." And the soldiers who had either mocked or ignored Him were moved by God to fulfill the prophecy by giving Him a drink.
We’re told they put this vinegar mixture which was nothing more than a very cheap wine on a hyssop branch and hyssop is a long reed with a bushy end. It probably was like a bulrush or something like that. And it’s interesting because hyssop was very significant to the Jewish people. It says in Exodus 12:22 that when the angel of death was going to pass over Israel, God told the people, "Take hyssop, dip it in blood, and strike the blood on the doorposts and the lintel." And any time hyssop appeared it would always remind the Jews of the very first Passover. And here it was being used as a tool at the sacrifice of the last and greatest Passover as the Lamb of God was sacrificed for the sins of the world.
So, the soldiers gave Him the vinegar to drink, and then knowing that He had fulfilled every prophecy, verse 30 says, "When Jesus, therefore, had received the vinegar, He said, it is finished; and He bowed His head, and gave up the spirit" and that was the end. There was no groan and there was no curse of a victim but the only sound was a proclamation of victory. It was a shout of triumph when He said, "It is finished" because Jesus knew that everything was done because He knew everything.
Now, when He said, "It is finished." We need to ask ourselves, what exactly was He talking about? I mean, what is it; that was finished? Well, all of the sacrifices of the Old Testament that pointed to the lamb of God were finished because as Hebrews 9:11-14 says, “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” So, the price for sin was finally paid and all these sacrifices were finished because they were no longer necessary and then we could also say that all the prophecies of His first coming were finished and then all the work that was assigned to Him by the Father was finished as well.
And by saying, "It is finished," it also tells us that Jesus knew that divine justice was completely satisfied and there was nothing left to do, so then it says He bowed His head and died knowing that the Holy Spirit would raise Him back to life again. I like how verse 30 says, "and He bowed His head" The Greek word means "to pillow your head" it’s like gently placing your head on a pillow.
The problem we have when we read this particular portion of scripture is; that it’s so familiar to us that we think, “Yeah, but just wait, in three days He’ll be back again.” And knowing the end of the story causes us to skip things that we might have seen if we didn’t know what was coming.