Sponge and Cross

The sponge was one of the final implements used in the Crucifixion of Jesus. Seemingly innocuous, the sponge has significant meaning; hence its inclusion in the Arms of Christ.

Sponge and Cross

Sponge and Cross

We describe the horrific physical torment Jesus suffered at his Crucifixion, through various pages on this website. The torture included scourging with whips and canes, and dragging the heavy cross all the way to the execution site.

At this stage, before the nailing Jesus to the cross, a cup of vinegar mixed with myrrh and gall (bile secreted by the liver) was offered to deaden the pain. Jesus tasted it and realised this would have a narcotic effect on his thoughts. So he did not accept the drink; it was important to have a clear mind (Matt. 27:34).

(Myrrh, you'll recall, was one of the three gifts given to celebrate the birth of Jesus. It's no coincidence that myrrh was used in those days in the embalming process. The gifts were recognising the Divine purpose of Jesus' arrival; that is, to be killed.)

On the cross, another drink was offered. This time it was old wine, turning sour into vinegar (posca). A cup was impracticable and the liquid was soaked into a sponge which was wedged on a thick hyssop or reed (Matt. 27:48).

Jesus took the drink to alleviate his thirst, then gave up his spirit.

His spiritual thirst is for sinners.


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