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Day 29: Lenten Devotional - Hyssop

By Jonathan Hoeldtke in Woodstown Presbyterian Church over 5 years ago | 792 views Link:

Day 29 of Lent

Title: “Hyssop”


28 After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.  John 19:28-30


You probably don’t have hyssop growing in your backyard.  It’s a Middle Eastern plant.  But you may have heard it mentioned a number of times in the Bible.  Think back to the Passover.  God instructed the Israelites to dip hyssop in lamb’s blood and paint their doorposts with it as a signal to the angel of death to pass over their house. Hyssop was used to save families.  Think of the Levitical Code.  The Israelites were asked to sprinkle blood on lepers and those who touched corpse as a means to cleanse and purify.  And the instrument used to cast the blood was hyssop.  It was also burned by priests to cleanse a sacrifice and the ashes used to purify water.  So it’s not surprising that the Psalmists writes:

You desire truth in the inward being;
    therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
    and blot out all my iniquities.

Hyssop was a symbol of cleansing and salvation.  Jesus said, “I am thirsty.”  Then they raised some sour wine to the Savior’s mouth using a branch of hyssop.  What does it mean?  This sacrifice is pure.  This sacrifice makes me clean.  This Jesus saves me.


Yesterday, Pastor Eryn spoke about Jesus’ thirst.  His thirst was for righteousness, to do God’s will.  That includes an extraordinary passion to make us clean.  What does it mean to be clean?  To be forgiven of all our sins that stain us and dirty us.  They are the kind of sins that produce shame, hurt and brokenness.  In order to be right with God you need to be clean.  However, you don’t wash yourself.  Jesus does.  His sacrifice provides the means.  When Jesus says he is thirsty part of what he means is that he really wants to do whatever it takes to make you right with God, to purify you.  Even giving up his own life.  And one of our clues is hyssop.   

Suggested Prayer

Pray for forgiveness today.  If you have never been made clean by confessing to God the sin in your life and repenting (turning away from it) then do it today.  Believe this promise:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.   1 John 1:9


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