Having placed a high priority on reading the Bible regularly, I’ve become rather familiar with the Scriptures. Sometimes this can be a dangerous thing, as I can overlook details believing, “Oh I already know this.” So I try to look deeper, to discover beautiful details I missed previously. For a long time I thought to myself (so assumptive of me!), “I don’t really need to read the Bible; I know it so well already.” (Actually — that was probably a lie from satan whispered in my ear, and I listened!! Ah…the age old story repeated again and again…)
Anyway, it’s easy to believe that you already know the Bible well enough once you’ve read through it a few times. But don’t be deceived. There is always more to learn! Isn’t that wonderful?? God’s Word is unlike any other work, unlike any other book. His breath is on the pages (see 2 Timothy 3:16-17). If you believe and trust in Jesus as your Savior, the Holy Spirit lives in your heart and breathes new life and understanding into your spirit as you read. He speaks to your heart, giving you “daily bread,” just as the Israelites received miracle manna daily while in the wilderness. He gives you more and more as you continue to seek Him. So pay attention as you read, and don’t forget to ask questions!
Today as I read Matthew 27 with my husband, I noticed this verse, “And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull,) they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when He tasted it, He would not drink it,” (Matthew 27:33-34). I realized I did not know specifically what “gall” was exactly. I never really consciously asked, “What is gall?” This is a great example of the Lord illuminating something, or bringing it to life. Tonight I asked, “What is gall?”
I searched online first, and then I used my Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary – (affiliate link). Turns out that “gall” was a vinegar made bitter with a variety of substances. It was commonly offered to people being crucified; it was used to soothe or eliminate pain; “gall” was a type of pain relief!
What does this mean? It means that out of His love for us, Jesus refused anything that would take away His pain and suffering for us. He chose the pain. He Chose the Nails, (affiliate link!) as Max Lucado would say.
Wow. I never knew Jesus was offered pain relief! Hebrews 12:2 says that Jesus “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross…” This is just another opportunity that Jesus could have taken an easier way out, but He was all in to save us. To redeem us. I know I take the easy way out every time I can! If I can choose between suffering and suffering less…well, I usually take the suffering less option! I’m so glad Jesus loves me like this! He loves the Father and always walked in obedience to Him, even when He could have done otherwise. I’m so thankful.
So next time you read His word, look for the details and ask questions. You never know what He will show you just because you dug in a little bit.
(Yep, I have some affiliate links in this post. Thanks for your support.)