Mark, Luke and John all record that Jesus, as He hung on the cross, was given vinegar to drink. But in John 19:28, we learn what Jesus said prior to being given the vinegar.
He said, “I thirst”.
Wait a minute: when He met the woman at the well, as He was travelling through Samaria, He told her that He was the source of Living Water, and that anyone who drank that water would never be thirsty again. And now, here He was, the very source, saying “I thirst”.
That shows how He had taken on all the sins of the world – those committed at the time, as well as every sin committed since Adam stood by while his wife bit into the fruit, and every sin that would be committed until Jesus returns – and was wrung dry. It was almost at that point that He said, “it is finished”.
Because there was one more thing to be done. The world had to offer Him something to top Him up again and quench the thirst. And what was it? Vinegar. It can look like water (if it's white wine vinegar), but don't take a long, deep drink of it. It's wine, that's become old, sour and useless for quenching thirst. Wine – the representation of His blood – that cannot be drunk.
Isn’t that what religion does to Jesus? Whether it’s the ABC (Anything But Christ) philosophies or the imposition of rituals or taking Scripture out of context to create something that “sounds” holy and righteous but misses what Christ is about, the world, having wrung Jesus dry with its sin, guilt and shame, tries to replace His living water with a cheap, rotten substitute.
And it was only then that Jesus’ work was done. He had poured out His living water on the earth, and it was now proven that nothing the world had to offer could replace it.