John 19:29, "A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop (ὑσσώπῳ) and held it to his mouth."
From what I can tell, hyssop is a bush with fairly short and flimsy stalks. I'm trying to understand what the picture is here. I had, in the past, envisioned Jesus's head about 10 feet off the ground because of the size of the cross and for the spectacle. So I am imagining some sort of extended branch or something that might be able to reach, but a sponge and hyssop are not of this shape.
Is there any indication of how people were allowed to interact with the accused? Would the people at the cross be allowed to come up to him with a short ladder of some kind or climb up the cross to him? Or were the crosses fairly close to the ground so that one might stand on a little stool or ledge and reach up to the mouth of the one who was crucified?
I'm imagining a handfull of hyssop stems (which serve purification rituals in the Torah), and a spongy material dipped in water and then brought to Jesus' lips somehow. Was the disciple there right next to Jesus' face when he died? The proximity of the disciple seems important because the next verse has Jesus "hand over the spirit."