In few words, is it possible to see a hint of veneration of the saints in a common Gospel passage? I think so. Mark 15:34-36 records for us a short episode:

And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Some of those who stood by, when they heard that, said, “Look, He is calling for Elijah!” Then someone ran and filled a sponge full of sour wine, put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink, saying, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to take Him down.”

Jesus quotes the 22nd Psalm and certain Jews present at the crucifixion confuse this for Him asking Elijah for intercession. This is an interpretation that more than a few Protestant interpreters hold.

One can see that the Gospel, written in Greek, is transliterating the Aramaic of the 22nd Psalm into Greek. Hence, Hellenistic Jews would have heard “Eloi, Eloi” (Ἐλωῒ) and confused this with Elias (Ἠλίαν)–the former sounding like “eh-low” and the latter “eh-lee-on.” The words are really not that close, but as the same Protestant interpreters conjecture, fit a “dominant expectation of the coming of Elijah.”

In short, if Jesus words were interpreted by some people as Him calling for Elijah, then this means that the belief in saintly intercession was fairly well accepted.

Though some Protestant interpreters, as I have said before, would accept that Jews thought Jesus was asking for Elijah’s intercession, not all do. I think verse 36 disproves those who reject the conjecture of Matthew Henry and other interpreters.

This is because Christ is given sour wine to drink in the hope that this would prolong His life, thereby perhaps giving time for Elijah to come. As David Matthis of points out, Jesus was given wine mixed with myrh at first to numb His pain and later He was given sour wine (the Gatorade of the ancient world) to accomplish the opposite–to refresh Him and prolong His life. So, even if the tone was mockey or whether the mood had become serious (which appears to be the case), the end result is the same.

Sour wine was given because of some belief in the possibility of saintly intercession. Any other reading of the passage renders the words of the Jews as senseless and confusing.