of the Death of Christ
The eyewitness John keenly observed two unusual things
at the crucifixion of Jesus. These facts made a deep impression on him as he watched the
crucifixion taking place.
The crucifixion took place on the day of preparation for the Passover
festival that would begin at 6 p.m. The Jewish authorities felt an urgency to get the
bodies off the crosses and buried before the sun went down.
So that the bodies might not remain on the crosses on the
Sabbath (for the Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken,
and that they might be taken away (John 19:31; cf. Deut. 21:22-23).
The legs of Jesus were not broken as was the case of the other two
men crucified that day, and in His case a Roman soldier seeing He was already dead thrust
a spear deep into His side and out flowed water and blood. Either to make doubly sure that
Jesus was dead, or out of hate he picked up a spear and thrust it deeply into the side of
Jesus (John 19:32-34). A real man, with a real human body, with real human blood, died on
the cross that afternoon in Jerusalem.
Prophecy was fulfilled in a most unusual manner. One Scripture said
the Saviors bones must not be broken (Exodus 12:46; Num. 9:12; Ps. 34:20), and
another said His body must be pierced (Zech. 13:1).
These Roman soldiers would have done just the opposite. They came to
break the legs of Jesus as they had the other two men, but there was no point in breaking
his legs since He was already dead.
Moreover, they had no intention of piercing the side of Jesus with
the spear. To Johns utter amazement that is exactly what the soldiers did.
Why was this observation so important to John?
God intervened and caused it to happen as His Word said it would
centuries before. God overruled the circumstances and caused it to happen according to His
will. The enemy was unconsciously executing Gods counsels. A sovereign God was in
control at Calvary. The soldiers had received instructions to break the legs of Christ,
but this had not been done. The soldier had not received the order to pierce the
Saviors side, but this he did (John 19:34).
The purpose of God was fulfilled in the case of the typical Passover
lamb whose bones were not broken (Ex. 12:46; Num. 9:12). The astonishing thing that John
pondered was the fact that not a bone of Jesus was broken proving that He was the Passover
Lamb that God provided. Not one bone of the Passover lamb was broken. God slew His own
Lamb and made provision in the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, so that when the judgment
of God comes, He will see the blood of Jesus and pass over you. Only the blood of Jesus
makes atonement for our sins.
It was no simple pricking of the body of Jesus, but a wound intended
to kill someone. If you are not already dead, this will finish you off, was
the intent of the soldier. Blood and water flowed out of His body.
The prophet Zechariah had written, In that day a fountain will
be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for
impurity (Zech. 13:11).
There is a fountain filled with blood
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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