Musings From the Gospel of John – Number 59

The Scriptures covered in this post are from John 19:31-37 NASB and read as follows:

“Now then, since it was the day of preparation, to prevent the bodies from remaining on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews requested of Pilate that their legs be broken, and the bodies be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man, and of the other who was crucified with Him; but after they came to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. Yet one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. For these things took place so that the Scripture would be fulfilled: “Not a bone of Him shall be broken.” And again another Scripture says, “They will look at Him whom they pierced.”

The day of preparation would have been Friday, the day before the Sabbath Day (Saturday). For information on how the Jewish day was reckoned, please click here. The Jews did not want their ceremonial law to be broken, because due to Jewish Law (see Deuteronomy 21:23) it was necessary to remove the bodies of executed criminals before sunset. To avoid breaking the law, the Jews requested that the legs of the condemned be broken so that the men would die quickly and could accordingly be removed from their crosses. With the legs broken, a victim could no longer lift his body up in order to breath and would soon suffocate.

The Roman soldiers that were present, executing this judgement rendered by Pilate, as the local authoritative representative of Rome, on Jesus and the two other men on their crosses, would be the ones responsible to break the legs of the victims. But when they observed that Jesus had already died, one of the Roman guards pierced the side of Jesus, with his spear, to ensure that Jesus was truly dead. Blood AND water, came out, which is significant, from a physical bodily perspective. For a quick overview on this significance, please click here. The Apostle John witnesses on having personally seen this take place and John, the eyewitness, testifies that it is true, and has been recorded so that you, who hear or read this, may believe.

Then John mentions the Scriptures that tie in the sacrificial lamb offered for atonement in the Passover in Exodus, plus the messianic prophecy pertaining to Jesus the Christ (the Messiah) foretelling that not a bone shall be broken. See Exodus 12:46, Numbers 9:12 and Psalm 34:20. And John concludes with Zechariah 12:10 which references the piercing of the Messiah: “10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and of pleading, so that they will look at Me whom they pierced; and they will mourn for Him, like one mourning for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.”

The prophecies pertaining to the Messiah in the Old Testament are numerous. For a quick overview of their significance and a sampling of their direct association with Jesus, click here and for a longer list, click here. The literal translation of the Hebrew word mashiach (המשיח, messiah), is ‘anointed‘, which refers to a ritual of consecrating someone or something by putting holy oil upon it. For a quick overview on the significance of the promised Jewish Messiah, please click here.

More to follow.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

5 comments

  1. I have mixed feelings about reading the accounts of the crucifixion. It hurts knowing how much Jesus suffered for me, and yet I love that He was willing to do it so I would never be without Him. And it thrills me that the details from a Jewish eye witness confirm that He is Messiah through the fulfillment of prophecy.

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    • Hi Annie, me too. And it is very hard putting it into words. The love aspect is overwhelming but the significance of the necessity of Christ’s sacrifice, to cleanse us of our sins, is another. I somehow think that we will never fully comprehend God’s love or the reality of what Jesus accomplished, until we see Jesus, face to face. And I also think that we will not be able to do anything else but, worship Him and our Father, in the fulness of His Spirit. I just don’t think there is a word that covers the glory and holiness of His presence and His overwhelming love. I was given a small taste of His presence one time, long ago, and I NEVER wanted to leave His presence, not for ANYTHING. Words can’t possibly describe that. It’s simply beyond our imagination and the cross is right in the middle of it. The wedding feast of the Lamb! Blessings!

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