Thursday, June 12, 2014

John 19:31-37

John 19:31-37
Therefore the Jews – since it was the day of preparation, in order that the bodies should not remain upon the cross in the Sabbath, for great was that day of the Sabbath – they asked Pilate in order that their legs should be broken and they should be taken away.  Therefore the soldiers came and in the case of the first one and the other one who was being crucified with Him, they broke the legs.  But in the case of after coming upon Jesus, after they saw that he has already died, they did not break His legs.  But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear.  And blood and water immediately came out.  Even the one who saw has testified – and the testimony is his truth, and that one has known that he is speaking truth – in order that you also should believe.  For these things became in order that scripture should be fulfilled: “His bones will not be broken.”  And again another scripture says, “They will see into whom they pierced.”

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

The Jews are once more worried about their tradition and practice.  They don’t care about giving Jesus mercy on the cross.  They want Jesus and the other criminals down from the cross so that the Sabbath will not be marred by the bloody image of crucifixion.  They have once more missed the point.  They are in such a rush to “get the tradition right” that they actually miss the blessing of what God is doing in their midst.

How often are you more focused on the tradition, ritual, or practice?  When are you most likely to miss what God is doing because you are instead focused on what you think needs to get done?

Second Thought:

John’s talk about not breaking the bones of Jesus is more significant than it first appears.  Yes, it does give us confirmation that Jesus actually died and didn’t merely “swoon” on the cross.  But it is way more important than that.  For John, this isn’t really a commentary on Jesus’ death even though it does manage to likewise accomplish that.  Instead, this is proof that Jesus is the true Passover Lamb.  In Exodus 12:46 and Numbers 9:12 we are told that the Passover Lamb shall have none of its bones broken.  For John, the fact that the limbs of Jesus did not need to be broken upon the cross is more proof that He is who He said that He was. The other criminals needed their legs broken.  A normal human being resisting death would need their legs broken after such a short time on the cross.  But the Son of God who takes away the sin of the world and who voluntarily handed over His spirit to the Father … He does not need His legs broken because He has submitted as the true Passover Lamb.

What was the Passover Lamb?  What was the purpose of covering the doorposts with the blood of the lamb?  Why is this important for John and for you to see Jesus in this role?

Third Thought:

John also demonstrates to us that Zechariah 12:10 is fulfilled.  Again, this is proof that Jesus is actually dead.  But it is more than that.  Here we see that the soldiers don’t do what the Jewish leaders want them to do – that is, break the legs of Jesus – because Jesus is already dead.  But they do what is not commanded of them by the Jews but what the Bible foretells they will do – that is, pierce His side.  How cool is that?  The soldiers don’t need to follow their orders and in doing so actually fulfill what a religious books says – a book they neither know nor follow.

How does this put the power of God on display?  How does this show us that God can make Good on His word?

Passage for Tomorrow: John 19:38-42
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