Summary: The death of Jesus is proven by the information which John gives concerning the details of His burial.
7 17 2016 “Jesus, Dead and Buried” John 19:30 -42
We ended our last study with John 19:30: “So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”
When Jesus died He not only completed all of the work on earth which the Father had prepared for Him to do, but Jesus completed the vicarious (that is, substitutionary) work on the cross on behalf of sinners. John does not supply the last works of Jesus, “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit,” but he explains them in the words, “HE GAVE UP HIS SPIRIT.” The death of Jesus was a conscious act, a self-offering to the Father. Jesus voluntarily gave up His spirit, explaining that Jesus had control over His situation and had exercised His supreme authority over His life and now His death; now He gave up that control. Jesus had given up His life for sinners who would believe into Him for forgiveness.
Fulfilled Prophecies Continue
We continue to 31: Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, (this would be Friday before the Sabbath on Saturday) that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. 36 For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, "Not one of His bones shall be broken." 37 And again another Scripture says, "They shall look on Him whom they pierced."
Prophecies continued to be fulfilled after Jesus gave up His spirit. God intricately weaves the drama of Redemption throughout the pages of Scripture. How wonderful to see all these little details fulfilled by the one Savior who would redeem. Some of the details seem insignificant, but the fact that ALL of the prophecies predicted in the Old Testament concerning the Promised Messiah are ALL fulfilled in Christ, makes the case for Jesus’ Person and Purpose; All of the details make the case for the Gospel!
Here we see that Jesus’ legs were not broken. Back in Psalm 34:20 (look at verse 19 too), John applies this verse to the Lord Jesus: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all. 20 He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken.” Jesus truly was the only One who is righteous yet all of our sins and afflictions were placed upon Him. We know that the Lord delivered Jesus “out of them all” because the grave of Jesus would be empty on the first day of the week.
Not breaking one of Jesus’ bones goes back to the celebration of the Passover Lamb. Remember that the Lamb was to be without blemish, and in Exodus 12:46b, God had instructed: “Nor shall you break one of its bones.” And so Jesus, as the Passover Lamb, did not have one of His bones broken in order to fulfill the law perfectly. Numbers 9:12 mentioned the same: They shall not “break one of its bones.”
You cannot miss the depraved insensitivity of the Jewish leaders in going to Pilate and requesting that Jesus’ legs be broken in order to hasten the death of the accused. They had joined forces, persuading Pilate to commit the murder of an innocent man (Jesus), and now they approach him about helping them to fastidiously enforce the ceremonial law. They were extremely concerned that the bodies would be down before the Preparation Day began: that would ceremonially defile the land. (Deut. 21:22-23 had said: "If a man has committed a sin deserving of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23 his body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day, so that you do not defile the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance; for he who is hanged is accursed of God.”) So is the mind of unbelief and legalism.
Secondly, seeing that Jesus was already dead, the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side. This was actually unnecessary because according to John’s eyewitness account, the soldiers could see that Jesus was already dead; that is why they did not pulverize his legs with a mallet, but this was done according to the providence and plan of God in order to fulfill scripture…and so it was done according to the will of God. As the soldier thrust a spear up through the underside of Jesus’ ribs, blood and water poured out, later proving beyond a doubt that Jesus was dead and not merely comatose.