Summary: how Jesus bones would not be broken
April 14, 2003 Psalm 22:17-18
I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. 18 They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.
I used to have a neighbor who is what I would call “Mr. Clean.” Almost every Saturday during the summer I would see him outside washing his cars. Like the Karate Kid, he put the wax on, and he took the wax off. Very slowly he mowed his lawn, making sure that every blade of grass was even with the next. The edges of his sidewalk were always manicured with the utmost perfection, and his grass was never thirsty. There is nothing wrong with the way he treated his possessions in and of itself - but was sure is different from the way I treat mine. I guess all of us are different. Some of us are meticulous, while others of us don’t give two hoots over whether our possessions are in good shape or not. This is true in any area of life - while some parents are more protective of their children, others aren’t. While some are more cautious with their money, others aren’t.
Which side of the spectrum would God be on? Is He a “bugger for detail”? Is He very concerned with His possessions? Or does He just use them and not worry about whether they get broken or not? Tonight we will find out, as we see how -
Jesus Would Remain Unbroken
I. In body
There are between 200 and 212 bones in the human body. Some bones are knit solidly together, others are loosely connected. Each, however, is designed to meet its particular needs. Some serve as the framework for the attachment of muscles or as a protection for delicate organs.
We never realize the importance of bones until we have broken one. Whether it was an arm, a leg, or a finger, most of us have probably broken some bone in our body. The only bone that I may have broken, I’m not even sure, was my big toe. With the loss of that one bone in my foot, I could feel the after effect for years. Occasionally my toe would act up after some sort of activity. They say that broken bones heal stronger than they were originally, but sometimes people never recover from them. Running back Raymont Harris ran for over 1,000 yards for the Chicago Bears before breaking his leg. The next year he tried to make a comeback, but he had lost a step. He couldn’t hit the holes as quickly or run around the end, and as a result he never was able to gain much yardage. His broken bones cost him his career. On the other hand there are a few athletes who have made a full recovery from broken bones. It depends on which bones they broke, and how they healed.
In tonight’s prediction of Psalm 22, David said I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. This could be referring to one of two things. Either this is a prediction that none of Jesus’ bones would be broken, or that you would clearly be able to see his bones on the cross. Even if Jesus’ ribs were showing on the cross, which they probably were, it is hard to believe that ALL of his bones would be countable on the cross. Although a possible overstatement, it seems to me that this is a prediction that Jesus’ bones would remain unbroken. Psalm 34:20 predicted the same thing. If this is so, John 19:31-37 shows it’s fulfillment:
31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. 36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: "Not one of his bones will be broken," 37 and, as another scripture says, "They will look on the one they have pierced."
Doesn’t this seem like a rather strange prediction? Why would it be a big deal as to whether Jesus had a broken bone or not? After all, He was just going to be sacrificed. When a farmer chooses the cow to make into hamburger, does it bother him if it had a broken leg or not? He usually picks the maimed for that purpose. And when we pick a spouse, does it matter to us whether he or she has broken bones or not? Usually not. So why does God care?