Summary: Through the resurrection, Christ shows “His Power over Death”, as Manifested in 1) His Dying (John 19:31–37), 2) His Burial (John 19:38–42), and 3) His Resurrection (John 20:1–10).

Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research said this week that "Easter and Christmas are the most revered worship observances of the Christian faith. The crux of the gospel is not just that Jesus came to earth in human form which we celebrate at Christmas, but that He lived a sinless life and was crucified in the place of mankind. God's acceptance of this payment for sin is seen in Him raising Jesus from the dead. This is what makes Easter so significant." (

But C.H. Spurgeon warned that “Religious scruples may live in a dead conscience,”. (Charles Haddon Spurgeon, “On the Cross after Death,” Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, vol. 33 (London: Banner of Truth Trust, 1969), 193.).

In fact, they may live for a long, long time. In the incident recorded in John 19:-20, from the moments immediately following the death of Christ, we see the same principles operating. This is a strange irony in the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus: the leaders were adhering to the minutest requirements of their law while breaking its intent in hounding an innocent man to death. They would try for the open formality of two trials and an official condemnation, but they would break scores of legal safeguards and would even neglect to hear a defense for the accused. They would refuse to enter into Pilate’s judgment hall lest they be defiled and be unfit to eat the Passover, but they would defile themselves with the blood of the true Passover, Jesus Christ (Boice, J. M. (2005). The Gospel of John: An expositional commentary (1549–1550). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.).

How do you deal with the reality that one day you will die? Do you not worry about it, thinking that death is the end of everything? You are taking a big gamble. The resurrection of Jesus Christ shows that death is not the end. Perhaps you think that you are basically a good person and God will look at your good works in consideration? The necessity of the death of Christ shows that all our good works are not enough to earn eternal life.

Religion itself, is humanity’s attempt to conquer the problem of death by trying to reach God through the human definition of good works. The Resurrection, is God’s action to conquer the problem of death through the only work that could bridge the separation between God and humanity: The person of Jesus Christ. Through the resurrection, Christ shows “His Power over Death”, as Manifested in 1) His Dying (John 19:31–37), 2) His Burial (John 19:38–42), and 3) His Resurrection (John 20:1–10).

1) Christ’s Power over Death Was Manifested in His Dying( John 19:31–37)

John 19:31-37 [31]Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would 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]So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been 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 at once there came out blood and water. [35]He who saw it has borne witness--his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth--that you also may believe. [36]For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: "Not one of his bones will be broken." [37]And again another Scripture says, "They will look on him whom they have pierced." (ESV)

It was getting late in the afternoon on the day of preparation (for the Sabbath; i.e., Friday). As indicated in 19:14, it was the day before Nisan 15, the day before Passover; it was the day of Preparation, the day on which the lambs were slaughtered. But at this point in the Gospel the evangelist makes a special note because in that year Nisan 14 was also the day before the Sabbath, as though to emphasize the irony of the fact that it was to be the high day of Passover week. The Lamb of God (cf. 1:29, 36) had died along with the Passover lambs, and that confluence of events must have seared itself into the mind of John (Borchert, G. L. (2002). Vol. 25B: John 12–21. The New American Commentary (273). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.).

The Jews were concerned that the bodies of Jesus and the two robbers not remain on the cross on the Sabbath, which began at sundown. The Romans usually left the bodies of crucified individuals to rot, or be eaten by scavenging birds or animals. That particular Sabbath was a high day (because it was the Sabbath of Passover week), heightening the Jewish leaders’ concern, which evidently stemmed from Deuteronomy 21:22–23. To leave the bodies exposed on the crosses would, in their minds, defile the land. Nothing more clearly illustrates the extreme hypocrisy to which their pernicious legalism had driven them. They were zealous to observe the minutiae of the law while at the same time killing the One who both authored and fulfilled it; they were scrupulously concerned that the land not be defiled, but were unconcerned about their own defilement from murdering the Son of God.

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