Summary: how jesus fulfilled the predications of his bones and piercing
The Revelation of Death Fulfilled
John 19: 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.”
A couple of years ago my wife and I decided to have a foreign exchange student live with us for a year. Several weeks before she arrived I wanted to call Germany and try and talk with her. However, I ended up calling the wrong number. So here I was, trying to speak German with this lady over a thousand miles away. I could spit out some “ja’s” and “nein’s”. That wasn’t the hard part. But when she responded in German, that’s where the trouble came in. All of the sudden I became silent and said, “ach du lieber, nicht so schnell! Ich weis nicht was du hast gesprecht.” Whenever I try and speak a foreign language with someone, I have a real hard time comprehending what they’re saying. My heart goes out to the immigrants who move up here and have to try and understand what we’re saying. The only way that some recognition is possible is if we speak . . . . very. . . . slowly, and they concentrate on every word.
In our Lenten series we’ve been talking about how Jesus revealed different things to us during his last days as our Redeemer on earth. He revealed what it meant to be the Son of God - that he was the Christ - who His betrayer was - things that people didn’t know before. As I prepared for these sermons, I was able to gain new insights on words that I had read many times before. That’s the neat thing about the Word of God. The more you study it, the more that is revealed! Therefore, like young Samuel - it is our duty to “let none of his words fall to the ground.” Who knows what God may have revealed in His Word that we are not even aware of!
John’s Gospel makes mention of two prophecies that very easily could have fallen through the cracks - or at least been difficult to decipher before the fact. Tonight we are going to carefully listen to these words, like listening to a foreign language - and try and see
The Revelation of Death Fulfilled
I. The revelation of the bones
We pick up tonight’s story after Jesus finally cried out, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” After His Father had treated him like a criminal and put him through hell on the cross, Jesus payment was complete. Jesus had conquered sin. He had conquered Satan. With this payment finished, Jesus was now able to refer to God as His “Father” once again - and return to his Father in His spirit. There was only one more enemy to conquer - death. And so Jesus allowed his body to go through the disgrace of death. With that, he bowed his head and gave up his life. You would think, then, that all of the predictions about Jesus would be fulfilled until the resurrection. But tonight we see two more come to play.
The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. One expert in crucifixion remarked,
Crucifixion seriously interfered with the breathing process. Because of the weight of the body and muscular contractions caused by the arms being nailed to the cross, air inhaled into the lungs could not be properly exhaled. The victim soon learned that he could exhale by using his feet to push his body up and by flexing his elbows and shoulders. But this would result in muscle cramps and searing pain in the wrists and feet. Each effort to inhale and to exhale caused agony and increasing weariness. The victim would be soaked with perspiration and experience great thirst. The pain and shock often led to mental impairment. The two main causes of death were shock and suffocation, both of which brought on asphyxia - too little oxygen and too much carbon dioxide in the blood.