18 April 2017

BSF 2016-2017: John 19:31-42

Jesus died much sooner than typical crucifixion victims. That’s because He gave up His life Himself. The gospel writers carefully described Jesus’ physical death, which led to His physical resurrection. The writers confirmed that Jesus died, discrediting the rumor that He didn’t really die.

The Jewish leaders didn’t want the bodies left on the crosses overnight (Deuteronomy 21:22-23). They were zealous to keep the Sabbath but were willing to kill an innocent man. They were zealous to keep the minutia of the law while at the same time killing the Man who both authored and fulfilled the Law. They were scrupulously concerned that the land not be defiled but were unconcerned about their own defilement for murdering the Son of God.

The Jewish leaders asked that the legs of those being crucified be broken so they would die quickly. By breaking the legs, the crucified person could not push himself up to breathe. The soldiers broke the legs of the men crucified next to Jesus. But when they came to Jesus, they saw He was already dead.

Instead of breaking Jesus’ legs, one soldier pierced Jesus’ side to be sure He was dead. Blood and water flowed out of Jesus’ body. The water was from the pericardium surrounding the heart, and the blood was from the heart itself. Jesus really died.

Scriptures were fulfilled when Jesus’ bones were unbroken (Exodus 12:46, Numbers 9:12, Psalm 34:12) and when Jesus’ side was pierced (Zechariah 12:10). The soldiers didn’t do what they were supposed to do (break His legs) and did do what they weren’t supposed to do (pierce His side). Both actions fulfilled God’s Word.

Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for Jesus’ body. Pilate gave Jesus’ body to Joseph. Nicodemus assisted Joseph. He brought 75 pounds of spices to prepare Jesus’ body. This amount was appropriate for a king. Nicodemus honored Jesus as the King of kings.

Joseph and Nicodemus wrapped Jesus’ body with the spices and linen. When they touched Jesus’ dead body, they defiled themselves according to Jewish law. They could not participate in the earthly Passover, but they had found the true Passover Lamb.

In the place where Jesus was crucified was a garden with a tomb that had never been used. Joseph and Nicodemus buried Jesus there.

Things to Think About
  • Jesus’ death was not an accident; it was a divine appointment. He willingly gave His life for us. Death didn’t surprise Him because He controlled it (John 10:17-18).
  • The Cross proves God’s power to accomplish His plan for His people.
  • Through Jesus’ death, we become reconciled to God. Apart from Christ, we face nothing but condemnation (Colossians 1:19-20).
  • How have you acknowledged that Jesus died on your behalf and took your punishment for your sins?
  • How does your life reflect your belief that Jesus completed your salvation on the Cross?
  • Believers participate in Jesus’ burial by choosing to bury their old ways of life. Our old ways of life are sin.
  • Do you believe Jesus died a substitutionary death for you?

This Week’s Memory Verse
These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken” and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.” John 19:36-37 NIV