There is no one event more important to the Christian than the death of Christ. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. We know this because Hebrews 9:22 says this is how God operates. His holiness demands a penalty for sin, and Christ was willing to become sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. In the passage below we read of the crucifixion, and the prophecies that were fulfilled through this marvelous event.
John 19:31-37, "The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. 33But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: 34But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. 35And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. 36For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. 37And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced."
The Jews were getting anxious about the time which they had to complete the execution of all three men, therefore, they sought permission from Pilate to have the legs of the men broken to hasten their deaths. In order to breath during crucifixion, one had to pull their body upward, to have one's legs broken would have prevented this, thus causing them to expire more quickly through suffocation. The two malefactors had their legs broken, probably by being smashed with a large piece of iron in the thigh area of their bodies, however, when coming to Christ, He was already dead, and rather than His legs being broken, a soldier took a sword and pierced His side. These events are significant because of prophecies spoken concerning our Saviour.
Notice verse 33, "But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:" This is in fulfillment of Scripture for the Bible records the following in the Old Testament. Concerning the Passover Lamb which is a type of Christ it is written, "In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof." (Exodus 12:46) Then in Psalm 34:20, "He keepeth all his bones; not one of them is broken." Why was it that of the three who were crucified that only Christ's bones were not broken? Because what the Bible spoke about it had to be fulfilled. These happenings were not coincidental, they were a fulfillment of prophecy, "For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken." (John 19:36) In further fulfillment of the Scriptures, rather than His legs being broken His side was pierced with a sword. This is in fulfillment of Zechariah 12:10, "And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn." John states to us, "And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced." (John 19:37)
Why all the details? Because God wanted you and me to know precisely that Jesus Christ is our Redeemer. John writes, "And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true...that ye might believe." Jesus said to Thomas the skeptic, "Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing." (John 20:27).
Are you trusting in Christ and Him alone as your only sufficiency for redemption. Only Christ can save, and God revealed the truth to us in the events concerning the crucifixion of Jesus. I am glad today that I am not faithless, but I am a believer!!! Are you?
Your Friend and His,
Pastor Mike Abbott