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John 19:31-37

Lesson # John 19:31-37
Study Material - John 19:31-37

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John 19:31-37

31 The Jews [Ioudaios] therefore [oun] , because [epei] it was [en] [en] the preparation [paraskeue] , that [hina me] the bodies [soma] should [meno] not [hina me] remain [meno] upon [epi] the cross [stauros] on [en] the sabbath day [sabbaton] , (for [gar] that [ekeinos] sabbath day [sabbaton] was [en] an high [megas] day [hemera] ,) besought [erotao] Pilate [Pilatos] that [hina] their [autos] legs [skelos] might be broken [katagnumi] , and [kai] that they might be taken away [airo] .
32 Then [oun] came [erchomai] the soldiers [stratiotes] , and [kai] brake [katagnumi] the legs [skelos] of the [men] first [protos] , and [kai] of the other [allos] which [ho] was crucified with [sustauroo] him [autos] .
33 But [de] when [hos] they came [erchomai] to [epi] Jesus [Iesous] , and saw [eido] that he [autos] was dead [thnesko] already [ede] , they brake [katagnumi] not [ou] his [autos] legs [skelos] :
34 But [alla] one [heis] of the soldiers [stratiotes] with a spear [logche] pierced [nusso] his [autos] side [pleura] , and [kai] forthwith [euthus] came there out [exerchomai] blood [haima] and [kai] water [hudor] .
35 And [kai] he that saw [horao] it bare record [martureo] , and [kai] his [autos] record [marturia] is [esti] true [alethinos] : and he [kakeinos] knoweth [eido] that [hoti] he saith [lego] true [alethes] , that [hina] ye [humeis] might believe [pisteuo] .
36 For [gar] these things [tauta] were done [ginomai] , that [hina] the scripture [graphe] should be fulfilled [pleroo] , A bone [osteon] of him [autos] shall [suntribo] not [ou] be broken [suntribo] .
37 And [kai] again [palin] another [heteros] scripture [graphe] saith [lego] , They shall look [optanomai] on [eis] him whom [hos] they pierced [ekkenteo] . KJV-Interlinear

31 The Jews therefore, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32 The soldiers therefore came, and broke the legs of the first man, and of the other man who was crucified with Him; 33 but coming to Jesus, when they 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 immediately there came out blood and water. 35 And he who has seen has borne witness, and his witness is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. 36 For these things came to pass, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, 'Not a bone of Him shall be broken.' 37 And again another Scripture says, 'They shall look on Him whom they pierced.' NASB

Several things come into play here. First, the term 'crurifragium,' is a Roman custom of breaking the legs, with a club, of a victim in order to bring about great pain and suffering. This also hurries up death as extreme shock of having ones legs beaten until broken, overwhelms the victim, especially when it is added to the pain and suffering of the crucifixion. Otherwise a victim can hang on the cross for days before death finally comes.

Second, with the history of recent decades of many thousands of crucifixions by the Romans against the Jews, this practice would have been known to the chief priests. Obviously they knew about it, because it was they who asked Pilate to have the legs broken. By the way, this practice was more of a practice of torture to make the victim scream in pain and squirm to avoid the blows of the club. This procedure would be designed to make an impression on anyone observing the execution.

If the chief priests wanted to be humane, then they could have asked that the throats be cut or that a spear be thrust through the heart in order to hurry up death and without inflicting more pain on the victims. After all, the impression here is that they just want the victims dead and off of the crosses before the Feast of Unleaven Bread begins at sunset. And I say impression here because this is a very subtle form of attack on God, on scripture, and specifically prophecy.

The chief priests know full well the prophecies of the Messiah, 'no bone shall be broken.' If this Jesus had His bones broken, then this prophecy could not have been fulfilled, and then He could not obviously be the Messiah. In life all of the prophecies regarding Jesus as the Messiah, had been fulfilled, and now even in death when the actions of others come into play, the prophecies regarding the Messiah will still come true. The chief priests could not even change a mere line of scripture.

Ex. 12:46
46 It is to be eaten in a single house; you are not to bring forth any of the flesh outside of the house, nor are you to break any bone of it. NASB

Num. 9:12
12 'They shall leave none of it until morning, nor break a bone of it; according to all the statute of the Passover they shall observe it. NASB

Third, the law in Deuteronomy applies to corpses, not to those who are still alive and on the tree. The two criminals were still alive. They were not aware that Christ had already died. That surprise will come up in our study tomorrow.

Deut. 21:23
23 his corpse shall not hang all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God) NASB

This was a special Sabbath day coming up. Normally the Sabbath refers to the seventh day of the week, or Saturday, but there are special feast days which are also called Sabbath's. These are often referred to 'high days' or special Sabbaths. The events of this day did not take place on Friday, but on Wednesday. Review the chart on the Crucifixion.

The crucifixion occurred on Wednesday afternoon, the fourteenth day of Nisan, the day of Passover, and the day preceding the Feast of Unleaven Bread. The Messiah is to be laid in the grave for three days and three nights, and then arise on the morning of Sunday, the first day of the week, the morning of the First Fruits. Christ was laid in the grave at sunset, or just prior to it, on Wednesday. Then Thursday at sunset is the end of the first 24 hour day (one day and one night), Friday at sunset is the end of the second day, and Saturday at sunset is the end of the third day. Sometime between then (Saturday at sunset) and Sunday morning, Christ arose. Christ was not in the grave when the women came to visit the grave site on Sunday morning.

The soldiers came to break the legs of the two criminals and when they saw that Jesus had already died, they pierced His chest cavity, from the side into the heart just to make sure. This was not a common practice. But the scriptures of many centuries before now came to pass.

Zech. 12:10
10 'And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; NASB

Now the next thing that comes into play is the desire of the chief priests to get Jesus out of the public view. A dead or dying man on the cross, with a sign 'King of the Jews' hanging over His head, would not be very helpful to their public reputation. The distraction of the darkness and the earthquake, and the appearances of dead people walking around, and the curtain torn in half, all would make if difficult for them as far as public opinion was concerned.

They refused to look at the facts of overwhelming evidence as to who Jesus really was, the Son of God and the Messiah. They were more into their defiance than they were into learning the truth and serving God as they were supposed to.

This is true not only of those who opposed Jesus back then, but is true of anyone in history who is indifferent toward Gods Word.

When the Roman soldier pierced the side of Jesus, out came blood and serum. Jesus did not bleed to death. His work was completed before He died physically. His work was one of a spiritual death, not from His physical death. Anyone can die physically, obviously we all do sooner or later, but no one can do that which Jesus Christ did.

John states that these things are true such that anyone who reads this account will believe. That should mean something to us all. We are not in this world to merely grow old and retire and then die. We are here to prepare for our greater life, which is our life in eternity. One of the biggest hurdles we have to overcome is our view of life and our inability to look past the present.

It is far better to take these things into consideration and to think about what we will face after we leave this world. This doesn't mean that we need to go live in a monastery, but we do need to make an effort and evaluate our spiritual lives and to allow God to make us better.

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End Of Lesson

Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.

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