Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Crucifixion – Part 2

John 19 – continued from last week

31 Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should 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 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him.

[The Jews were ok with condemning the innocent, but they didn't want anyone to be killed or buried on the Sabbath. Remember what Jesus said to the Pharisees in Matthew 23, "You tithe of your tiniest herbs, but you ignore the weightier matters of the law like justice and mercy. But when they came to quicken their deaths by breaking their legs, Jesus was already dead.]


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 immediately blood and water came out. 35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. 36 For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, "Not
of His bones shall be broken."
37 And again another Scripture says, "They shall look on Him whom they pierced."

[Multiple prophecies of Jesus as the Lamb of God where fulfilled in this passage. One from Psalm 34:20 about his bones not being broken, and another from Zechariah 12:10 about his being pierced.

1 Peter 2:24 - "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness]

Luke 23

39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, "If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us."
40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, "Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong." 42 Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom."
43 And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."


[Isaiah 53 8-9 … For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
       9 And they made His grave with the wicked…

So here we see Jesus and the criminals crucified with him. One mocks him saying "if you are the Christ, save yourself and us". I don't know how much these thieves knew about Jesus. Had they heard the accusations of the Council "he made himself the Son of God", or was he just responding to the sign Jesus-the-King. But all he sees is someone admired by the people, receiving the same punishment as a common criminal, so he mocks.

The second thief has a different response. In Jesus he sees hope. Jesus a just man wrongly condemned. So he says to Jesus "Lord, remember me". In that moment he saw the conclusion of his own life had no virtue, but he trusted one with a very different life, could change his outcome. So he confessed his faith in Jesus, and received a precious promise. This man had no time for penitent works, no pilgrimage, no almsgiving, nothing to recommend him for heaven, but he trusted in Jesus. And Jesus response was clear "today you will be with me in paradise". What further evidence do you need to see that salvation is by faith alone in the merciful grace of God.]

Jesus Dies on the Cross

44 Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two.

[The sixth hour was 6 hours after sunrise, which is mid-day or noon. So from mid-day to mid-afternoon, it became like night. Not just locally, but over all the earth. As the Light of the World died, the world was covered in darkness. Then the veil that separated the inner most part of the temple, from the rest of the world, was torn in two. Matthew 27 says it was torn from the top to the bottom. The symbolism of that is clear, a man could not reach the top of the veil but God could. Prior to this, only the high priest could enter the holy of holies, just once a year, and not without the blood of the sacrifice. But Jesus the eternal high priest, offered his own blood once and for all, so the veil of separation, was not longer necessary. From that point on any one could come into the presence of God to obtain mercy, through faith in the atoning blood of Jesus Christ.]

46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, "Father, 'into Your hands I commit My spirit.'" Having said this, He breathed His last.
47 So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying, "Certainly this was a righteous Man!"
48 And the whole crowd who came together to that sight, seeing what had been done, beat their breasts and returned.

[Jesus was actually quoting Psalm 31:5 which many Jews would say at night as a prayer. We said last week that the sign on Jesus' cross written in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic announced Jesus as King to the gentile world. Here we see a Roman Centurion testify of the righteousness of Christ. Matthew 27 records more supernatural events including earthquake, rocks splitting open, along with the darkness we saw earlier. It was as though creation herself was mourning the suffering of her creator. All this groaning of nature was startling to those who saw it. The beating of the chest was a sign of mourning of and repentance.]

49 But all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.   
50 Now behold, there was a man named Joseph, a council member, a good and just man. 51 He had not consented to their decision and deed. He was from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who himself was also waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of the rock, where no one had ever lain before. 54 That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near.

[Near the time of Jesus death more of his followers drew close enough to see him die. But the one who went to Pilate was not his disciples or the women who cared for him. It was Joseph, a member of the Council who had not consented to the charges against Jesus, a man of great reputation and also apparently a secret follower of Christ. He boldly goes to Pilate and asks permission o bury Jesus. Due to the late hour and the ending Sabbath, there is not enough time to properly prepare the body. So Joseph hastily wraps his body in linen, and lays it in his own tomb before nightfall.]
55 And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. 56 Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.

[So the women that followed Jesus, observed what Joseph had done. Though certainly appreciative of Joseph's compassion for the Lord, they knew Jesus body was not properly prepared, so they went home and began to gather the balms and spices necessary for burial. And they intended to return on Sunday and redo the reparation of the body, the way that felt it should be done.]

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