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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. 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.

 

19:31

Therefore,

The Old Testament forbad leaving a dead body exposed on a tree overnight because it would defile the land (Dt 21:22-23).

because it was the Preparation Day,

The Preparation Day here is Friday (Jn 19:14). This was for Sabbath preparation, not the preparation for the Passover. It was a special Preparation Day because it fell in Passover week.

that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day),

The Jews were more anxious about respect for the Sabbath and religious formalities than they were about treating Jesus with justice.

the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken,

Crucifixion took a long time to kill the victim. The breaking of legs of the sufferer would hasten the death. It caused a barbarous shock to the body and quickened death.

and that they might be taken away.

It was Roman practice to leave bodies hanging on the cross for long periods, even days.

19:32

Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him.

The soldiers broke the legs of both criminals but not those of Jesus.

19:33

But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead,

Jesus was already dead by His own volition by the time the soldiers arrived.

they did not break His legs.

Since Jesus was now dead, the soldiers did not break His legs. Like the Passover lamb, Jesus did not have His bones broken (Ex 12:46). The soldiers did not do what Pilate commanded them to do, but what they were supposed to do.

19:34

But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear,

One soldier made sure Jesus was dead before he took Him down from the cross. He did this by throwing a spear into His side. Piercing Jesus’ side with a spear was a fulfillment of Zechariah 12:10.

The messianic Psalm 22:16 says that “they pierced my hands and my feet.” Crucifixion was not the Jewish method of capital punishment; they executed by stoning. The fact that Psalm 22 indicated piercing shows God’s sovereignty in every detail of the crucifixion.

and immediately blood and water came out.

It is the blood of Christ, the sacrifice of His body in death by shedding blood, that saves the soul of the believing person.

PRINCIPLE:

Jesus shed His blood to pay for sins.

APPLICATION:

Jesus took the penalty for our sin. He died to satisfy the standard of God’s perfect or absolute righteousness (1 Jn 2:2).

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