Friday, 22 April 2011


John 19:25-37

25.  Standing close to Jesus' cross were his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
26. Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing there; so he said to his mother, "He is your son."
27.  Then he said to the disciple, "She is your mother." From that time the disciple took her to live in his home.
28.  Jesus knew that by now everything had been completed; and in order to make the scripture come true, he said, "I am thirsty."
29.  A bowl was there, full of cheap wine; so a sponge was soaked in the wine, put on a stalk of hyssop, and lifted up to his lips.
30.  Jesus drank the wine and said, "It is finished!" Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
31.  Then the Jewish authorities asked Pilate to allow them to break the legs of the men who had been crucified, and to take the bodies down from the crosses. They requested this because it was Friday, and they did not want the bodies to stay on the crosses on the Sabbath, since the coming Sabbath was especially holy.
32.  So the soldiers went and broke the legs of the first man and then of the other man who had been crucified with Jesus.
33.  But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they did not break his legs.
34.  One of the soldiers, however, plunged his spear into Jesus' side, and at once blood and water poured out.
35.  (The one who saw this happen has spoken of it, so that you also may believe. What he said is true, and he knows that he speaks the truth.)
36.  This was done to make the scripture come true: "Not one of his bones will be broken."
37.  And there is another scripture that says, "People will look at him whom they pierced."

The Roman soldiers threw dice for Jesus’ seamless robe.  The first sentence Jesus spoke from the cross is about them: ‘Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do.’ His next spoken words were to the repentant thief by his side: ‘I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.’
A while later, Jesus spoke to his mother, Mary: ‘Woman, behold your son!’ Then He looked into the eyes of John, the only disciple who hadn’t run away when Jesus was arrested, and said: ‘Behold your mother!’ The next words Jesus spoke were from the beginning of Psalm 22: ‘My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?’
Jesus suffered hours of unending pain: cycles of twisting, cramps that had engulfed His joints, intermittent partial asphyxiation, and excruciating pain as tissue was continually torn from His lacerated back due to his up-and-down movements against the rough splinters of the wooden cross.
Jesus then experienced incredible chest pain as the sac surrounding His heart slowly filled with serum and began to crush His heart.  This fulfilled the prophecy of Psalm 22:14 (‘I am poured out like water’).
The loss of fluids from Jesus’ tissues had reached a critical level.  His compressed heart struggled to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood to the tissues, and His tortured lungs made a frantic effort to inhale small gulps of air.  With the end rapidly approaching, Jesus gasped his fifth cry: ‘I thirst.’
A sponge was soaked in cheap, sour wine and lifted to His lips.  Jesus felt death exploding through His body and uttered His sixth statement – probably just a whisper – ‘It’s finished.’
His mission of dying for the sins of the world – past, present, and future – had almost been completed, and He could now allow His physical body to die.  With one last surge of strength, He pressed His mutilated feet against the nail, straightened His legs, took a deeper breath, and spoke His final cry: ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’
The common way to end a crucifixion was by breaking the bones of the legs.  This kept the victim from pushing himself upward.  The tension couldn’t be relieved from the chest muscles and suffocation quickly occurred.  The legs of the two thieves were broken, but when the soldiers approached Jesus, they didn’t break His bones because He was already dead.
Just to be sure He was dead; one of the soldiers drove His spear between Jesus’ ribs, up through the pericardium and into the heart.  The blood and water that escaped proved that Jesus was indeed dead.  Why?  Because the fluid would have collected around Jesus’ lungs and heart only after he had experienced heart failure.

(Susie Shellenberger)

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