Don’t Overlook the Details
It must be eaten inside the house; take none of the meat outside the house. Do not break any of the bones. (Exodus 12:46)
He protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. (Psalm 34:20)
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.” (John 19: 30-37)
Don’t Overlook the Details
By: Ashley Peterson (St. Mark Staff Minister Intern)
The Romans intended crucifixion to be a long and painful process, given as punishment to the worst of criminals. On a normal occasion, the guards would just let these men hang on the cross until they died, no matter how long it took, but this was not an ordinary crucifixion. The day of Jesus’ death was the day of preparation for the Sabbath, and it was the Sabbath of the Passover Festival. Many laws surrounded The Sabbath in the Old Testament church. So many that even the steps one could take were numbered. The only work that could be done was going to the temple. In Mark 2, the Pharisee chastised Jesus for his disciples picking grain on a Sabbath. Since no work was allowed, the Jews asked the soldiers to veer from standard procedures. The Jews requested the soldier to quicken the men’s deaths by breaking their knees so the bodies could be taken off the cross and handled before the Sabbath day began.
John the Baptist rightfully exclaims, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Many times throughout the Bible, Jesus is called the lamb of God, and an element of the Passover meal is the shank bone of a sacrificial lamb. The Passover festival had to be celebrated year after year because it could not save people for eternity. This lamb was a shadow of the lamb who was to come that would take away the sins of the entire world. The regulations of the Passover meal required the lamb to be without blemish or defect and that no bone broken in the process. All of this was done to point toward the coming Messiah. Just as the lamb was without blemish or defect, so too Jesus is without blemish or defect and with no bones broken. When asked to break the knees to hasten their deaths, the guards first went to the two criminals that hung on either side of Jesus. When they went to break Jesus’ knees, they saw that he was already dead. Instead, the soldiers pierced his side, avoiding all bones and breaking none.
Time and time again, God shows his impeccable timing. When the time had fully come, God sent his Son (Galatians 4:4). God sent his son with intentionality, not on a whim or impulse. God knew the exact time to send Jesus to complete our salvation. When the Israelites celebrated the first Passover meal, they sacrificed the lamb’s life so that God’s people would go free. So that God’s people would go free for eternity, Jesus’ life was sacrificed on the cross. The Passover lamb, without blemish, defect, or broken bones, fully satisfies the debt of all people for eternity. Though these details seem small, they are important details to Jesus’ story because he was the Passover lamb that paid for our sins, once and for all.
Song: Whatever Your Plan Is by Josie Buchanan
Prayer Suggestion: Praise God that his will is above ours. That his wisdom is so great he knew the precise moment to send Jesus into the world to win our salvation. Ask for forgiveness for when we try to take control of our life. Ask for trust like a child jumping into their father’s arms.