John 19:28-37 – Jesus’ Death
In our study of John 19 Part 1 we saw that Jesus had been arrested, tried, and put on the cross to be crucified.
(John 19:28-30) John doesn’t describe the horrific details of death by crucifixion. Many died before they were ever crucified due to the brutal scourging that took place. Victims were forced to carry their own cross. They were stripped naked and laid out on the ground where their hands were fasted to the cross with large nails. Then the cross was raised up and fastened upright. The feet were forced together and nailed with 1 nail. Sometime it took 2 -3 days of suffering before death.
The Scriptures were fulfilled when Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” – John 19:28. During crucifixion, dehydration is a large factor. The prisoner struggles to breathe more and more and eventually dies. The soldiers gave Jesus a sponge soaked with wine vinegar. Jesus drank it and said, “It is finished.” – John 19:30. Then He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.
Why did Jesus say He was thirsty? He said this to fulfill the Scriptures. (Psalms 69:21) It helps us understand and remember that He was fully human. He knew He had accomplished everything He came to earth to do and now it was over. The soldiers offered Him cheap wine vinegar because it was also prophesied although the soldiers didn’t know that. This showed us again that He alone was the promised Messiah and redeemer of the world.
His thirst was not only physical but spiritual as well. Physically He was dehydrated as His blood and sweat poured from His body. Spiritually He had been forsaken by His Father under the penalty of sin and He thirsted for the presence of His Father once again.
He thirsts for us. He wants us all to come to Him. “Come! Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free give of the water of life.” – Rev. 22:17.
Do you thirst for Him?
Jesus’ death on the cross was no accident. From the very start it was God’s purpose. John shows this through the fulfillment of the prophecies. Now with Jesus’ death our sins are paid in full on the cross.
“It is finished” means Jesus’ work is done and our sins our now paid in full. The work God had given Him to do was now done (John 17:4). He was to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10), provide atonement for the sins of all who would ever believe in Him (Rom. 3:23-25), and to reconcile sinful men to a holy God (2 Cor. 5:18-19).
Jesus shouted in triumph, “It is finished”. This was not a weary sigh of defeat, but joyful words shouted in victory that reached throughout the universe. All Scripture foretold of His sacrifice for sin. His life was not taken from Him. He had complete authority to lay down His life and take it up again. He now awaited the resurrection to fulfill His Father’s promise. “because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.” – Acts 2:27, Ps. 16:10.
He paid the price for all the sins of everybody in the world, past, present, and future. Before this the people had to sacrifice an unblemished animal for their sins. This sacrifice would make them right with God, but then they would sin again, so animal sacrifices had to be made again and again. Jesus did away with that. He paid the full price for ALL sins. He was without sin, our unblemished Lamb. He is the only sacrificed we need. We may sin again and again, but He forgives us. His death saved us.
He accomplished everything God sent Him to do. We can do all kinds of good works in His Name, but we cannot add anything to what He did. The only way to respond to God’s gift of salvation through Christ’s finished work is to receive it by faith alone.
What does the Lord want you to sacrifice for Him?
(John 31-37) It was the day of Preparation and the next day was a special Sabbath. The Jews didn’t want the crosses left during the Sabbath so they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. This way if they were not dead, the breaking of the legs would make it difficult to breathe and make them die quickly. The soldiers broke the legs of the two men on crosses on each side of Jesus, but saw Jesus was already dead so they pierced His side instead. All these things happened and the Scriptures were again fulfilled.
When they pierced His side, blood and water gushed out. Blood symbolizes is the cleansing and of God’s forgiveness of sin. Water symbolizes the new life given to believers.
Long ago God declared that “The life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life” – Lev. 17:11. And in Heb 9:22 – “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” This flowing of the life blood of Jesus, poured for us, symbolizes cleansing from sin (Rom. 3:25).
This water that flowed from His side points to new spiritual life we receive when we receive Jesus into our hearts. “Whoever believes in me as the scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from with him. By this he meant the Spirit…” – John 7:38-39. Water symbolizes eternal life. (Rev 21:6; 22:17).
Matthew 27:51 tells us that at the moment Jesus died, the curtain of the temple was torn. “At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split.”
What is this curtain? The temple was divided into 3 sections. The 1st was the inner court that contained the altar of burnt offering and basin used for ceremonial washing of the priests. The 2nd was the Holy Place that contained the golden candlestick, the table of consecrated bread, and the altar of incense. The curtain formed a wall between this Holy Place and the Most Holy Place where only the priest could enter. Only once a year called the Day of Atonement, a day of sacrificing of a goat, could the high priest enter. This place represented God’s presence. This curtain was a barrier between God and humanity. The torn curtain now was the end of sacrifices and ceremonies. It signified Christ’s torn flesh on the cross. Now this barrier between God and man is removed. We can now enter into the very presence of God because of Jesus’ death on the cross. (Heb. 10:19-22).
“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.” – John 19:35. John testifies that all this actually happen so you may believe.
Do you believe?
John 19:38-42 – Jesus’ Burial
Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were secret followers of Jesus. They wanted to honor Jesus and give Him a proper burial. They asked Pilate for Jesus’ body. Pilate agreed. They wrapped His body in expensive spices and strips of linen. They took Jesus’ body and put it into a new grave that belonged to Joseph. The Jewish people would cut out caves in rocks and use them for graves. I am sure this was hard work and took a lot of time so it was probably very expensive.
Jesus’ agony is over. Now His enemies cannot touch Him. He is forever among friends.
It took courage to Joseph and Nicodemus to ask for Jesus’ body. They were secret followers, however after His death they didn’t follow in secret anymore. This may have cost them their reputation and they may have been rejected by the other Jewish leaders. It costs them here on earth, but they gained eternal acceptance in heaven. Commitment to Christ will cost you. You will be rejected by those who do not believe that He is the only way to the Father. So be prepared to be rejected.
When and how have you been rejected because of your belief in Jesus?
How did you respond?
What has your commitment to Jesus cost you?
Jesus was born rich and He died rich. Remember He was given gold, frankincense and myrrh at His birth by the Magi. Joseph and Nicodemus gave Him these gifts of costly spices again at His burial and He was buried in a rich man’s tomb.
When we become believers of Christ we bury our old ways of thinking. We bury our former wrong emotions and attitudes toward God and others. Our old habits and actions are gone. We live in freedom from our past to live a new resurrected life. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” – 2 Cor. 5:17.
Do you let Satan make you feel guilty of the past or do you live in freedom?
Fulfilled Prophesies Jesus’ crucifixion, death, and burial:
John 19:24 – soldiers divided His garments (Psalm 22:18)
John 19:36 – Jesus’ bones were not broken, “for these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, Not a bone of Him shall be broken.” (Exodus 12:46, Numbers 9:12 and Psalm 34:20).
John19:29 – soldiers gave Jesus vinegar to drink (Psalm 29:21)
John 19:37 – the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side (Zechariah 12:10, Rev. 1:7, Isaiah 53:3)
John 19:41 - Jesus’ burial – (Isaiah 53:9)
Eternal salvation is free, but costly.
Jesus your King died triumphantly on the cross.
The only way to respond to God’s gift of salvation through Christ’s finished work is to receive it by faith alone.
We live in freedom from our past to live a new resurrected life.
THANK YOU, JESUS!
God planned every detail of His death, burial and resurrection, which we will look at next time in John 20. Have a blessed day and thanks for visiting my site. Hope to see you here next time.
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