Pierced and Buried

April 6, 2020 at 10:09 am | Posted in John | 3 Comments
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The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

John 19:31-34 (emphasis added)

The soldier piered Jesus’s side with a spear to make sure of His death, and the water which came out with the blood may have been pericardial fluid, but it is likely that the Holy Spirit had John refer to it in this way because it was commonly understood by people of that day that blood and water were necessary for life. The blood reminds the reader of John’s Gospel of the blood of Jesus, which not only gave Him life as touching His humanity, but was also the symbol of the spiritual and eternal life given to us through its shedding. The reference to the water was probably intended as a symbol of His soul-cleansing Word.

The Holy Spirit probably also had John stress the humanity of Jesus to combat the Docetism (dokein meant “to seem”) that was prevalent at the time he was writing, as shown in I and II John, a heresy which stated that Jesus was God, but that He wasn’t really “God in the flesh” and was like a phantom, ghost, or image – not really flesh and blood.

And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.

John 19:35-36

The Scriptures which were being fulfilled were:

In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof.

Exodus 12:46

They shall leave none of it unto the morning, nor break any bone of it: according to all the ordinances of the passover they shall keep it.

Numbers 9:12

Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.

Psalm 34:19-20

This was an event which had been predicted in many Old Testament passages.

And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.

John 19:37

The piercing with the spear also fulfilled:

For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.

Psalm 22:16-17

And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

Zechariah 12:10

There was even a foreshadowing:

Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Revelation 1:7

More Old Testament prophecy was fulfilled in His burial.

And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.

John 19:38-41

The nature of His grave had been foretold in Isaiah:

And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

Isaiah 53:9

There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.

John 19:42

This may indicate that Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus had been secretly planning the burial of Jesus.


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