This is the sermon for Wednesday, April 28th, 2010.

John part 84

Jesus – Pierced and Buried.

John 19:31-42.

John 19:31-42 NET – 31 Then, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies should not stay on the crosses on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was an especially important one), the Jewish leaders asked Pilate to have the victims’ legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men who had been crucified with Jesus, first the one and then the other. 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 blood and water flowed out immediately. 35 And the person who saw it has testified (and his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth), so that you also may believe. 36 For these things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled, “Not a bone of his will be broken.” 37 And again another scripture says, “They will look on the one whom they have pierced.” 38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, a disciple of Jesus (but secretly, because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission, so he went and took the body away. 39 Nicodemus, the man who had previously come to Jesus at night, accompanied Joseph, carrying a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about seventy-five pounds. 40 Then they took Jesus’ body and wrapped it, with the aromatic spices, in strips of linen cloth according to Jewish burial customs. 41 Now at the place where Jesus was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden was a new tomb where no one had yet been buried. 42 And so, because it was the Jewish day of preparation and the tomb was nearby, they placed Jesus’ body there.

INTRODUCTION

Many an important person throughout history hasn’t had impressive burials and memorials after their death; even though they lived a very impressive life.  So is the case of Mozart.  He was perhaps the greatest music composer that ever lived.  He died in poverty at the age of 35 and was buried in a mass grave.  Many people consider this a tragic end to such a gifted life.

If Mozart deserved a better burial and memorial, Jesus deserved it much more.  He was the Jewish Messiah.  He became the Sacrifice for our sins and purchased our redemption.  He tore down the wall of hostility between God and man.  And yet, not only was He tortured, and died a criminal’s death; His burial was not really special.  You see, He deserved to be mourned by all of creation, but only a few did.

Today, we are going to look at what takes place right after His death, according to John.

No ordinary Sabbath.

John 19:31-32 NET – 31 Then, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies should not stay on the crosses on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was an especially important one), the Jewish leaders asked Pilate to have the victims’ legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men who had been crucified with Jesus, first the one and then the other.

First, notice that the day that Jesus died was the day of preparation for the Passover.  When we had our fellowship on Friday night a few weeks back, Junior spent a few evenings preparing the meat for the event.  So it was for the Jews.  For the day of preparation for the Passover, they would kill the oxen and prepare the meat and other things for the time of celebrating this festival.  The Sabbath began around 6 pm on Friday evenings and crucifixions sometimes agonized on for hours, sometimes even days until death.  That is why the Jews requested that their legs be broken, so death would come quickly.  The reason the Jews wanted them dead quickly is because the upcoming Passover and Sabbath is special and leaving these men hanging on a cross would Biblically defile the land.

Deuteronomy 21:22-23 NET – 22 If a person commits a sin punishable by death and is executed, and you hang the corpse on a tree, 23 his body must not remain all night on the tree; instead you must make certain you bury him that same day, for the one who is left exposed on a tree is cursed by God. You must not defile your land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.

What makes this Passover and Sabbath so important and special?

  • That year, the Passover began the same day as the Sabbath. This happened only a few times.
  • Because of this it is suppose to be a day of celebration. It’s hard to celebrate when three men are hanging on crosses in agony.

It was during this special Passover/Sabbath that Jesus came as our Passover Lamb.  Talk about the Sovereign plan of God.  It is amazing to me that the Jews were so blinded to this fact.

I love what Paul says.

1 Corinthians 5:7b NET – For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.

Jesus` side is pierced.

John 19:33-37 NET – 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 blood and water flowed out immediately. 35 And the person who saw it has testified (and his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth), so that you also may believe. 36 For these things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled, “Not a bone of his will be broken.” 37 And again another scripture says, “They will look on the one whom they have pierced.”

Now there are many crazy theories out there concerning Jesus and His death on the cross.  One such theory is called, “The swoon theory.”  This theory stated that Jesus didn’t really die, but “swooned” or passed out and came too later in the tomb.

Well, John gives us medical evidence that Jesus was really dead.  The soldiers went to break His legs, but saw that He was already dead.  To make sure, on of them pierced Jesus between His ribs and through His heart.  When He did this John says, “blood and water flowed out immediately.” This is very strong evidence that death had already occurred.

Most death on the cross comes from suffocation; you can no longer lift yourself up enough to breath.  The other night on the History Channel they had a great special on crucifixion, and Christ’s crucifixion.  It was worth watching.  Based on what John says here, they theorized that when Jesus fell under the weight of the cross while carrying it, his heart was bruised, and while on the cross, the bruise ruptured.  How do they know this?  Well there is a membrane that surrounds the heart called, “the pericardial sac.”  It holds clear fluid like water which surrounds the heart and provides protection and cushion.  When the heart ruptures, this pericardial sac gets filled with blood.  Blood is heavier than the clear fluid, so it would go to the bottom of the sac and be separate from the clear fluid.  So when Jesus` side was speared, blood and water flowed.  This meant literally that Jesus died of a broken heart.

John witness this event, and he is writing here as an eyewitness.  He also says that these events fulfilled Scripture (Psalm 34:20; Zechariah 12:10).

Jesus is buried.

John 19:38-42 NET – 38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, a disciple of Jesus (but secretly, because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission, so he went and took the body away. 39 Nicodemus, the man who had previously come to Jesus at night, accompanied Joseph, carrying a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about seventy-five pounds. 40 Then they took Jesus’ body and wrapped it, with the aromatic spices, in strips of linen cloth according to Jewish burial customs. 41 Now at the place where Jesus was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden was a new tomb where no one had yet been buried. 42 And so, because it was the Jewish day of preparation and the tomb was nearby, they placed Jesus’ body there.

Not all the Pharisees and members of the Sanhedrin were opposed to Jesus.  Both Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were Pharisees and Sanhedrin council members, plus secret followers of Jesus.

What we know of Joseph of Arimathea from Scripture:

  • He was a rich man (Matthew 27:57).
  • He was a prominent member of the council (Mark 15:43).
  • He was a good and upright man who didn’t agree with the council’s decision (Luke 23:50-51).

What we know about Nicodemus from Scripture:

  • He went to Jesus privately (John 3:1).
  • He stood up for Jesus against the chief priests and Pharisees (John 7:50-52).

They take Jesus and bury Him according to Jewish customs.  Matthew gives us additional insight into whose tomb this actually was they place Jesus in.

Matthew 27:59-60 NET – 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut in the rock. Then he rolled a great stone across the entrance of the tomb and went away.

CONCLUSION

As we studied what took place after Christ’s death it is important to remember two things.

Two things:

  • Jesus – our Messiah – died just as the Old Testament Scriptures foretold.
  • In His death He became both cursed by God and our Passover Lamb for our sins.
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