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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuesday November 22, John 19.31-37

John 19.31-37


31Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, especially because that sabbath was a day of great solemnity. So they asked Pilate to have the legs of the crucified men broken and the bodies removed. 32Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him. 33But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. 35(He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth.) 36These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, “None of his bones shall be broken.” 37And again another passage of scripture says, “They will look on the one whom they have pierced.”

Thoughts:  As the early Christians reflected on the crucifixtion of Jesus they went back to the scriptures to find places where such things had been foretold.  Especially in the suffering servant songs of Isaiah they found scripture that seemed to point toward what happened with Jesus.  This was important for two reasons:  one it showed that this was God's fulfillment of what went back to Abraham, that through him (Abraham) the world would be blessed; second it gave a new way to interpret what the Messiah was to be about, one based not on military conquest but faithful restoration of God's desires.   For many the account of blood and water coming from the spear inflicted wound is a reminder of the sacraments: Holy Communion (blood/wine) and Holy Baptism (water).

Questions:  How important is it that the Old Testament may have spoken prophetically about Jesus?  Is it a deal breaker if it hadn't?

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