John 19:28-42 The Death of Jesus on the Cross
Verse 28: "After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said to fulfill the Scripture), "I thirst."
The scripture that referred to his drinking the vinegar is Psa_69:21. "They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink."
Earlier in this Gospel Jesus used Scripture as one of His witnesses to prove that He was the Messiah. By His saying, "I thirst" fulfills still another Prophecy, offering even more proof that He was indeed the Messiah'
Verse 29: "A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth." (HIH-suhp)or (HiH-soph)
The sour wine, was very likely the tart wine of the Roman Soldiers, that was also given to the person being crucified, and suffering a slow tormented death.
The sour wine should not be confused with the drink mentioned in (Mat 27:34 and Mark 15:23), as vinegar and gall,' which has been identified as the "stupefying potion," that Jesus refused.
Although of little importance, there has been a variety of
conjectures concerning exactly what type of reed, stick or stalk, was used to lift the sponge to
Jesus. John's Gospel say's, the sponge was lifted on the stalk of the hyssop.
The hyssop is thought to have been used only to bind the sponge to the stalk; but, as a matter of interest, the hyssop was frequently used in the Old Testament, during rites of purification.
It is Finished:
Verse 30: "When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, "It is finished," and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit."
"It is finished!" He had
followed and executed the mission assigned to Him by His Father, the
Through the death of Jesus, man was reconciled to God, opening the "Holy of Holies" and the "kingdom of heaven" to every believing soul.
Jesus’ Side Is Pierced
Verses 31-32: "Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. 32So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him."
The Jewish law, in Deut 21:22-23, did not allow the bodies of
criminals to hang on the cross all night; nor did they wish to profane the
Sabbath by either taking them down
on that day.
Breaking the legs or other bones of criminals upon the cross was common custom, as it would rush their death and bring a speedy end to their torturous death. It was also a way to make sure the bodies would be removed before the Passover began.
Verses 33-34: "But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water."
Though unverified, according to some Roman Catholic writers, the
name of the soldier who pierced the Lord's side was "Longinus."
According to their writings, it was he who, after witnessing the death of Jesus, said, "Truly this was the Son of God." As a result, he was converted, and later traveled to Cappadocia where he preached the Gospel, and was martyred.
It is not known which side of Jesus the soldiers pierced, and is of no importance, else this would have been revealed by the Holy Spirit.
His legs were not broken, so the piercing apparently did take place. The Law required criminals to continue on the cross until they died. Jesus was pierced to satisfy this law.
Verse 35: "He who saw it has borne witness— his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth— that you also may believe."
This is John's graphic "eye-witness" account of the death of Jesus, not heresy.
Verse 36: "For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: "Not one of his bones will be broken." 37And again another Scripture says, "They will look on him whom they have pierced."
Most scholars believe the death of Jesus occurred, just as the lambs for the Passover meal were being slain. Jesus' death came at exactly the right time, just as the Father had planned.
Not one of His bones were broken, just as prophesied some 1440 years earlier, in Ps 34:20, Ex 12:46, and Num 9:12.
Some disagree, but most Bible Scholars believe the
passage, "They will look on him whom they have pierced," is a reference
to Zach 12:10:
"I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced;...
The Burial of Jesus:
Verse 38: "After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body."
Crucifixion victims were usually thrown into a common grave for
criminals, and were not to be mourned publicly after their death.
Under Roman rule, it was customary to not bury the corpses at all, unless a powerful patron or family member interceded for the body. Joseph of Arimathea was such a person.
Verse 39: "Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight."
In a lavish expression of devotion to the Savior, both
Nicodemus, a member of the powerful Sanhedrin, and Joseph of Arimathea,
a wealthy and powerful businessman, had hidden their faith in Jesus.
Now, at the death of Jesus, they threw their timidity and fear aside and boldly demanded the body of Jesus, and then personally attended to His burial.
Verse 40: "So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews."
The Greeks and Romans often burned their dead heroes. The Egyptians even mutilated theirs for embalming, but not the Jews. The Jewish bodies were wrapped in shrouds especially prepared for burials.
John gave details that are more exact, on the death of Jesus than the Synoptic Gospels, and for good reason. We will see an astounding miracle concerning the grave clothes later in a following study.
Verses 41: "Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid."
According to Jewish customs, burials had to be outside the city walls. To be buried in a tomb not yet used was a special honor, and would make the tomb difficult to confuse with others in that area.
Verse 42: "So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there."
The tomb was probably a cave carved out of the stone hillside. Most graves were large enough for a person to walk into. A large stone was rolled in front of the entrance.
This concludes our study of, "The Death of Jesus on the Cross."
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