His Life Flowed Out by Tony Nester

His Life Flowed Out
Pastor Tony R. Nester
John 19:31-37

(John 19:31-37 NRSV) "Since 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. {32} Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him. {33} But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. {34} Instead, 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.) {36} These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, "None of his bones shall be broken." {37} And again another passage of scripture says, "They will look on the one whom they have pierced.""

"I saw it with my own eyes."

This scripture from John's Gospel includes an eyewitness report of the crucifixion of Jesus. It's there in the parenthesis of verse 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.) In other words — "Believe me. I was there. I saw it with my own eyes."

What he saw was the final act of crucifixion. The Jewish leaders did not want Jesus and the two who were crucified next to him left of their crosses any longer. That's because the Sabbath of the Passover festival was to begin that evening at sundown. The Jewish leaders did not want the sight of crucified Jewish men polluting their holy day. So they asked Pilate to finish the execution and get these three men out of sight.

The prescribed way to end a crucifixion was to smash the legs of the victims with an iron mallet. Whatever strength the crucified man had left for pulling up his chest to breathe was taken from him ...


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