THE ROMAN SPEAR
We are looking at some of the objects and articles which John has dropped into
this 19th chapter of his Gospel. We’ve talked about the crown of thorns, the signboard,
we have looked at the seamless robe of the Lord Jesus. We’ve talked about the hyssop
branch. Next Sunday morning we’ll talk about the garden tomb. But this morning I’m
going to talk about the Roman spear that was used significantly at the cross when Jesus
It was the custom of the Romans to leave a victim of crucifixion on the cross for
many, many days. The terrible heat of the sun and the cold of the night, the gnats and the
flies and the raging thirst—it was a terrible way to die. The religious leaders of
Jerusalem were uptight about some of their religious ceremonies. The Old Testament law
was very specific. It said that a body was not allowed to be left on a tree overnight. In
addition to this, it was the Sabbath day the next day and it was a high day—the Passover
Day. So, they were real touchy about the observance of their ceremonies. The religious
leaders went to the Roman officials and said, “We would like to get those bodies down..
If they are not dead, send the soldiers over there with some mallets and crush the legs and
finish off the job and let’s get them off those crosses.”
The Roman soldiers went over there and the Bible says that they crushed the legs
of one of them and they crushed the legs of the other one, finished off the job. But when
they got to the Lord Jesus, He was already dead and the Bible says they didn’t smash the
legs of Jesus. As they turned to go away one of the Roman soldiers, almost as an
afterthought, took his spear and stabbed the side of the Lord Jesus and when he did the
Bible says that blood and water gushed out.
I want to talk with you about this Roman spear. The Roman spear tells us some
very important lessons about the cross of the Lord ...
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