Testify Series: Day 30

John 19:23-42

Here we see Jesus on the cross with the charge “I am King of the Jews” written above His head, crucified by men because they thought His message was a threat to their earthly kingdom, but what they didn’t realize was He was there to bring them life.

Crucifed between two guilty men the soldiers looked on gambling for His clothes, a fulfillment of scripture. Standing near all of this happening was Mary, Jesus mother, Mary Magdalene, and Jesus’s aunt. How painful it must have been for Mary to see what had been foretold to her playing out horrifically before her eyes.

Then, before bowing His head to give up His spirit, Jesus looks down and instructs John to care for Mary as he would his own mother. He took the sponge from a hyssop branch that they offered Him with sour wine so He could proclaim the words, “It is finished!” John 19:30.

The Jewish leaders didn’t want the bodies of these men hanging for the Sabbath which was the next day so they asked Pilate to break their legs. When they came to Jesus they saw He was already dead, so the soldier pierced His side and blood and water flowed out. This all fulfilled scripture “that not one of His bones would be broken and they will look on the one that they pierced.” John 19: 36

A secret disciple, Joseph of Arimathea asked for Jesus’ body to give Him a proper burial. On the Day of Preparation, Joseph and Nicodemus prepared Jesus to lay in a new tomb near a garden.

If you have ever attended a Seder meal your eyes will be opened to the similarities between the Passover that pointed to Jesus and what actually happened to Him. The Old Testament is amazingly and in many ways a shadow of things that would come. That’s why we trust God’s word. It’s reliable, His promises are true, have come true, and the ones yet to be will come true because His word never fails or falls to the ground.

How can we read this story to reveal why on average 13 Christians are still martyred (and will be to the end) around the world every day? What is it about the message of the gospel that threatens? Could it be that it brings freedom to the captive and an allegiance and obedience to One higher than any earthly ruler?

Some things to ponder as we think about what Jesus did for us, the freedoms we enjoy and often take for granted here in America, and the high cost of discipleship for many around the globe.

In Christ,

Emily