We are glad to be with you today. It’s an awesome privilege we have to study God’s word together, and we are honored to do that with you here on Hope for Today. This program is produced by Heralds of Hope. We focus on Bible teaching and Bible distribution. It’s incredible how the Bible and the truth from Scripture are not limited to a certain area or people. The truths in the Bible are for all people everywhere.
We are excited today to look at these truths with you from the next section of John 19; the title is The Wonder of it All. And we are continuing our look at the crucifixion. There is something that happens in this passage, verse 34, that is worth focusing on. This is where the soldier pierces the side of Jesus, and the blood and water gush out.
Keep this in mind and think with me back to the garden of Eden. Do you remember how God created Eve? God put Adam into a deep sleep, and while he was sleeping, He took a rib from Adam’s side and created Eve. As you know, she was the first woman, and this was the first marriage. God used the rib from Adam’s side and created Eve for Adam. Imagine their first meeting; it must have been quite amazing. And notice Adam had his side pierced, and shortly after this, he met his bride, Eve.
In today’s passage, what happened to Jesus on the cross is similar. The soldiers didn’t take a rib from Jesus’ side, but they did pierce His side with a spear. I understand the place they pierced to be between the ribs near the top of His ribcage close to His heart. By the way, I also imagine God taking a rib from Adam that was close to his heart, and that is where our spouses should be, close to our hearts. When the soldiers pierced His side, water and blood came out; both Matthew and John use words that imply it came out with force.
Think about water and blood; do you recognize the significance of these two? If you want to be the Bride of Christ, both are very important. Jesus had His side pierced, and we can be His bride if we accept His shed blood and receive baptism. Let’s think about the importance of blood and water to the church, Christ’s bride.
The crucifixion is a bloody story from start to finish—so many times where His blood was shed. Remember the crown of thorns? During a whipping, the victim’s back was typically turned to a bloody pulp. Then imagine the robe covering His back and beginning to adhere to the cuts. Only to be ripped off and reopen all the wounds. Then there are the nails through His hands and feet, more blood. Don’t forget the spear in His side, which we just mentioned. From beginning to end, Jesus’ blood is shed over and over.
It is hard to explain exactly how it works, but we believe through the shed blood of Jesus, we can be forgiven and have our relationship with God restored. Isaiah 53 says, by His stripes we are healed. To be part of the Bride of Christ, we must recognize our sinfulness, accept Christ’s shed blood for us, and turn from our sin. The Bible uses one word for this, repent.
Now think about the water. Soon after we repent and begin our walk with Christ, we declare publicly that we are a follower of Jesus. We believe this public declaration should be accompanied by water baptism. A baptism is a significant event, yes, for the individual making the commitment, and in the spirit world. This physical act is very powerful spiritually. Think back to the big baptism in Acts; right after that, we see Satan trying to wipe them out with persecution, and to this day, baptism still seems to have a similar effect.
The call to “repent and be baptized” is recognized by Christians everywhere, and it has been preached by many godly men since the cross. This is the blood and the water. This is how we become part of the bride of Christ. Think of all His followers from all time. These people all together make up the church, His bride.
Now imagine what a meeting that will be when Christ calls His bride home. This will be even more amazing than when Adam and Eve met. You will want to be there, don’t miss it. Repent and be baptized; recognize the importance of the blood and water.
I was amazed and worshiped God at the similarities between Adam and Christ. From their pierced sides, a bride was prepared and is being prepared.
Now keep your Bibles opened to John 19 as Bible Teacher, J. Mark Horst, shares more truths from this passage.
Some people in Jesus’ day thought they crucified a dangerous criminal. Some people thought He was a powerful rival. So, in some way, they knew they must get rid of Him. Few knew then what the crucifixion really meant. Even though Jesus had spoken about His crucifixion to His disciples, yet even they hardly knew what He was talking about.
The Gospel of John gives us insights beyond the event itself through a carefully written record. I affirm the death of Jesus is a momentous event. That is why it will be good for us to think together about THE WONDER OF IT ALL from John 19:31-37.
31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
32 Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.
33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:
34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.
36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.
37 And again another scripture saith, they shall look on him whom they pierced.
As we think about the death of Jesus, we ought to give special attention to certain serious CONSIDERATIONS regarding that momentous event. THE WONDER OF IT ALL!
Consider The Holy Sabbath.
The event of Jesus’ death took place at the time of one of the most holy religious days. The calendar said it was the time of the Passover. Its significance can hardly be overemphasized. It was a commemoration of the deliverance of the Jews from Egypt hundreds of years before. They were saved from death by the sacrifice of a lamb. The blood was very important, for they were instructed by Moses to catch the blood in a basin and sprinkle that blood on the doorposts and on the lintels of the houses in which they were to keep themselves.
Every faithful Jew in Jesus’ day kept the Passover. It was a high day. It was a great day. It was the solemn remembrance of God’s mercy back there in the time when they were brought out of the land of Egypt by the hand of Moses. It was for that reason that the Jews came to Pilate and wanted to be sure that these bodies were not left on the crosses during this high holy day. These bodies on the crosses would desecrate that holy sabbath. So, we must consider the holy sabbath.
Consider The Spear-Pierced Side.
There were two crucified with Jesus, one on one side and one on the other. They were thieves; they were malefactors. So, the soldiers were ordered by Pilate to break the legs of those who were crucified to hasten their death. What really happened was, they would have no further support, and they would die of suffocation because their lungs could not expand. So, the soldiers came, and with one blow of the mallet, broke each leg of the thieves.But when they came to Jesus, they discovered He was dead already, so they did not break His legs. Instead, one of the soldiers, with his spear, pierced the side of Jesus, and immediately, blood and water came forth.
Do you know what Moses said to the children of Israel many, many years before? He said, “The life is in the blood.” And Moses also said, “Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission.” I want you to consider the spear-pierced side of Jesus on the cross.
Consider The Fulfilled Scripture.
I am deeply impressed as I read these records that soldiers, governors, and people were fulfilling Scriptures they hardly knew had even been spoken. These are to bring us to believe. So wrote the Apostle John. He said, “My record is true.” And it is true that you might believe. The truth of the Bible comes out clear, for it is further stated the Scripture was fulfilled, “A bone of Him shall not be broken.” Praise the Lord! Isn’t it wonderful that King David, one thousand years before Christ, would write that in Psalm 34:20? “He keepeth all his bones; not one of them is broken.”
The second Scripture that was fulfilled right there is from Zechariah 12:10, “They shall look on me whom they have pierced.” That tells me that Jesus bears the marks now. Yes. Isn’t this a great revelation of the plan of God, that King David and Zechariah would predict, and the Scriptures would be fulfilled, that very time when Jesus died on the cross? Oh, the wonder of it all!
My friend, give serious attention to these considerations: that holy sabbath, the spear-pierced side, those fulfilled Scriptures. They bear testimony to the truth so you can believe.
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Now, I urge you to tune in next week as Pastor J. Mark continues our study from John’s Gospel. You won’t want to miss it. And until then, keep looking to Jesus; He’ll give you hope for today!
This episode is an exposition of John 19:31-37 by J. Otis Yoder, re-recorded by J. Mark Horst, with a new opening and closing by Arlin Horst.