December 15, 2020 – Tuesday
John 19:35-37 NIV
35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe.
36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,”
37 and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”
Okay, I set you up for the question, “What did the man see that he gave testimony about?” Turns out (v31), the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. The reason the legs were broken was to hasten the death of those crucified. With their legs broken they could no longer push themselves up to take another breath, so they suffocated because of their inability to take a breath. Now we are not yet at the testimony of the man who saw, but we are getting close.
Next (v32-34), The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. Now we know. He gave testimony Jesus was dead, so it was unnecessary to break Jesus’ legs to hasten His death. Instead, He was pierced in His side which resulted in a flow of blood and water which confirmed He was dead.
Turns out as verse 36 says scripture was fulfilled because none of His bones were broken which fulfilled prophecy as well. Psalm 34:19-20, The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; He protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. This of course ties back to Exodus 12:46 when the Passover Lamb could not have any broken bones either and Jesus is the new and last required Passover sacrifice with no broken bones. The same requirement was repeated in Numbers 9:12 as well. Then verse 37 ends with the fulfillment of the prophecy in Zechariah 12:10 which ends with They will look to me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. Even in His death Jesus fulfills prophecy.
Returning to verse 35, why did John write, The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe? It is most likely because John was at the crucifixion of Jesus, he was the man giving testimony of what he saw with his very own eyes. And he is giving this testimony so we may know Jesus did indeed die. If we believe his testimony, then we may also believe Jesus rose from the grave three days later in addition to knowing how He died we would see scripture fulfilled as already noted.
The question is, “How much evidence do we need to believe?” John is telling us there is sufficient knowledge in what he has written prior to Jesus’ crucifixion and then at His crucifixion to know He is the Messiah, the Son of God. I don’t know how much evidence or knowledge a given person needs to believe, but I know I believe. I don’t know if the belief comes from some accumulation of evidence or knowledge, but I know I believe. I gather more evidence and knowledge not to bolster my own belief, but to present to others who doubt so they might come to believe.
John’s testimony is powerful on its own. How much more do you need to believe? Believing is personal and individual. Ask yourself if you have enough to believe, but are putting off actively believing because of the life changes you know God would expect?
Prayer: Heavenly Father – Please touch each person’s heart who has seen and or heard enough to know they can believe. Touch their heart so they can then believe with great certainty and assurance. – In Jesus name, amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton