John: Believing On The Christ, The Son Of God, For Eternal Life

Part XLIII: Trusting In Christ For His Truth Revealed In His Burial

(John 19:31-42)


I.              Introduction

A.    John's Gospel presents Jesus as the Son of God Who was full of grace and "truth," and the events surrounding His burial reveal His truthfulness relative to His claim to be the Son of God and the Messiah.

B.    We view the burial of Christ for evidences of that great truth for our insight and edification (as follows):

II.            Trusting In Christ For His Truth Revealed In His Burial, John 19:31-42.

A.    What occurred as His dead body still hung on the cross reveal Jesus' truth as Messiah and God, John 19:31-37:

1.     What occurred to Jesus' dead body as it still hung on the cross would occur not by His human effort, so if such events support His claims to be Messiah and God, they do so by God's hand, not by Jesus' humanity.

2.     Remarkably, the preservation of Jesus' bones from being broken and the piercing of His side, both events fulfilling Scripture, occurred after He was physically dead when He in His humanity could not affect them:

                        a.        The First day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread that came after Passover occurred the year Jesus died on a Sabbath Day, making it a "'high'" festival in Judaism, Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to John 19:31.

                        b.        Accordingly, not wanting to violate Deuteronomy 21:22-23 and so desecrate that day by leaving bodies hanging on the crosses where they were crucified, the Jews asked Pilate that the legs of the crucified be broken that they might quickly die and be soon removed from the crosses, John 19:31; Ibid.

                        c.        Pilate gave his consent to avoid creating unnecessary unrest among the Jews at Passover, so he gave the order for the Roman soldiers overseeing the execution to break the legs of the victims, John 19:32.

                        d.        However, when the soldiers saw Jesus was already dead, they did not break His legs, but pierced His side with a spear, and this produced a flow of "blood" and "water" from the wound, John 19:33-34.

                        e.        John witnessed this event, signifying here it was true (John 19:35), noting it fulfilled two Old Testament prophecies: (1) it fulfilled Exodus 12:46 that Jesus, as God's Passover Lamb, would not have any of His bones broken, John 19:36.  (2) It also made possible the future fulfillment of Zechariah 12:10 when Israel will look upon Jesus whom they pierced in His Second Coming, an event that leads to Israel's realization that she had rejected and crucified her true Messiah, an event that in turn leads to Israel's national repentance and acceptance of Jesus as her Messiah, cf. Zechariah 12:10-13:1; John 19:37.

B.    What occurred as His dead body was later buried reveal Jesus' truth as Messiah and God, John 19:38-42:

1.     Before Christ died, Joseph of Arimathaea had been a secret disciple of His for fear of the Jews, John 19:38a.  Another man, Nicodemus, had come to Jesus by night because of the same fear, John 19:39a.

2.     However, though Jesus was dead, and a dead Messiah was no real Messiah in their viewpoint then (cf. Luke 24:19-21a), these men were convinced enough that Jesus was a prophet of God, so, risking their reputations with the Jews, they besought Pilate for Jesus' body and acquired it for His burial, John 19:38b.

3.     These were wealthy men (Matthew 27:57; John 3:1; Ibid., Ryrie, ftn. to John 3:1), and Isaiah 53:9 was thus fulfilled that the Messiah would be buried in a rich man's tomb and manner though He had done no violence nor was any deceit in His mouth, sins the rich commonly committed:

                        a.        Jesus' body was wrapped "with cloth and aromatic oils" totaling about 75 pounds of myrrh and aloes, an extensive amount, typical of what the wealthy provided, John 19:39; Bible Know. Com., N. T., p. 341.

                        b.        Christ was buried in a new tomb located in a private garden, not in a regular cemetery where common people were placed at death, John 19:41; Ibid.  Matthew 27:60 claims this was Joseph of Arimathea's own new tomb that he had hewn out of a rock at his considerable expense!

C.    Remarkably, the tomb was close to where Jesus was crucified, making it feasible for Joseph and Nicodemus to bury Jesus before the arrival of the Sabbath Day at that day's sunset, John 19:42! (Ibid., Ryrie, ftn. to Gen. 1:5)


Lesson: After Jesus could no longer humanly affect such events, the preservation of His bones from being broken, the piercing of His side, His burial with the rich, and that close to where He had died to expedite His burial before the Sabbath Day, all in accord with Scripture prophecy, signify Jesus as the Messiah and God as He claimed.


Application: (1) May we trust in Christ as the Messiah and Son of God to be saved, John 20:31.  (2) If facing obstacles to our welfare that are beyond our human capacity to influence, may we trust God to perfect His will concerning us (Psalm 138:8) and relax, what Christ in His humanity after His death on the cross had to do!