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They Did Not Break His Legs

THEY DID NOT BREAK HIS LEGS

John 19: 31—37

When you think of the crucifixion of Christ the first thing that probably pops into your mind is the suffering.

But there is so much more to the cross other than just the suffering, the cruelty and the dying.

And what I want to do is show you just a part of the crucifixion that the people in the day the crucifixion took place apparently did not comprehend.

Look at the passage that was read again and notice starting in verse 32.

32 The soldiers therefore came, and broke the legs of the first man, and of the other man who was crucified with Him; 33 but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs;

Now, as far as I know this is the only mention in the gospel accounts of the fact that they did not break Jesus’ legs.

And according to some scholars, the reason they would break their legs is because what the people who were crucified could do is push up with their legs which enabled them to catch their breath…and to relieve the discomfort some.

That may be true, but one thing is for sure, by breaking their legs that increased the injury and often sent the body into deeper shock.

So, they were checking each one who had been crucified and if they were still alive, they were breaking their legs…but when they came to Jesus…He was already dead…and so they didn’t break His legs.

But there is something more significant to the fact that they didn’t break His legs than just the fact that He was already dead.

The fact that they didn’t break His legs or His bones is a fulfillment of Scripture.

Well, look at Psalm 34: 20.

 20 He keeps all his bones; Not one of them is broken.

Well, look at the context of these words starting in verse 19:

 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous; But the LORD delivers him out of them all.  20 He keeps all his bones; Not one of them is broken.

But John says, “That is not at all that He was. The fact that they didn’t break His bones is God’s way of declaring Him as being “innocent” or “righteous.”

But there is more. Look at verse 21:  Evil shall slay the wicked; And those who hate the righteous will be condemned. 22 The LORD redeems the soul of His servants; And none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.

The fact that Jesus’ legs were not broken declared Him as righteous and those who crucified Him as wicked!

When word came to them that they didn’t have to break Jesus’ legs that should have said something to them!

Look at this. In Acts 2 starting in verse 22, the apostle Peter tells these very same people what they did…and who it was they had crucified.

Listen, most of the people still refused to acknowledge their sin.

And that begs us to ask the question today…what about you/I?

This whole thing took place so that you may be saved.

But there is more behind the fact that they did not “break his legs.”

By the time you get to chapter 12 here, God has already tried 9 times to get Pharaoh to let His people go.

But God would make provision for His people to escape this plague of death.

It was to be a male lamb…symbolic of strength.

And on the 14th day of the month, all the people together, every household together, was to kill their lamb just at twilight.

And I want you to notice now verse 46:

It is to be eaten in a single house; your are not to bring forth any of the flesh outside the house, nor are you to break any bone of it.”

 Now, if they obeyed these instructions look at what would happen; vs. 13.

“And the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.”

This was their only way of escape!

This “Passover Lamb” was God’s will, and it was their only way of escape from death and bondage.

Now, none of this would have any bearing on us if it were not for these words found in 1 Cor. 5: 7 where Paul says that “Christ is our Passover.”

You see, back in Exodus, the Israelites weren’t allowed to have altars to offer up sacrifices on.

And because Paul says that Christ is our Passover…and His blood was shed on the cross…that makes the cross an altar.

And that is another reason why His legs were not broken!

Now, once again, there are two sides to this.

But now, here is the other side of the picture.

And the question is: What about you?

 

Four Reasons To Follow Jesus

FOUR REASONS TO FOLLOW JESUS

John 1:35-42

Look again at verses 35-37: Again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and he looked upon Jesus as He walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” 37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.

And let me tell you they did more than just follow Jesus.

 Perhaps for the same reasons these two disciples did.

Again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and he looked upon Jesus as He walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”

But wait a minute…people will tell you to do a lot of things!

Well, John wasn’t just someone…look back up in verse 19.

But look at who he does say he is: “I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’

And one of the reasons these two disciples followed after Jesus is because they were told to…but not just because they were told to…but because of who told them.

Look at the second reason we need to follow Jesus is found at the end of verse 36. John says, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”

 But He isn’t just the “Lamb of God.” Look back at verse 29.

But what was really significant here is they weren’t offering up the lamb…God was!

And the same is true for us.

There is a third reason why we should follow Jesus…look at verse 37.

And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38 And Jesus turned, and beheld them following, and said to them, “What do you seek?” And they said to Him, “Rabbi (which translated means Teacher), where are You staying?”

And notice what they say, “Where are you staying?”

These two disciples wanted to know more about Jesus…what He was like…what He taught.

And that is the reason why we need to follow Him too.

And it isn’t enough to take a turn with Jesus now and then.

If we really want to see things as they really are…we need to follow Jesus.

Then one more reason why we need to follow Jesus…look at verse 39:

He said to them, “Come, and you will see.” They came therefore and saw where He was staying; and they stayed with Him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.

 It may not have been the best accommodations…they may have gone to a stable…perhaps to a storeroom…

These two disciples followed Jesus because of the blessing…the comfort…the peace and that joy that came from being with Him…and that is the reason we need to follow Him too.

They followed Jesus because they were told too by John.

Have you been following Jesus?

Will you repent?

Can You Prove Who You Are

CAN YOU PROVE WHO YOU ARE?

John 5: 18-24

Here in this passage that we just read the sharks are circling.

But Jesus still tries to get them to understand…and to change their minds.

And so beginning in verse 19,  Jesus answers His critics…He makes His case…and He gives them more evidence…and more reasons why they should believe that He is who He claims to be.

So, let’s begin by looking again at Jesus’ claims.

In verses 19-23, seven times, Jesus says that He is the “Son of God.”

And so what you have here is Jesus, trying to get these men who have already passed judgment on Him, who have already decided that He should die…to change their minds by making these powerful claims: “I am the Son of God; I am the giver of life, “I am the eternal judge.”

Well, you can only imagine what must have been going on in the minds of His critics and enemies?

Well, Jesus continues to try. Look at verse 31: “If I alone bear witness of Myself, My testimony is not true.”

So look at what He does starting in verse 32. Jesus says: “There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the testimony which He bears of Me is true.”

 Look at His first witness found in verses 33-35…it is John the Baptist. Jesus says: “You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth.”

 Jesus is saying to His Jewish critics, “You went out and heard John preach. And you heard John say that someone was coming after him…one who was greater than he was…someone whose sandals he wasn’t even worthy to tie.”

But then Jesus has another witness to testify to or confirm His claims of being the Christ. Look at verse 36.

But the witness which I have is greater than that of John;

 “You Jewish leaders, if you don’t want to believe what I have said, and if you don’t want to believe what John said, just think about My works.”

But Jesus keeps going…trying to get these people to believe. Look at His next witness found in verse 37:

“And the Father who sent Me, He has borne witness of Me.”

And Jesus keeps going in verse 39 and on through verses 45 and 46…and He says, “If you will not believe what I say, and you will not believe what John said about Me, and if you will not believe the works that I do, and if you will not believe the Father when He called Me His Son, will you believe the scriptures and the things that Moses wrote?”

 Jesus tells these Jewish leaders, “You know the scriptures…you read them…you know what Moses said…and what Isaiah said about Me…and Jeremiah…and you know how they talked about My birth, and my suffering, and my ministry, and my death…and my resurrection…”

Jesus made these claims: “I am the Son of God, I am the giver of life, I am the judge.”

“If you won’t believe Jesus Himself when He claims to be the Son of God, the giver of life, and the eternal judge…will  you believe what these witnesses say?”

In our court system today it is a dangerous thing to refuse to believe the evidence and witnesses.

 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Now, there is another question that I want to ask in reference to what has taken place here.

I read in Eph. 3: 10 that those of us who claim to be  “the church” or who claim to be  Christians that we are to take God’s wisdom that has been summed up in Christ to a world that needs Christ.

And I read in 1 John 1: 7 that those of us who claim to be Christians are to “walk in the light as He Himself is in the light”…

And what about Eph. 5: 3-5…where Paul is talking to Christians and he says:

But do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints; 4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

And I read that…and that is the way that Christians are supposed to be…

Then I read in John 13: 35 that “all men will know we are disciples of Jesus by the way we love one another.”

And I read in Acts 20:7 that the followers of Christ were “gathered on the first day of the week” and I wonder, does your attendance in the assemblies…and my attendance in the assemblies prove that we are who we claim to be?

One more, Philippians 4: 4…the apostle Paul says, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice.”

Are we the people that we claim to be…and more than that…can we prove it?

In closing, there are two things I want you to take home with you.

And then the second thing I want you to take home with you is this:

The Miracle At Cana

THE MIRACLE AT CANA

John 2:1-11

 

John wrote this gospel after all the other gospels had been written and his purpose for writing was to try, once again, to convince people that Jesus was truly the Son of God.

So, what John does in this book is he gives us a collection of supporting proofs that Jesus was who He claimed to be. Some of those proofs are verbal proofs; or the inspired words of John himself; the testimony of John the Baptizer; and you have the words of some of the Old Testament prophets; and then you have the verbal testimony of Andrew, Peter, and Philip.

So John gives us verbal testimony confirming that Christ is the Son of God but he also gives us physical signs or miracles. In this gospel he gives us 8 miracles that confirm who Jesus is and the first one is found here in chapter 2.

 So, let’s look at this first miracle; let’s begin with the PARTY.

And the bridegroom would have the full responsibility for the cost of the wedding.

Now, look at vs. 2 tells us that Jesus was “invited.”

But Jesus was “invited” to this wedding and the fact that Jesus attended this wedding and the fact that He performed His first miracle at a wedding emphasizes the sanctity of marriage.

In fact, any society that honors marriage; any society that elevates marriage; any society that honors a life-long commitment made and kept between a man and woman, and who rear children in the bond of love; that society will prosper; it will be secure; it will know peace.

So, Jesus attends this wedding; and His mother is there and that is no surprise because Mary had lived in Nazareth for several years; and Nazareth is only about 9 miles away and they would have known the people just up the road; possible related to some of them.

So, this wedding celebration is in full swing; everyone is having a wonderful time; but then there is a PROBLEM. In vs. 3 the “wine runs out.”

Now, what about the wine? I think it is interesting that a lot of people do not even see the miracle that takes place; they don’t even see Jesus as the Son of God; what they see in this event is justification to drink! To imbibe alcohol.

So, they run out of wine at this wedding celebration and that is a catastrophic embarrassment; and in vs. 3 Mary says to Jesus, “They have no wine.”

Well think about it this way. Jesus is somewhere around 30 years old and up to this time if Mary ever had a problem who do you think she turned to?

And look at vs. 4 how Jesus responds. Jesus says, “Woman…”

Because He is telling her that their relationship has changed; He is telling her that they don’t have the same relationship that they have had up until now; It’s over.

She is no longer in a position to act as an authority in His life; she is no longer in a position to tell Him what to do; to make suggestions to Him.

This would be a big change because He has probably done everything she has ever asked Him to do; He did those things out of love; but now she could no longer demand anything of Him; He was to be about His Father’s business.

By the way, what Jesus does here refutes the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching of asking Mary to plead with Jesus for the things you desire because Jesus cannot refuse Mary; Mary is not in a position of authority over Jesus.

Then Jesus says in vs. 4, “My hour has not come.”

And with that Mary bows out and she says to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”

And with that Jesus takes care of the problem. Look at vs. 6: Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each.

 Now, vs. 7: Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim.

You now have people who are completely disinterested parties who are now going to give testimony to this miracle; they don’t have any stake in this issue; they are not trying to prove anything about Jesus one way or another.

Now verse 8: And He (Jesus) said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the headwaiter.” And they took it to him.

 Now, vs. 9: And when the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew) the headwaiter called the bridegroom; 10 and said to Him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when men have drunk freely, then that which is poorer, you have kept the good wine until now.”

But in this instance, there are no grapes; no vines; no seeds; no sunlight; no earth; there is no crushing or straining; there is nothing but pots of water.

And you have these people who are completely disinterested eyewitnesses of that has just taken place; and they could have come back and said, “This is a lie. It didn’t happen!”; but they didn’t.

So you have this testimony of a creative miracle coming from the mouth of people who have no stake in trying to prove anything about Jesus.

 Now, let me separate you all in three groups. You will be in one of these three groups.

In vs. 11 it says that “His disciples believed in Him.” That is group number one.

Look at John 12:37: Though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they were not believing in Him.” This is group number 2.

And then there is group number 3. In John 12:42: Nevertheless, many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue, 43 for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.

 Everyone of us is in one of these three groups; We either believe; or we don’t believe; or we are not willing to pay the price to trust in Christ.