John 19:23–30, 38–42 comment (0)
February 6, 2014
By Dale Younce
Related Scripture: John 19:23–30, 38–42
Explore the Bible
Professor of Christian Ministries, University of Mobile
OUR SAVIOR: CRUCIFIED!
John 19:23–30, 38–42
As society becomes increasingly secular, fewer Americans know even the bare historical facts regarding Jesus’ death on the cross, much less the saving significance of His death. Christians by definition believe that Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross is the means by which the forgiveness of their sins was secured. Studying this lesson gives Christians an opportunity to reaffirm their devotion to Jesus and for some adults to trust Jesus as their personal Savior and so receive forgiveness of their sins.
Examine the Scriptures’ Fulfillment (23–24)
Crucifixion was a most cruel and degrading Roman means of carrying out capital punishment. Normally a squad of four Roman soldiers, who were experts in crucifixion, stripped the victim of his clothing. After nailing Jesus’ arms to the crosspiece, the soldiers lifted the crosspiece and attached it to the upright part of the cross. When this was completed, Jesus’ feet were 12 to 18 inches off the ground. The soldiers then took Jesus’ clothing, divided them into four parts — to each soldier a part. They took His tunic (a garment worn next to the body, extending below the knee, usually sown together with strips of linen or cotton). His tunic was different: it was seamless, woven from the top in one piece. So the soldiers gambled for the tunic. These soldiers had no idea that they were fulfilling the Old Testament Psalm 22:18. Psalm 22:1 also was a prophecy in which Jesus’ cry of abandonment on the cross was foretold (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34). When we examine the number of prophecies in the Scriptures that were in connection with Jesus’ death, we can be assured that He is the Savior and is worthy of our utmost devotion.
Appreciate the Savior’s Tender Care (25–27)
A group of four women, along with the apostle John, stood near the cross: (1) Mary, the mother of Jesus; (2) His mother’s sister Salome, the wife of Zebedee and the mother of James and John (Mark 15:40; Matt. 27:56–57); (3) Mary, the wife of Cleophas and the mother of James the younger and Joses (Matt. 27:56) and (4) Mary Magdalene. Jesus, despite His suffering, did not forget His responsibility to His mother. As the eldest son, He was entrusting the care of His mother to the apostle John. While He was dying for the sins of the world, He did not neglect her.
Affirm the Savior’s Finished Work (28–30)
Between verses 27 and 28 we have the three hours of darkness, from noon to 3 p.m. (Matt. 27:45–46). It was during this time period that Jesus was forsaken by God as He suffered the penalty of our sins. At the end of that period, Jesus, fully conscious and aware of what was happening, cried out, “I thirst.” He needed His lips and mouth moistened in order to shout His next statement, “It is finished.” The entire work of redemption had been brought to completion; He had finished the work His Father had given Him to do. The single Greek word translated here as “it is finished” was used by merchants to mean “The debt is paid in full.” Then Jesus handed over His spirit as an act of His will; His death was voluntary. He determined the time of His death in full control of His faculties. We can show our full devotion to Jesus as Savior by affirming that He completed the work God gave Him to do through His sacrificial death on the cross.
Show Devotion to the Savior (38–42)
Joseph of Arimathea, a fearful follower of Jesus, now boldly stepped forward to claim the body of Jesus for burial. By doing this, he exposed himself to criticism, persecution and violence. In preparation of the body for burial, he was joined by Nicodemus. Joseph donated his own newly constructed tomb in a garden for the burial. Even in times when we are afraid of what others may say or do in reaction to our demonstration of faith, we are to be bold in showing our devotion to Jesus as Savior.