Matthew 27:57-6-; Mark 15:42-46; Luke 23:50-54; John 19:31-37
These things happened in fulfillment of the Scriptures that say, "Not one of this bones will be broken," and "They will look on the one they have pierced." – John 19:36-37 NLT
The death of Jesus was a well-orchestrated event, planned by God Himself and implemented with divine precision and detail. Nothing was overlooked or left to chance. At no point in the proceedings was God ever out of control or having to hastily respond to the plans of men. From the moment of His birth, Jesus' entire life was predetermined by God. Even the timing of His death was part of God's plan. And every single event that surrounded His death, while chaotic in appearance, was methodically thought out and controlled by God. And it had all been predicted by God through His prophets, hundreds of years earlier. Isaiah, referring to the Messiah, wrote "He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man's grave" (Isaiah 53:9 NLT). And we read in the Gospel accounts that Joseph of Arimethea, a rich man and member of the Jewish high council who had been secret follower of Jesus, went to Pilate and asked for permission to take the body of Jesus for burial. Matthew tells us that Joseph placed the body of Jesus in his own newly carved tomb. God the Father was not going to allow His Son's body to be placed in a common burial plot for criminals. He would be buried in a rich man's tomb. The prophet Zechariah had written hundreds of years earlier, "They will look on me on whom they have pierced and mourn for him as an only son. They will grieve bitterly for him as for a firstborn son who has died" (Zechariah 12:10 NLT). This was another Messianic prophecy, speaking of the one for whom the Israelites had long awaited. And we read in the book of John that the Roman guards, in an attempt to guarantee Jesus' death, "pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out" (John 19:34 NLT). And because the Jewish religious leaders wanted the bodies of Jesus and the two criminals who were crucified along with Him taken down before the Sabbath, the Roman guards broke their legs to hasten their deaths. But because Jesus was already dead, His legs were left intact. This was in direct fulfillment of the words of David found in Psalm 34: "He protects all his bones; not one of them is broken" (Psalm 34:20 NET).
John tells us that "these things happened in fulfillment of the Scriptures." The death of Jesus had been predicted because it had been predetermined. It was all part of God's divine plan for redeeming a lost and dying world. It was necessary in order for man's guilt to be dealt with and God's wrath to be satisfied. All of these things happened just as God had planned them to happen. And John tells us that what he wrote in his account was "from an eyewitness giving an accurate account. He speaks the truth so that you also can believe" (John 19:35 NLT). There was method to the madness. There was a purpose behind it all. As gruesome and hideous as the death of Jesus was, it was necessary. It was the only way for God to deal with sin and still be able to save the sinner. Isaiah reminds us that Jesus "was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God's paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all" (Isaiah 53:5-6 NLT). What Jesus suffered, God ordained. All so that we could be saved.
Father, what an incredible, amazing plan. I can't even begin to understand it all. But the detail and the precision of it all is mind-blowing. This was not just some random act of violence or injustice. This was Your divine plan for man's redemption being acted out in human history. Down to the last detail. Thank You! Amen.