Wednesday, July 19, 2006

So That You May Believe

On July 11th, in the post entitled, "The Never Ending Story," I wrote:

"The part of the book known as the Old Testament is filled with references to One who was to come, who we recognize as Jesus.

God gave specific clues, prophesies, about parts of his life, things that would happen to him, so that when we saw that they happened, we would recognize him and say, "Ah, he's the One!"

In Exodus 12:46 God gave instructions to Moses about the Passover Lamb, "Do not break any of the bones." There was no explanation, simply an instruction, but a thread was started there that leads the searching reader to Jesus, the One of whom John the Baptist said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29)

The thread continues in Psalm 34:20:
"He protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken." This verse was quoted by the apostle John, who was an eye witness to the crucifixion of Jesus and who saw before his eys, something happening that could not have been planned for, but which he recognized as scripture coming to life before his very eyes.

In the nineteenth chapter of his gospel, John notes that it was Friday, the day of preparation for the special Sabbath, the Passover celebration. The Jews requested of Pilate, the Roman governor, that he have the legs of the dying men broken, in order to speed up the slow process of death by crucifixion. Not an act of mercy, but so that the bodies would not remain on the crosses on the Sabbath. The soldiers broke the legs of both of the men crucified with Jesus, but coming to him and finding him already dead, instead of breaking his legs, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear.

John writes in John 19:35-37
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 may believe. These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: "Not one of his bones will be broken," and as another scripture says, "They will look on the one they have pierced." (Zechariah 12:10)

John was careful to record, not just here but in the other books he wrote, the events he was an eye witness to, so that those who would come after him would believe.

Prayer: Dear Father, I thank you for the treasure of your Word and the way you reveal yourself and your plan of salvation, from beginning to end.

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