“Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day (for Passover), so that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that the bodies might be taken away. Then the soldiers came and broke the leg of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs…For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, ‘Not one of His bones shall be broken.'” (John 19:31-33,36)
When I ponder the mysteries of God – the wisdom and complexities – I stand in awe. The Old Testament and New Testament are woven together, supporting one another, creating God’s plan of salvation! One does not replace the other, they are completely intertwined.
To hasten the death of those who were crucified, soldiers routinely broke their legs. Once their legs were broken, the victims could no longer ease the strain on their arms and chests. Breathing became next to impossible, hastening death. “But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.” Why is this significant? Because the New Testament is the fulfillment of the Old. Jesus is our Passover Lamb. Because of His blood, death no longer has control over us, the destroyer is rendered powerless, he must pass us by.
Watch how the Lord weaves it all together.
In Exodus 12, God is giving His commandments for the Passover observance. Verse 46 instructs the Israelites, “…nor shall you break one of its bones,’ referring to the Passover Lamb. Psalm 34:20 states, “He (God) GUARDS all his (the Righteous One) bones, not one of them is broken.”
God ordained through His Word that when Jesus, the perfect lamb of God suffered and died for our sins, His death would come before the soldiers could break His legs. Jesus HAD to remain perfect, without blemish, in order to be the perfect sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto the Lord.
Holiness. Can we fathom it? Can we imagine an event of such magnitude that EVERYTHING must be subject to the Word of God? His Word goes forth and will not return void. It must accomplish that for which it was sent. (Isaiah 55:11) If Jesus’ body had become less than perfect, God could not have accepted the sacrifice that would forever be the atonement for our sins. We would remain separated from a Holy God with no way to approach Him.
God’s Word changes not. Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God, would die in perfection for the forgiveness of our sins, holy and acceptable to the Lord.
Lord Jesus, what can we say? Your sacrifice – Your agony – was for us. You made it possible for us to approach a Holy God, Master and Creator of the universe. Amazing. It feels like “thank you” is not enough. May we respond with thankfulness by loving and serving You all the days of our lives, never taking You for granted.