I. "THE JEWS THEREFORE, BECAUSE IT WAS THE PREPARATION."
A. That is the preparation for the Sabbath day.
1. It takes quite a bit of preparation for the Sabbath day. Inasmuch as they cannot kindle any fires on the Sabbath, and can do no work, all of the food must be prepared the day before.
a. Today, they plug in and turn on all the appliances they plan on using on the Sabbath.
b. They usually have a pot of hot water plugged in.
c. All of the food must be prepared in advance.
d. They are allowed to serve the food on the Sabbath, but cannot prepare it.
2. John tells us that this was the high day; i.e., the high day of the feast.
a. In Numbers 28:16
, we read, "Now the fourteenth day of the first month is the passover of the Lord. And in the fifteenth day of this month is the feast. Seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten. In the first day shall be a holy convocation, you shall do no manner of servile work therein. Verse 25, "And on the seventh day ye shall have an holy convocation, you shall do no servile work therein."
b. The fifteenth day was the first day of the feast, the feast was for seven days until the 21st day of the month. The first day of the feast and the last day of the feast were Sabbath days in which no servile work was to be done.
c. The Passover lamb was slain on the fourteenth day of the month.
d. The fifteenth day of the month began at sundown, thus the feast was that evening after the crucifixion of Jesus.
3. This was the reason for the desire to hasten the death of the prisoners so that they would not be hanging on the crosses on the Sabbath day. Not the weekly sabbath day that came on Saturday, but the high Sabbath day that came on the 15th of the month.
4. Our calendar is based on the time it takes the earth to rotate around the sun.
5. The Jewish calendar was based upon the time it takes the moon to complete its phases, or 29-day months.
6. Because Easter is the traditional celebration of the resurrection of Jesus by the church, the date for the celebration takes place on the first Sunday after the first full moon after March 21st.
7. The Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar, and the month begins of the first day of the new moon. Thus, the full moon is usually equated with the Passover for it appears between the fourteenth and fifteenth day of each month.
8. The Passover meal was to be eaten on the evening of the fourteenth day. Jesus had the passover meal with His disciples on the evening of the fourteenth day. The Jewish day begins with evening, thus it was still the passover day when Jesus was crucified. The fifteenth day would begin at the next evening.
9. According to Sir Robert Anderson, in the year 32 A.D., Jesus made His triumphant entry on Sunday, April 6th. This, in the year of 32 A.D., would have been on the 10th of Nisan of the Jewish calendar.
10. This would have meant that Jesus had the passover meal on the fourteenth with His disciples, which would have been on Wednesday evening, as the day begins at sundown. Later on that day, after the sun came up He would have been crucified.
11. The high Sabbath would have begun at sundown on the fifteenth which would have been Thursday night, which was the beginning of the high Sabbath. The next day, the sixteenth, would have been the weekly Sabbath, and the women came early in the morning of the first day of the week to the tomb, which was a Sunday morning.
II. THEY SOUGHT PILATE THAT THEIR LEGS MIGHT BE BROKEN IN ORDER TO HASTEN THEIR DEATHS, THAT THEY MIGHT REMOVE THE BODIES BEFORE THE SABBATH DAY.
A. The word broken in the Greek is literally cracked apart, or splintered.
1. For this purpose they used an iron pipe or a large mall.
2. The excruciating pain hastened the death.
3. Otherwise, a person could hang for as many as five days before dying. It was usually two or three days.
B. They splintered the legs of the two that were hanging on either side of Jesus, but when they came to Jesus they found that He was already dead and did not break His legs.
1. Herein was a prophecy fulfilled from Psalm 34:20
, "A bone of Him shall not be broken."
Ye shall not offer unto the LORD that which is bruised, or crushed, or broken, or cut; neither shall ye make [any offering thereof] in your land.
2. When the Lord gave them the commandment concerning the Passover lamb, He declared in Exodus 12:46
, "In one house shall it be eaten; you shall not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall you break a bone thereof."
3. In Numbers 9:12
: "They shall leave none of it unto the morning, nor break any bone of it according to all the ordinances of the passover they shall keep it."
C. "But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced His side, and forthwith came there out blood and water."
1. His intention was no doubt to guarantee the death of Jesus by piercing Him through the heart with his spear.
2. The blood and the water indicate that from a medical standpoint Jesus probably died of a ruptured heart, or a broken heart. When the heart is ruptured the sac around it fills with a clear fluid that looks like water.
3. The scripture speaks so much of our being cleansed from our sins by the blood of Jesus Christ.
D. In this action, the soldier fulfilled another prophecy, "And they shall look on Him whom they pierced." Zech. 12:10
E. John tells us that he saw it and bares record, and his record is true; and that he knows that what he has said is true, that you might believe.