“And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘This is the statute of the Passover: no foreigner shall eat of it, but every slave that is bought for money may eat of it after you have circumcised him. No foreigner or hired worker may eat of it. It shall be eaten in one house; you shall not take any of the flesh outside the house, and you shall not break any of its bones.’” Exodus 12:43-46 (ESV)
When my second son was three years old, I was videotaping him dancing in our office. He was jumping and spinning and having fun. All of a sudden, he stopped and started screaming. It was a different kind of scream. The kind when you know that something is really wrong. As it turned out, he had broken his leg. On one of his spin moves, his leg had stopped, but his body had not.
I watched the videotape back later. I wondered if I would be able to tell when he broke his leg on the video. Yep! The crack of the broken bone is very loud. There was no doubt watching back the video that his leg was broken.
If you have been reading my blog for the last thirty-eight days, I’m hoping that you realize by now that Jesus fulfilled each part of the Passover Lamb and the burnt offering. Every detail of those sacrifices was a foreshadowing of the crucifixion.
Often when someone was crucified, they would eventually need to break the person’s legs in order for them to finally die. This would prevent the person from being able to push themselves up to take another breath. But Jesus could not have his bones broken if he was going to fulfill prophecy.
“Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness- his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth- that you also may believe. For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: ‘Not one of his bones will be broken.’ And again another Scripture says, ‘They will look on him whom they have pierced.’” (John 19:31-37)
Now, I’m not a doctor, but from what I understand that fact that blood and water flowed from Jesus’ pierced side proved that he was already dead. His legs did not need to be broken. We can see from the other two criminals who were crucified at the same time as Jesus that it was normal to need to break their legs. It was supernatural that Jesus died as quickly as he did- even with all the torture he had already endured.
God the Father did not let Jesus endure one more minute of pain than was necessary to provide salvation for our sins. Even in death, Jesus is Lord. Jesus fulfilled each piece of the law and became the complete sacrifice for our sins. He then proclaimed, “’It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.’” (John 19:30)
Personal Reflection: Why do you think God did not allow any of Jesus’ bones to be broken? (Besides to fulfill prophecy)