August 13, 2016

John 19:31-37

The Roman soldiers on Golgotha that day were experienced executioners. They could tell from their many previous crucifixions whether a man was dead or alive. They broke the legs of the two criminals crucified on either side of Jesus to hasten their death. With their legs broken, they could not lift themselves to catch a breath and therefore soon suffocated.

But when the soldiers came to Jesus, they did not break his legs. Why?

And, to assure themselves they had performed their duty to the full, one of the soldiers checked further. What extra step did he take to make certain Jesus was dead (19:34)?

Some people say Jesus didn’t really die on the cross, that he merely “swooned” or passed out. But the Roman soldiers were professionals. They knew what they were doing. Failure to perform their duty would have been severely punished. And all they did that day was observed and documented by the gospel writer, John.

Why do you suppose God took such care to demonstrate the fact that Jesus truly did die on the cross?