Why Jesus’ Legs were not Broken

In the Bible there are hundreds of predictions about the birth, life and death of Jesus, which all came to pass, every one of them. The occurrences in the last eighteen hours of Jesus’ life were prophesied centuries earlier. The most important prophecy about the death of Jesus is found in Psalms 34:20: ‘He protects all of his bones. Not one of them is broken.’

After Jesus’ back had been ripped open due to the scourging, you could see all of the tendons and muscles. The Bible says: ‘Many people were shocked when they saw Him; He was so disfigured that He hardly looked human’69. Jesus hung on the Cross as a hump of raw meat. His own mother no longer recognised Him. Why would it matter whether or not His legs were broken?

The Jewish leaders asked the Roman governor to end the crucifixion at the end of the day by breaking the lower leg bones of the convict with an iron rod. Usually the victim would die within 15 minutes, because he could no longer push his body up to relieve his arms, causing him to eventually suffocate. The soldiers broke the legs of the two criminals, who would die of suffocation within a short amount of time. But when the soldier came to Jesus, he saw that Jesus had already died. The last words of Jesus were: ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!’70. Up until the last moment, Jesus was in complete control of the situation.

If the soldiers had broken Jesus’ legs, then Jesus’ death would have been the work of man. The prophecy in Psalm 34 tells us that Jesus’ death was the work of God alone. They did not murder Jesus. He gave His life voluntarily out of love for you.

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