A Spear in His Side

Jesus died on a Cross on Friday, the 7th of April, 30 A.D., at around 15:00. At 18:00 the great Sabbath of the Pesach feast would take place, and the bodies of those who had been crucified needed to be removed. Members of the Sanhedrin went to Pilate with the request to have the crucifixions ended by breaking the lower legs of the convicts with an iron rod, the so-called crurifragium (literally ‘the leg-breaker’).Usually the victim would die within 15 minutes, because he would no longer be able to push his body upwards to relieve the stress on his arms, causing him to be unable to breath and therefore suffocate.

The soldiers broke the legs of the two felons, who died of suffocation. They did not need to break Jesus’ legs, as He had already died. One of the soldiers did shove a spear into Jesus’ side. Immediately blood and water came out. At that moment something took place which had already been prophesied many years earlier:

‘He protects all of his bones. Not one of them is broken’76.

‘They will look at the one whom they stabbed to death’77.

Why did the Roman soldier pierce Jesus’ side? What was the use of piercing Him when He had already died? Why on earth would he do that? Just as the scourging and Him being crowned with a crown of thorns, this piercing of Jesus’ side did not take place by accident. With this prophetic act the Great Director wants to make clear to us what the wonder of the Cross means to us. At the moment the spear pierced Jesus’ side, your old man died. The blood of Jesus frees you from your sins. The Cross frees you from your sinful nature. And that is a supernatural miracle.

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