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Daily Worship


April 16 | John 19:28-42


John 19:28-42

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Day of Preparation

by Mary Alice McGinnis

Tomorrow is Sunday. But not just any Sunday, but a special Sunday.

I am sure many of you are preparing something really special to celebrate this Easter Sunday!

It was not by mistake that Good Friday happened on the Day of Preparation, the day before a “Special Sabbath” – the celebration of Passover.

When the children of Israel were enslaved in Egypt, Moses went to Pharaoh, advocating to “Let my people go!” But Pharaoh refused, and God sent ten plagues upon the land of Egypt. The tenth plague was the death of every first-born male in the land. God instructed the children of Israel to paint the doorpost of their houses with the blood of a spotless lamb. The lamb’s blood would protect them, and the Angel of Death would “Passover” their home.

In Exodus 12, God institutes the festival of Passover, to remind the Israelites what God had done to set them free:

“Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. . . Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year.’” (vs 3, 5)

On Good Friday, the very Jewish leaders who had persuaded Pilate to crucify Jesus, now were concerned about creating a spectacle. They did not want any dead bodies hanging around on crosses during their special Passover celebration. So, they requested that Pilate have the legs of the crucified victims be broken. This would cause those being crucified to die more quickly by suffocation under their own body weight.

When the Roman soldier came to break Jesus’ legs, He was already dead. The Soldier instead took his sword and pierced Jesus in the side, so that blood mixed with water trickled out.

John says, “These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled; ‘Not one of His bones will be broken,’ and, as another scripture says, ‘They will look on the one they have pierced.’”

The significance is not lost on John.

He recalled from Exodus 12 where it says: And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover . . . In one house it shall be eaten; you shall not carry any of the flesh outside the house, nor shall you break one of its bones.” (vs :43, 46)

Also in Psalm 34:8, David declares, “He guards all His bone; not one of them is broken.