The Death of Jesus

John 19:28-37

Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crossesduring the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. 36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled:“Not one of his bones will be broken,” 37 and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”

The Death of Jesus  

Along with the sovereignty and compassion of Jesus, John makes the substitutionary atonement of Jesus unambiguously central in his narration of the passion. Jesus didn’t just take Barabbas’s place on the cross (18:40), he substituted himself for all those he came to save.

Jesus’ thirst (19:28) was the thirst of the Messiah, anticipated in Psalm 22:15–18. But it was also our thirst. Jesus became thirsty for us so that we would never thirst again (cf. John 4:14). His bones remained unbroken because Jesus died as the Passover Lamb (Ex. 12.46; Num. 9:12). Jesus wasn’t just crucified between criminals, but for criminals as a criminal. God “made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21).

Because Jesus cried, “It is finished,” and gave up his spirit, we now shout, “Hallelujah!” and receive his Spirit. Everything promised—everything needful for our redemption and for the coming “new world” (Matt. 19:28), was accomplished. Nothing was left undone.

Jesus’ garments were not torn, because, unlike the first Israel, his kingdom will never be divided (1 Kings 11:29–31). “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever” (Rev. 11:15).

*These devos are taken from Crossway's, ESV Gospel Transformation Bible.