What is the significance in Jesus being pierced on the cross versus having his legs broken?


John 19:34

ESV - 34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.

Clarify Share Report Asked September 30 2015 Mini Stewart Butler

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Mini Jennell Houts
The significance is that it fulfilled Messianic scripture. John 19:35-37 says "And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, “Not one of His bones shall be broken.” And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.”

The Old Testament scriptures that are referenced here are Exodus 12:46; Numbers 9:12; Psalm 34:20; Zechariah 12:10. Jesus said repeatedly through the gospels that He came to fulfill scriptures that were written about Him.

Normally, when people were crucified by the Romans, if they didn't die quick enough, the soldiers would break the legs of the crucified so they couldn't raise themselves up to breathe anymore (and they would suffocate). But when soldiers came to break Jesus's legs, he was already dead, so they didn't bother.

Because He was pierced and none of His bones were broken, these are just 2 more confirmations (among many, many more) that Jesus truly is the Jewish Messiah, the Christ, according to scripture.

October 01 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
In giving the rules for observing the Passover to Israel in the Old Testament, God specified in Exodus 12 that each Israelite household was to kill a lamb by cutting its throat, and then to apply the lamb's blood to the doorposts of the house. The blood served as a visible sign to God to spare the first-born of each household in Israel when He passed through the land that night, and killed all the first-born of Egypt.

God also specified in Exodus 12:46 (and, later, in Numbers 9:12, as well) that no bones of the Passover lamb were to be broken in the process of killing it and eating it. 

The Passover lamb was a prophetic foreshadowing of the ultimate and final salvation (that is, a saving from eternal death) that God would make possible not just for Israel, but for all mankind, by the sinless life (in the same way that the Passover lamb had been symbolic of purity or innocence), undeserved suffering, and sacrificial death of Jesus, who was God incarnate, and to whom the New Testament refers in multiple passages (such as John 1:29) as "the Lamb of God". Jesus performed the same role in shedding His blood for the forgiveness of sins that the blood of the Passover lamb did in sparing the Israelites.

The Romans normally broke the legs of those whom they crucified in order to hasten their deaths, since, after their legs were broken, they would not be able to push themselves upward on the cross in order to be able to breathe in the crucified position, and they would thus rapidly die of asphyxiation. However, by the time the Roman soldiers at the crucifixion came to break the legs of Jesus and the two others who had been crucified with Him, they did not break Jesus' legs, since He was already dead. (This further identified Jesus in His role as the ultimate fulfillment of the symbolism of the Passover lamb.)

Instead, one of the soldiers (in order to assure beyond doubt that Jesus was dead) pierced Jesus' side with a spear, which penetrated the pericardium (the membrane surrounding the heart), and caused collected blood and water to flow out of the wound in Jesus' side. The fact that Jesus was wounded in this manner fulfilled another prophetic passage in Zechariah 12:10.

This also illustrates how God uses even people who know nothing of Him (such as the Roman soldiers) to carry out His prophesied purposes (as He also did, for example, when Augustus Caesar issued the decree in Luke 2 that resulted in Joseph and Mary traveling from Nazareth to Bethlehem, so that Jesus would be born there; or when Jesus died by the Roman practice of crucifixion, in fulfillment of Psalm 22).

October 01 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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