Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 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. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. 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 crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 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. 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.” Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
As Jesus hung on the cross, He was experiencing the absolute worst physical pain imaginable. He had been given 39 harsh lashes, a crown of thorns had pierced the top of his head, He was spit on, ridiculed and iron spikes driven through His hands and His feet. Then, he hung on the cross for three hours, being mocked, dehydrated, and tortured as He was gasping for each breath. With Jesus last breath He pronounced, “It is finished.” The Greek word here is “teleioō.” It means to become thoroughly or entirely accomplished; becoming perfect or complete. The prophecies that were spoken about Him up until his death were completed. Let’s look at some of the fulfillments of Old Testament prophecies referring to Jesus’ death. These are important to note because it is evidence that God is who He says he is and does what He says He will do. Three of these fulfillments of prophecy that were in these verses are:
You are loved.
Billy Graham once said, “... the thing that kept Christ on that cross was love, not the nail.” There is a short story told from long ago, “I asked Jesus, ‘How much do you love me?’ He stretched out his arms on the cross and said, ‘This much.’ Then, he died.” In John 15:12-13, it is noted that Jesus said, “Love each other just as I have loved you. No one can have greater love than to give his life for his friends.” This is what He did for you, my friend, He gave his very life. You are loved. I encourage you to remember every day about what happened on the cross: the prophecies fulfilled and the price Jesus paid for your salvation because He longs to be with you for eternity and thinks you are amazing. You are deeply valued and loved for who you are, created for a purpose to live out on earth and through eternity that are better than you can imagine. Today, let the reality of the cross sink deeply into your heart. In doing so, it will cause you to love Jesus even more and desire to live out your life purpose for Him each day. Maybe you want to pray and renew your commitment to Jesus.
Example: “Jesus, thank you for suffering and dying on the cross for all of my sins. Let me remember today, and every day, the price you paid for me on the cross. Please forgive me for all of my broken ways and the times I have hurt your heart. I recommit my ways to you. Help me grow closer to you day by day as you direct me to live out the plans and purposes you have for my life. I love you and I give every area of myself over to you. Amen.”