The Death of Jesus
John mentions that because the Sabbath was
approaching, the Jews did not want the bodies to hang on the
cross. Crucifixion could sometimes take days as it was
essentially a slow process of suffocation. Breaking a
person's legs would prevent them from pushing up to take a full
breath and would thus speed their death. When the soldiers
reached Jesus, He was already dead and there was no need to
break His legs. This was in fulfillment of prophecy.
The spear in Jesus' side fulfilled prophecy as
Jesus was pierced. The water that ran with the blood was
actually fluid that built up around the heart and lungs as a
result of being unable to breathe.
Jesus is sentenced around the sixth hour, the
same time that it grew dark. By the Jewish time, this
would have been around noon, the brightest part of the day.
The Jews begin counting their day at 6 AM or approximately
sunrise. The darkness lasts from noon until 3 PM when
Jesus dies. Secular historians noted the darkness that
covered the land on this day, explaining it as an eclipse that
fell over the land.
Jesus cried out "My God, my God, why have you
forsaken me?" At this moment the sins of the world were
laid upon Jesus and He was separated from God the Father for the
first and only time in all of eternity. This is not a cry
of anguish because God has left Him to die, it is a cry of
torment as Jesus is experiencing the hell of being separated
from the Father.
Jesus cried out in a loud voice at the moment of
His death. His statement "Father, into your hands I commit
my spirit" shows us that Jesus gave up His life, it was not
taken from Him.
As the temple curtain is torn in two from top to
bottom, the division between God and man is removed. The
Old Testament system of sacrifice is done away with and man does
not need a high priest to act on his behalf any longer.
Jesus is now our high priest and we can approach God through
Jesus, because of His sacrifice.