Prophecies of Cross

Prophecies of the cross

Note John chapter 19:

23When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.
24“Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.”
This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said,
“They divided my garments among them
and cast lots for my clothing.” So this is what the soldiers did.

John recognized that gambling for the clothes corresponded to a line written by king David, in Psalm 22:

18 They divide my garments among them
and cast lots for my clothing.

In fact, many lines of Psalm 22 remind us of someone dying on a cross:

14 I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
it has melted away within me.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
you lay me in the dust of death.
16 Dogs have surrounded me;
a band of evil men has encircled me,
they have pierced my hands and my feet.
17 I can count all my bones;
people stare and gloat over me.
18 They divide my garments among them
and cast lots for my clothing.

David mentioned that the person’s hands would be pierced — David wrote this during a time when the Jewish people did not practice killing by nailing someone to a cross.

Another connection is seen at the beginning of Psalm 22.  As Jesus was suffering on the cross, he cried out the first line of Psalm 22:1:

1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from the words of my groaning?

Continuing to read in John 19:

Because the Jews 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. 32The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35The 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. 36These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” 37and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”

The breaking of legs was done so the person on the cross could not lift himself up to breathe, and would die quickly of suffocation.  The fact that they did not break Jesus’ legs is significant: a lamb could not be accepted for sacrifice if it had any broken legs.  This connection underlines the idea that Jesus was fulfilling the same function as a sacrificial lamb in dying as a substitute.  The blood and water is understood by medical experts today as evidence the Jesus was truly dead.  John recognized that both these events corresponded to verses in the Old testament:

 Psalm 34

20 he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.

Zechariah 12

Mourning for the One They Pierced 
10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on [me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.

Here is another detail noted by John that corresponds to an Old Testament sentence.

Continuing in John 19:

28Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29A 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. 30When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

The “scripture” John refers to is Psalm 69:

21 They put gall in my food
and gave me vinegar for my thirst.

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