Satan's Short-Lived Victory - John 19:31-42
Satan’s Short – Lived Victory
- Today is Palm Sunday. We have looked at John’s Gospel story of this last Palm Sunday. It was wonderful to have the kids come in with the palm branches.
- This is the day the Jewish crowds celebrated Jesus entrance into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey as people placed their coats before Him and waved palm branches as a symbol of recognizing a king. They said “Blessed be and blessed Him as the Messiah and the King of the Jews.
- This fulfilled in the OT books of Daniel and Zechariah
Quote: "Palm Sunday is a good reminder of how quick the heart can move from "Crown Him" to "Crucify Him" when we don't get our way." - Mike Coradetti
- That leads us to our narrative today. Turn over to John 19 for our scripture reading today.
John 19:31 – 42
Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. 35 He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. 36 For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” 37 And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.” 38 After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. 39 Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. 40 So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. 41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.
Introduction / Illustration: Christian minister John Dickson once spoke on the theme of the wounds of God on a university campus in Sydney, Australia. During the question time, a Muslim man rose to explain "how preposterous was the claim that the Creator of the universe should be subjected to the forces of his own creation—that he would have to eat, sleep, and go to the toilet, let alone die on a cross." Dickson said his remarks were intelligent, clear, and civil. The man went on to argue that it was illogical that God, the "cause of all causes" could have pain inflicted on him by any lesser beings. Dickson thought for a minute but he couldn't come up with a knockdown argument or a witty comeback. So finally, he simply thanked the man for making the uniqueness of the Christian claim so clear. Then Dickson concluded, "What the Muslim denounces as blasphemy the Christian holds precious: God has wounds." - Timothy Keller, Walking with God through Pain and Suffering (Dutton Adult, 2013), p. 120
- Death is certain and inevitable. That is a sobering thought
- Taoists use alchemy and magical incantations to try to live as long as possible. There is no afterlife in their religion
- We in the western world do everything humanly possible to prolong life
- Cryonics I Alcor Life Extension Foundation – Ted Williams
- After nearly 100 funerals, when it is your mom or dad in the casket, you find out in a real way if your theology will sustain you with promise of hope by the Savior and God’s Word.
- No matter what man tries, death will always win
No man has power to retain the spirit, or power over the day of death. There is no discharge from war, nor will wickedness deliver those who are given to it
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment
2 Corinthians 5:10
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
I Corinthians 15:21-22
21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
- Death is the great equalizer. It shows no prejudice. It is an equal opportunity taker all the time.
- The finality, the despair, the distraught disciples and Mary. They must have been overwhelmed with the humility of Jesus dying in public unjustly. Waves of grief and sorrow would sweep in over and over again and they thought over and over of the cost and sacrifice that each disciple paid to follow Jesus. Now it was suddenly, dramatically all over
Purpose: Every Christ follower must hold in their heart that Satan’s demise is sure
Transition: Let’s look at the details following Jesus dramatic statement “It is Finished” as they prepared and buried Jesus.
Preparation for the Sabbath
John 19:31 – 32
Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him.
- The death of the two criminals
- Normally, the criminals were left on the cross for two or three days letting them die on their own.
- Usually, when the criminals died, the bodies were left the cross to rot or be eaten by scavenger birds or animals. Sometimes they would take the bodies down and throw them in the garbage heap outside of the walls of Jerusalem that were perpetually on fire.
- But, this was the Preparation Day for the Sabbath that evening. The Jews wanted the bodies to be taken down and buried
Deuteronomy 21:22 – 23
22 “And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23 his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God. You shall not defile your land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance.
- This illustrates once again the supreme hypocrisy of the Jewish religious leaders as they try to follow the law to the very letter and yet kill the Son of God
- They did not want to defile the land with dead bodies but they ended up defiling themselves.
- In verse 32, we see the breaking of the two criminal’s legs which brought them to sudden death by asphyxiation
- The soldiers performed what is in Latin called “crurifragium” which is taking an iron mallet to the legs of the criminal and it creates sudden shock because of additional blood loss and then suffocation because the legs can no longer be used to push up to get a breath. The arms and its muscles can only last a very short time without the legs helping.
- In the only known archeological find of a crucifixion, which came to light in 1968, the skeletal remains revealed that the lower legs had been shattered by a single blow. This illustrates this passage - Blum, E. A. (1985). John. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 340). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
- The death of Jesus
John 19:33 – 37
33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. 36 For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” 37 And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.”
- In verses 33 – 34 we see the fulfillment of another prophecy. When they came to Jesus, they realized He had already passed away so they did not break His legs. – Exodus 12:46; Numbers 9:12
It shall be eaten in one house; you shall not take any of the flesh outside the house, and you shall not break any of its bones.
- They instead pierced His side to confirm He was dead
- They did not know it but they did an autopsy on Jesus.
- What most medical doctors believe occurred is that Jesus heart literally burst inside of His chest. He died of a broken heart for you and me. The stress and the weight of the world’s sin and God’s rejection of His Son was too much for His human body to bear.
- Gnosticism and Docetism were current problems. These ideologies denied the reality of the Incarnation and of His death. But the blood and water are firm answers against those heresies. -Blum, E. A. (1985). John. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 340). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
- John gives us an eyewitness account in John 19:35 that Jesus was dead. He wanted all to know what He had seen first-hand so that all would believe
35 He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe.
- Then John talks about how these prophecies were fulfilled – Psalm 34:20 and Zechariah 12:10
36 For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” 37 And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.”
Revelation 1:7 – Israel will weep over the piercings in the side of the Messiah that they now accept
Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.
- What an emotional time it will be when Israel sees Jesus face to face as the Messiah and the Conquering King they so longed to see in the past.
Application: The eyewitness to the truth of Jesus death compels us all to believe in Him.
Transition: We have eyewitness testimony to the death of Jesus which sets the stage for next Sunday and Jesus resurrection. Let’s look now at two disciples who were “secret agent” Christians who came out of the shadows to show their boldness and courage in identifying with Jesus in His death.
Preparation for the Burial of Jesus
- The boldness of the disciples in hiding
John 19:38 – 39
38 After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. 39 Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight.
- Jesus not only exhibited control of when He would die but also how and where He would be buried
And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth
- Who was this Joseph of Arimathea?
- Only place in the Bible he is mentioned in the story of the burial of Jesus
- He was a very wealthy, - Matthew 27:57.
- Joseph was a prominent member of the Sanhedrin the ruling religious body made up of 71 Pharisees and Sadducees. – Matthew 15:43
- He disagreed with the execution of Jesus.
Who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God
- It tells us in Luke 23:50 that Joseph of Arimathea was a good and righteous man who was waiting for the kingdom of God. A seeker
- According to Matthew 27:57, considered a disciple of Jesus. He was a secret disciple for fear of the other Jewish leaders.
- We also see Nicodemus in verse 39, the disciple who came at night (John 3:1 – 21) helping with the body preparation for burial
- He brought 75 lbs. of myrrh and aloes
- Myrrh was a fragrant gummy resin in powder form
- Aloes was aromatic powder made from sandal wood
- The Egyptians embalm people but the Jews do not.
- He brought 75 lbs. of myrrh and aloes
- We notice in another account of this story that Joseph of Arimathea goes to Pilate to ask for permission to have the body and bury it
- Pilate after checking with one of the soldiers to confirm Jesus was dead granted the request
- The honoring of the body of Jesus
40 So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.
- The custom of the Jews was to wrap the body in long strips of cloth. They would take each strip of cloth and put spices on them. Then, after wrapping the body with these spiced strips of cloth they would pack more spices under and around the body after placing it on the stone in the tomb. They would do all they could to diminish the smell of a rotting corpse
- Note: Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus and the women who came on Resurrection morning never believed that Jesus was going to rise from the dead by the time and precision put into preparation for Jesus body for burial.
41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.
- According to Matthew 27:60, the tomb was that of Joseph of Arimathea
- It was very near to the site of the crucifixion and it had to be to get Jesus prepared and buried before sundown when the Sabbath began. It was providential that he had purchased a tomb and had it ready for use.
- The tomb was carved out of rock and sealed by a large rolling stone – Matthew 27:60
- The question comes up about how Jesus fulfilled His prediction to be in the tomb for 3 days.
For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
- Jews counted any part of a day as if it were an entire day
- Even in Jesus burials as well as His death, Jesus orchestrated the details to accomplish God’s revealed purpose.
- I want us to turn our attention for a few moments to the application of this story. I want you to imagine for a few moments what most have gone through the minds and emotions of Jesus disciples on Friday night and all-day Saturday. Imagine Mary’s grieving heart.
- The despair and utter destruction of the dreams of the disciples
- The waves of grief and emotion that came rushing on their hearts and minds over and over again over the course of this time
- I left my career, my family, my investments for all of this to happen? Three years of my life wasted?
- My dreams and hopes are crushed
- Where is God in the middle of this situation? I am doubting my faith in God.
- Quote: “The Saturday between Good Friday and Easter is the best reminder that the silence of God doesn’t equal the absence of God.” - Mike Coradetti
Phillips, Craig and Dean wrote the song “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again”
Like you've never been before
The life you knew
In a thousand pieces on the floor
And words fall short in times like these
When this world drives you to your knees
Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday's a closing door
You don't live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you've been
And tell your heart to beat again
- Whatever you are going through, it may be Friday but Sunday is coming
- Weeping endures for the night but joy comes in the morning.
- No matter the circumstances God isn’t finished with you yet and just like God was in charge of the circumstances surrounding the death, the burial and resurrection of His Son, the same God that brought Jesus back from the grave has the power to help you overcome what you facing today
- We need to come and leave our burdens at the cross. (Pause)
- Going forward, as we continue on in our Lent season;
Application: Are you and I willing to be bold and courageous about who you believe in?
Transition: Satan and his army of demons are partying like they never have before. They thought they had God and Jesus right where they wanted them. God’s Son defeated, dead, in the grave. Hope was all gone. But oh, how wrong they were. Jesus came out of that grave as we will celebrate next Sunday. He took the keys of death away from Satan. He brought resurrection power to all who will believe in Him to overcome hell, give hope after the grave and the power over sin in this life. Satan is a defeated foe.
I John 4:4
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet
And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death
And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. 9 And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven[b] and consumed them, 10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Key Thought: We do not need to hide the truth of what we believe knowing that our enemy is destined for defeat.
Closing Illustration: On the September 11th we'll never forget, she was the last person brought out alive from the rubble of the World Trade Center. Fleeing down the stairs from her office on the 64th floor of the north tower, Genelle Guzman got as far as the thirteenth floor when the building collapsed around her. Suddenly, she was in total darkness, she was buried alive and she was unable to move much of her body. Well, Genelle cried out to God for help. And that help came in the person of a rescuer breaking through the rubble and grabbing her hand. In her darkest moments, Genelle Guzman promised her life to Jesus Christ. Her emotional miracle was the total peace she has had every day since then; a peace that her psychiatrist, who's worked with many nightmare-plagued survivors, simply couldn't understand. In his book "Breakthrough Prayer," Jim Cymbala quotes Genelle's bottom line on what happened to her and as she told it to her amazed psychiatrist. She said, "The tragedy I suffered was something I needed to go through in order to know Him."
- The last Adam – Jesus Christ said “It is Finished” fulfilling the law and the prophecies necessary to satisfy the righteous requirements of a Holy God.
He took our pain and suffering upon Himself.
Isaiah 53: 5
But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
Questions to Ponder this Week
- Are the facts of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ sufficient to remove any doubts about your faith?
- Does the boldness of these disciples who were in hiding give you great confidence when it comes to sharing your faith and beliefs?
- Are you walking with the confidence that you are destined to win?