John 19:36
For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.
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(36) For these things were done (better, came to pass), that the scripture should be fulfilled.—The emphatic witness of the previous verse is not therefore to be confined to the one fact of the flowing of the blood and the water, but to the facts in which the fulfilment of Scripture was accomplished, and which establish the Messiahship of Jesus.

He saw—that which might have seemed an accidental occurrence—that they brake not the legs of Jesus; he saw—that which might have seemed a sort of instinct of the moment—that the Roman soldier pierced the side of Jesus; he saw in the water and blood which flowed from it visible proof that Jesus was the Son of man; but he saw, too, that these incidents were part of the divine destiny of the Messiah which the prophets had foretold, and that in them the Scripture was fulfilled. (Comp. Note on John 13:18.)

A bone of him shall not be broken.—The reference is, as the margin gives it, to the Paschal Lamb, in which the Baptist had already seen a type of Christ (comp. Note on John 1:29), and which St. Paul afterwards more definitely identifies with Him (1Corinthians 5:7). It is not equally apposite to refer to Psalm 34:20, as the thought there is of preservation in life, but the words of the Psalm are doubtless themselves a poetic adaptation of the words of Exodus.



John 19:36

The Evangelist, in the words of this text, points to the great Feast of the Passover and to the Paschal Lamb, as finding their highest fulfilment, as he calls it, in Jesus Christ. For this purpose of bringing out the correspondence between the shadow and the substance he avails himself of a singular coincidence concerning a perfectly unimportant matter-viz., the abnormally rapid sinking of Christ’s physical strength in the crucifixion, by which the final indignity of breaking the bones of the sufferers was avoided in His case. John sees, in that entirely insignificant thing, a kind of fingerpost pointing to far more important, deeper, and real correspondences. We are not to suppose that he was so purblind, and attached so much importance to externals, as that this outward coincidence exhausted in his conception the correspondence between the two. But It was a trifle that suggested a greater matter. It was a help aiding gross conceptions and common minds to grasp the inward relation between Jesus and that Passover rite. But just as our Lord would have fulfilled the prophecy about the King coming ‘meek, and having salvation,’ though He had never ridden on a literal ass into the literal Jerusalem, so our Lord would have ‘fulfilled’ the shadow of the Passover with the substance of His own sacrifice if there had never been this insignificant correspondence, in outward things, between the two.

But whilst my text is the Evangelist’s commentary, the question arises, How did he come to recognise that our Lord was all which that Passover signified? And the answer is, he recognised it through Christ’s own teaching. He does not record the institution of the Lord’s Supper. It did not fall into his scheme to deal with external events of that sort, and he knew that it had been sufficiently taught by the three earlier Gospels, to which his is a supplement. But though he did not narrate the institution, he takes it for granted in the words of my text, and his vindication of his seeing the fulfilment of ‘A bone of Him shall not be broken’ in the incident to which I have referred, lies in this, that Jesus Christ Himself swept away the Passover and substituted the memorial feast of the Lord’s Supper. ‘This do in remembrance of Me,’ said at the table where the Paschal lamb had been eaten, sufficiently warrants John’s allusion here.

So then, marking the fact that our Evangelist is but carrying out the lesson that he had learned in the upper room, we may fairly take the identification of the Paschal lamb with the crucified Christ as being the last instance in which our Lord Himself laid His hand upon Old Testament incidents and said, ‘They all mean Me.’ And it is from that point of view, and not merely for the purpose of dealing with the words that I have read as our starting-point, that I wish to speak now.

I. Now then, the first thing that strikes me is that in this substitution of Himself for the Passover we have a strange instance of Christ’s supreme authority.

Try to fling yourself back in imagination to that upper room, where Jesus and a handful of Galileans were sitting, and remember the sanctity which immemorial usage had cast round that centre and apex of the Jewish ritual, established at the Exodus by a solemn divine appointment, intended to commemorate the birth of the nation, venerable by antiquity and association with the most vehement pulsations of national feeling, the centre point of Jewish religion. Christ said: ‘Put it all away; do not think about the Exodus; do not think about the destroying Angel; do not think about the deliverance. Forget all the past; do this in remembrance of Me.’ Take into account that the Passover had a double sacredness, as a religious festival, and also as commemorating the birthday of the nation, and then estimate what a strange sense of His own importance the Man must have had who said: ‘That past is done with, and it is Me that you have to think of now.’ If I might venture to take a very modern illustration without vulgarising a great thing, suppose that on the other side of the Atlantic somebody were to stand up and say, ‘I abrogate the Fourth of July and Independence Day. Do not think about Washington and the establishment of the United States any more. Think about me!’ That is exactly what Jesus Christ did. Only instead of a century there were millenniums of observance which He thus laid aside. So I say that is a strange exercise of authority.

What does it imply? It implies two things, and I must say a word about each of them. It implies that Christ regarded the whole of the ancient system of Judaism, its history, its law, its rites of worship, as pointing onwards to Himself, that He recognised in it a system the whole raison d’etre of which was anticipatory and preparatory of Himself. For Him the Decalogue was given, for Him priests were consecrated, for Him kings were anointed, for Him prophets spake, for Him sacrifices smoked, for Him festivals were appointed, and the nation and its history were all one long proclamation: ‘The King cometh! go ye forth to meet Him.’ You cannot get less than that out of the way in which He handled, as is told in this Gospel, Jacob’s ladder, the Serpent in the wilderness, the Manna that fell from Heaven, the Pillar of Cloud that led the people, the Rock that gushed forth water, and now, last of all, the Passover, which was the very shining apex of the whole sacrificial and ritual system.

And remember, too, that this way of dealing with all the institutions of the nation as meaning, in their inmost purpose, Himself, is exactly parallel to His way of dealing with the sacred words of Mosaic commandment and prohibition in the Sermon on the Mount, where He set side by side as of equal-I was going to say, and I should have been right in saying, identical-authority what was ‘said to them of old time’ and what ‘I say unto you.’ Amidst the dust of our present controversies as to the processes by which, and the times at which, the Old Testament books assumed their present form, there is grave danger that the essential thing about the whole matter should be obscured. The way in which what is called Higher Criticism may finally locate the origins and dates of the various parts of that ancient record and that ancient system does not in the slightest degree affect the outstanding characteristic of the whole, that it is the product of the divine hand, working {if you will} through men who had more freedom of action whilst they were its organs than our grandfathers thought. Be it so; but still that divine Hand shaped the whole in order that, besides its educational effects upon the generations that received it, there should shine through it all the expectation of the coming King. And I venture to say that, however grateful we may be to modern investigation for light upon these other points to which I have referred, the ignorant reader that reads Jesus Christ into all the Old Testament may be very uncritical and mistaken in regard to details, but he has got hold of the root of the matter, and is nearer to the apprehension of the essence and spirit and purpose of the ancient Revelation than the most learned critic who does not see that it is the preparation for, and the prophecy of, Jesus Christ Himself. And the vindication of such a position lies in this, among other facts, that He in the upper room, in harmony with, and in completion of, all that He had previously spoken about His relation to the Old Testament, claimed the Passover as the prophecy of Himself, and said, ‘I am the Lamb of God.’

I need not dwell, I suppose, on the other consideration that is involved in this strange exercise of authority-viz., the naturalness, as without any sense of doing anything presumptuous or extraordinary, with which Christ assumes His right to handle divine appointments with the most perfect freedom, to modify them, to reshape them, to divert them from their first purpose, and to enjoin them with an authority equal to that with which the Lord said unto Moses, ‘Keep ye this day through your generations.’ There is only one supposition on which I, for my part, can understand that conduct-that He was the possessor of authority the same as the Authority that had originally instituted the rite.

And so, dear brethren! when our Lord said, ‘Do this in remembrance of Me,’ I pray you to ask yourselves, What did that involve in regard to His nature and the source of His authority over us? And what did it involve in regard to His relation to that ancient Revelation?

II. And now another point that I would suggest is-we have, in this substitution of the new rite for the old, our Lord’s clear declaration of what was the very heart of His work in the world.

‘This do in remembrance of Me.’ What is it, then, to which He points? Is it to the wisdom, the tenderness, the deep beauty, the flashing moral purity that gleamed and shone lambent in His words? No! Is it to the gracious self-oblivion, the gentle accessibility, the loving pity, the leisurely heart always ready to help, the eye ready to fill with tears, the hand ever outstretched and ever laden with blessings? No! It is the death on the Cross which He, if I might so say, isolates, at least which He underscores with red lines, and which He would have us remember, as we remember nothing else. Brethren, rites are insignificant in many aspects, but are often of enormous importance as witnesses to truths. And I point to the Lord’s Supper, the one rite of the Christian Church, which is to be repeated over and over and over again, and see in it the great barrier which has rendered it impossible, and will render it impossible, as I believe, for evermore, that a Christianity, which obscures the atoning sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, should ever pose as the full representation of the Master’s mind, or as the full expression of the Saviour’s word.

What do men and churches that falter in their allegiance to the truth of Christ’s redemptive death do with the Lord’s Supper? Nothing! For the most part they ignore it, or if they retain it, do not, for the life of them, know how to explain it, or why it should be there. The explanation of why it is there is the great truth, of which it is the clear utterance and the strong defence, the truth that ‘Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,’ and that ‘the Son of Man came. . . to give His life a ransom for the many.’

What did that Passover say? Two things it said, the blood that was sprinkled on the lintels and on the door-posts was the token to the destroying Angel, as with his broad, silent pinions he swept through the land, bringing a blacker night into Egyptian darkness, and leaving behind him no house ‘in which there was not one dead.’ All the houses of which the occupants had put the ruddy mark on the lintels and on the doorposts, and were wise enough not to go forth from behind the shelter of that mark on the door, were safe when the morning dawned. And so to us all who, by our sinfulness, have brought down upon our heads exposedness to that retribution, which, in a righteously governed universe, must needs follow sin, and to that death which the separation from God-the necessary result of sin-most surely is, there is proffered in that great Sacrifice shelter from the destroying sword.

But that is not all. Whilst the blood on the posts meant security, the Lamb on the table meant emancipation. So they who find in the dying Christ their exemption from the last consequences of transgression, find, in partaking of the Christ whose sacrifice is their pardon, the communication of a new power, which sets them free from a worse than Egyptian bondage, and enables them to shake from their emancipated limbs the fetters of the grimmest of the Pharaohs that have wielded a tyrannous dominion over them. Pardon and freedom, the creation of a nation subject only to the law of Jehovah Himself-these were the facts that the Passover festival and the Passover lamb signified, and these are the facts which, in nobler fashion, are brought to us by Jesus Christ. So, I beseech you, let Him teach you what His work in the world is, as He lays His own hand on that highest of the ancient festivals, and endorses the Baptist’s declaration, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!’

III. Now, lastly, let me ask you to notice how, in this regal and authoritative dealing by our Lord with that ancient festival, there lies a loving provision for our weakness.

Surely we may venture to say that Jesus Christ desired to be remembered, even by that handful of poor people, and by us, not only for our sakes, but because His heart, too, craved that He should not be forgotten by those whom He was leaving. As you may remember, the dying king turned to the bishop standing by him, with the enigmatical word which no one understood but the receiver of it-’Remember!’ so did Jesus Christ. He appeals to our thankfulness, He appeals to our affections, He lets us see that He wishes to live in our memories, because He delights in it, as well as because it is for our profit.

The Passover was purely and simply a rite of remembrance. I venture to believe that the Lord’s Supper is nothing more. I know how people talk about the bare, bald, Zwinglian ideas of the Communion. They do look very bald and bare by the side of modern notions and mediaeval notions resuscitated. Well, I had rather have the bareness than I would have it overlaid by coverings under which there is room for abundance of vermin to lurk. Christ puts the Lord’s Supper in the place of the Passover. The Passover was a purely memorial rite. You Christian people will understand the spirituality of the whole Gospel system, and the nature of the only bond which unites men to Jesus and brings spiritual blessings to them-viz. faith-all the better, the more you cling, in spite of all that is going on round us to-day, to that simple, intelligible, Scriptural notion that we commemorate the Sacrifice, not offer the Sacrifice. Jesus Christ said that the Lord’s Supper was to be observed ‘in remembrance of Me.’ That was His explanation of its purpose, and I for one am content to take as the expounder of the laws of the feast, the feast’s own Founder.

Now one more word. In the Passover men fed on the Sacrifice. Jesus Christ presents Himself to each of us as at once the Sacrifice for our sins and the Food of our souls. If you will keep your minds in touch with the truth about Him, and with Him whom the truth about Him reveals to you, if you will keep your hearts in touch with that great and unspeakable sign of God’s love, if you will keep your wills in submission to His authority, if you will let His blood, ‘which is the life,’ or as you may otherwise word it, His Spirit, come into your lives, and be your spirit, your motive, then you will go out from the table, not like the disciples to flee, and deny, and forget, nor like the Israelites to wander in a wilderness, but strengthened for many a day of joyous service and true communion, and will come at last to what He has promised us: ‘Ye shall sit with Me at My table in My Kingdom,’ whence we shall go ‘no more out.’

19:31-37 A trial was made whether Jesus was dead. He died in less time than persons crucified commonly did. It showed that he had laid down his life of himself. The spear broke up the very fountains of life; no human body could survive such a wound. But its being so solemnly attested, shows there was something peculiar in it. The blood and water that flowed out, signified those two great benefits which all believers partake of through Christ, justification and sanctification; blood for atonement, water for purification. They both flow from the pierced side of our Redeemer. To Christ crucified we owe merit for our justification, and Spirit and grace for our sanctification. Let this silence the fears of weak Christians, and encourage their hopes; there came both water and blood out of Jesus' pierced side, both to justify and sanctify them. The Scripture was fulfilled, in Pilate's not allowing his legs to be broken, Ps 34:20. There was a type of this in the paschal lamb, Ex 12:46. May we ever look to Him, whom, by our sins, we have ignorantly and heedlessly pierced, nay, sometimes against convictions and mercies; and who shed from his wounded side both water and blood, that we might be justified and sanctified in his name.That the scripture should be fulfilled - See Exodus 12:46. John here regards the paschal lamb as an emblem of Christ; and as in the law it was commanded that a bone of that lamb should not be broken, so, in the providence of God, it was ordered that a bone of the Saviour should not be broken. The Scripture thus received a complete fulfillment respecting both the type and the antitype. Some have supposed, however, that John referred to Psalm 34:20. 36. that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken—The reference is to the paschal lamb, as to which this ordinance was stringent (Ex 12:46; Nu 9:12. Compare 1Co 5:7). But though we are to see here the fulfilment of a very definite typical ordinance, we shall, on searching deeper, see in it a remarkable divine interposition to protect the sacred body of Christ from the last indignity after He had finished the work given Him to do. Every imaginable indignity had been permitted before that, up to the moment of His death. But no sooner is that over than an Unseen hand is found to have provided against the clubs of the rude soldiers coming in contact with that temple of the Godhead. Very different from such violence was that spear-thrust, for which not only doubting Thomas would thank the soldier, but intelligent believers in every age, to whom the certainty of their Lord's death and resurrection is the life of their whole Christianity. Now was there any thing of this but in fulfilling of the Scripture; for it was God’s law about the passover, Exodus 12:46 Numbers 9:12, concerning the paschal lamb, (which was a type of Christ, John 1:29 1 Corinthians 5:7), that a bone of it should not be broken. So as by this breaking no bone of Christ’s body, they might have understood that he was figured out by the paschal lamb.

For these things were done,.... The not breaking his bones and piercing his side, and that not by chance, and without design; but,

that the Scripture should be fulfilled, a bone of him shall not be broken; referring either to Psalm 34:20 he keepeth all his bones, not one of them is broken; which if to be understood of the righteous in general, had a very particular and remarkable accomplishment in Christ; though a certain single person seems to be designed; nor is it true in fact of every righteous man, some of whom have had their bones broken; and such a sense would lead to despair in case of broken bones; for whereas such a calamity befalls them, as well as wicked men, under such an affliction, they might be greatly distressed, and from hence be ready to conclude, that they are not righteous persons, and are not under the care and protection of God, or otherwise this promise would be made good: nor have the words any respect to the resurrection of the dead, as if the sense of it was, that none of the bones of the righteous shall be finally broken; and though they may be broken by men, and in their sight, yet the Lord will raise them again, and restore them whole and perfect at the general resurrection; for this will be true of the wicked, as well as of the righteous: and much less is the meaning of the words, one of his bones shall not be broken, namely, the bone "luz", the Jews speak of; which, they say (i), remains uncorrupted in the grave, and is so hard that it cannot be softened by water, nor burnt in the fire, nor ground in the mill, nor broke with an hammer; by and from which God will raise the whole body at the last day: but the words are to be understood of Christ, he is the poor man that is particularly pointed at in Psalm 34:6 who, was poor in his state of humiliation, and who cried unto the Lord, and he heard him, and saved him; and he is the righteous one, whose afflictions were many, and out of which the Lord delivered him, Psalm 34:19 whose providential care of him was very particular and remarkable; he kept his bones from being broken, when others were; and by this incident this passage had its literal fulfilment in him: or else it may refer to the passover lamb, a type of Christ, 1 Corinthians 5:7 a bone of which was not to be broken, Exodus 12:46. The former of these passages is a command, in the second person, to the Israelites, concerning the paschal lamb, "neither shall ye break a bone thereof"; and the latter is delivered in the third person, "nor shall they break any bone of it"; which may be rendered impersonally, "a bone of it, or of him, shall not be broken; or a bone shall not be broken in him"; and so the Syriac and Persic versions read the words here; and in some copies it is, "a bone shall not be broken from him"; and so read the Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions; and he that violated this precept, according to the traditions of the Jews, was to be beaten. Maimonides (k) says,

"he that breaks a bone in a pure passover, lo, he is to be beaten, as it is said, "and a bone ye shall not break in it": and so it is said of the second passover, "and a bone ye shall not break in it"; but a passover which comes with uncleanness, if a man breaks a bone in it, he is not to be beaten: from the literal sense it may be learned, that a bone is not to be broken, whether in a pure or defiled passover: one that breaks a bone on the night of the fifteenth, or that breaks a bone in it within the day, or that breaks one after many days, lo, he is to be beaten; wherefore they burn the bones of the passover in general, with what is left of its flesh, that they may not come to damage: none are guilty but for the breaking of a bone on which there is flesh of the quantity of an olive, or in which there is marrow; but a bone in which there is no marrow, and on which there is no flesh of the quantity of an olive, a man is not guilty for breaking it; and if there is flesh upon it of such a quantity, and he breaks the bone in the place where there is no flesh, he is guilty, although the place which he breaks is quite bare of its flesh: he that breaks after (another) has broken, is to be beaten.''

And with these rules agree the following canons (l),

"the bones and sinews, and what is left, they burn on the sixteenth day, but if that falls on the sabbath, they burn them on the seventeenth, because these do not drive away the sabbath or a feast day.''

And so it fell out this year in which Christ suffered, for the sixteenth was the sabbath day: again,

"he that breaks a bone in a pure passover, lo, he is to be beaten with forty stripes; but he that leaves anything in a pure one, and breaks in an impure one, is not to be beaten with forty stripes;''

yea, they say (m), though

"it was a little kid and tender, and whose bones are tender, they may not eat them; for this is breaking of the bone, and if he eats he is to be beaten, for it is the same thing whether a hard or a tender bone be broken.''

Now in this as in many other respects the paschal lamb was a type of Christ, whose bones were none of them to be broken, to show that his life was not taken away by men, but was laid down freely by himself; and also the unbroken strength of Christ under the weight of sin, the curse of the law, and wrath of God, and conflict with Satan, when he obtained eternal redemption for us: and also this was on account of his resurrection from the dead, which was to be in a few days; though had his bones been broken he could easily have restored them, but it was the will of God it should be otherwise. Moreover, as none of the bones of his natural body were to be broken, so none that are members of him in a spiritual sense, who are bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, shall ever be lost.

(i) Bereshit Rabba, sect. 28. fol. 23. 3. Vajikra Rabba, sect. 18. fol. 159. 3. Zohar in Gen. fol. 51. 1. & 82. 1.((k) Hilchot Korban Pesach. c. 10. sect. 1, 2, 3, 4. (l) Misn. Pesachim, c. 7. sect. 10, 11. (m) Maimon. Korban Pesach. c. 10. sect. 9.

For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.
John 19:36-37. Not without scriptural ground do I say: ἵνα κ. ὑμεῖς πιστεύσητε; for that is accomplished, which I have just testified, John 19:33-34, concerning the lance-thrust, which took the place of the omitted leg-breaking, in the connection of the divine determination for the fulfilment of the scriptural saying (γραφή as in John 13:18): a bone of Him shall not be broken (Exodus 12:46; Numbers 9:12).[256] To John as to Paul (1 Corinthians 5:7) Christ is the antitype of the paschal lamb intended in the historical sense of that passage, in which Baur and Hilgenfeld of course find the formative factor of the history. Psalm 34:21 (Grotius, Brückner), because the passage speaks of the protection of life, cannot here be thought of.

The second passage of Scripture, to which, moreover, the reader himself is left to supply the same telic connection, which was previously expressed by ἵνα γρ. πληρ., contains the O. T. prediction of the lance-thrust which has been narrated, so far as it concerned precisely the Messiah: they will look on Him whom they have pierced,—an expression of the future, repentant, believing recognition of and longing for Him who previously was so hostilely murdered. The subject of both verbs is the Jews (not the Gentiles), whose work the entire crucifixion generally (comp. Acts 2:23; Acts 2:36), and consequently mediately, the ἐκκέντησις also is. The passage is Zechariah 12:10, where the language is used of a martyr, who at a later time is repentantly mourned for. The citation is freely made from the original (so also Revelation 1:7), not from the LXX., who take דָֽקְרוּ improperly: κατωρχήσαντο, have insulted (Aquinas, Theodotus, and Symmachus have also ἘΞΕΚΈΝΤΗΣΑΝ, and rightly). John also follows the reading אליו,[257] which Ewald also prefers.

ΕἸς ὍΝ] Attraction = ΕἸς ἙΚΕῖΝΟΝ ὍΝ, comp. John 6:29. To make ΕἸς ὍΝ dependent on ἘΞΕΚΈΝΤ. (Luther, after the Vulgate: “they will see into whom they have pierced;” Baur: “that they have, namely, pierced into Him from whose side blood and water flowed”) corresponds neither to the original, nor to the Greek construction, according to which not ʼΚΚΕΝΤΕῖΝ ΕἼς ΤΙΝΑ, but ἘΚΚ. ΤΙΝΑ is said (Revelation 1:7; Jdg 9:54; 1 Chronicles 10:4; Isaiah 14:19; 2Ma 12:6; Polyb. v. 56. 12, xv. 33. 4, xxv. 8. 6). It always denotes pierce, stab. So also here Jesus was not indeed first killed by the lance-thrust, but this thrust formed, as its conclusion, a part of the whole act of putting to death, and formed, therefore, the Messianic fulfilment of the prophetic word. On ὉΡΆΩ ΕἸς, look upon, in the sense of regard, desire, hope, etc., comp. Xen. Cyr. iv. 1. 20; Soph. El. 913; Stanley, ad. Aesch. Sept. 109. Just so ἈΠΟΒΛΈΠΕΙΝ ΕἸς or ΠΡΌς: Kühner, ad Xen. Mem. iv. 2. 2. The LXX. have ἐπιβλέψονται πρός. The time of the fulfilment of this prophetic ὌΨΟΝΤΑΙ, Κ.Τ.Λ., is, as also in the original, that of the beginning of repentance and conversion; comp. John 8:28, John 12:32; not the day of judgment (Euth. Zigabenus, Grotius, and several others, comp. already Barnab. 7), to which ὌΨΟΝΤΑΙ, with the mere accus., as in Revelation 1:7, not with εἰς, would be appropriate.

A word of Scripture, speaking specially of the outflow of blood and water, does not, indeed, stand at the command of John; but if the facts themselves, with which this outflow was connected, namely, the negative one of the non-breaking of the legs (John 19:36), and the positive one of the lance-thrust (John 19:37), are predicted, so also in the miraculous ΣΗΜΕῖΟΝ, by which the thrust was accompanied, is justly, and on the ground of Scripture (ΓΆΡ, John 19:36), a special awakening of faith (John 19:35) to be found.

Schweizer, without reason, considers John 19:35-37 as spurious.

[256] As regards its essential substance quite undestroyed, not like a profane dish of roast meat with bones broken in pieces, was the paschal lamb to be prepared as a sacrifice to God (Ewald, Alterth. p. 467 f.; Knobel on Leviticus 1:7). Any peculiar symbolical destination in this prescription (Bähr and Keil: to set forth the unity of those who eat) cannot be established, not even by a retrospective conclusion from 1 Corinthians 10:17.

[257] Not אלי; Umbreit’s observation in the Stud. u. Krit. 1849, p. 104, that the passage of Zech. has a Johannean element for the idea of the Messiah, because God identifies Himself with the Messiah, applies only to the reading אלי, which, further Hofmann, Weissag. u. Erf. II. p. 152 f., has sought, in a very tortuous way, to unite with the following accus. את אֲשִׁר; he is followed by Luthardt: “They will longingly look up to me, after Him (i.e. expect, entreat of me Him) whom they,” etc.

John 19:36. ἐγένετο γὰρ ταῦτα. He records these things, contained in this short paragraph, because they further identify Jesus as the promised Messiah. Ὀστοῦν οὐ συντριβήσεται αὐτοῦ. The law regarding the Paschal lamb ran thus (Exodus 12:46): ὀστοῦν οὐ συντρίψετε ἀπʼ αὐτοῦ, cf. Psalm 34:20. Evidently John identified Jesus as the Paschal Lamb, cf. 1 Corinthians 5:7. καὶ πάλινἐξεκέντησαν. Another Scripture also here found its fulfilment, Zechariah 12:10. The original is: “They shall look upon me whom they pierced”. The Sept[93] renders: ἐπιβλέψονται πρὸς μὲ ἀνθʼ ὧν κατωρχήσαντο: “They shall look towards me because they insulted me”. John gives a more accurate translation: Ὄψονται εἰς ὃν ἐξεκέντησαν: “They shall look on Him whom (ἐκεῖνον ὃν) they pierced”. The same rendering is adopted in the Greek versions of Aquila, Theodotion and Symmachus, and is also found in Ignatius, Ep. Trall., 10; Justin, I. Apol., i. 77; and cf. Revelation 1:7, and Barnabas, Ep., 7. In the lance thrust John sees a suggestive connection with the martyr-hero of Zechariah’s prophecy.

[93] Septuagint.

36. were done] Better, came to pass. Note that S. John uses the aorist (ἐγένετο), where S. Matthew, writing nearer to the events, uses the perfect (γέγονεν). ‘Hath come to pass’ implies that the event is not very remote: Matthew 1:22; Matthew 21:4; Matthew 26:56. The ‘for’ depends upon ‘believe.’ Belief has the support of Scripture; for the two surprising events, Christ’s escaping the crurifragium and yet having His side pierced, were evidently preordained in the Divine counsels.

shall not be broken] Exodus 12:46. Thus he who at the opening of this Gospel was proclaimed as the Lamb of God (John 1:29; John 1:36), at the close of it is declared to be the true Paschal Lamb. Once more we have evidence that S. John’s consistent and precise view is, that the death of Christ coincided with the killing of the Paschal Lamb. And this seems also to have been S. Paul’s view (see on 1 Corinthians 5:7).

John 19:36. Ὀστοῦν οὐ συντριβήσεται αὐτοῦ, not a bone of Him shall be broken) Instead of αὐτοῦ, some Greek MSS. have ἀπʼ αὐτοῦ from the LXX. I know not whether also any versions have this reading. Αὐτοῦ is more in accordance with the subject itself in John; nay more, it accords also with the Hebrew בו in Moses: the LXX. in Exodus 12:46, have καὶ ὀστοῦν οὐ συντρίψετε ἀπʼ αὐτοῦ; in Numbers 9:12, καὶ ὀστοῦν οὐ συντρίψουσιν (Alex. οὐ συντρίψεται) ἀπʼ αὐτοῦ. But also in Psalms 34(33):20, ἐν ἐξ αὐτῶν (τῶν ὀστέων) οὐ συντριβήσεται, John accords with Moses, in that he employs the singular number ὀστοῦν; he accords with the Psalm, in that he passes over (omits) the particle καὶ, which he would not omit if he were referring to the Mosaic ועצם: Comp. ch. John 6:45, καὶ ἔσονται πάντες διδακτοὶ Θεοῦ, where the καὶ is retained in the quotation from the original, Isaiah 54:13; and in that he says οὐ συντριβήσεται. Therefore the Psalm refers back to Moses, John to the Psalm, as also to Moses. The Passover was a type, 1 Corinthians 5:7, “Purge out the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened; for even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us;” and that type is fulfilled in the passion of Christ. The bones of Jesus Christ did not undergo breaking or injury; nor did His flesh undergo corruption. The cross was the direst of capital punishments; and yet any other would have been less suitable for the raising again of the body [in its unbroken integrity] presently after.

Verse 36. - For these things came to pass, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. Both the omission of the crurifragium, and the piercing of the Redeemer's side, with its solemn and strange issues, confirm to this great eye-witness the spiritual meaning and Messianic portraiture involved in them. A bone of him shall not be broken. This quotation from the ceremonial of the Passover (Exodus 12:46; Numbers 9:12), where the lamb offered to God was to be shielded from unnecessary mutilation, is in harmony with the words of the Baptist, "Behold the Lamb of God!" and with Paul's language (1 Corinthians 5:7), "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us," and shows that the Fourth Gospel does recognize this parallel, which is in a very remarkable way thus quietly reaffirmed. This passage acquires meaning from the supposition that the Jews were hurrying away to eat their Paschal lamb, not a bone of which could be legally broken. The opponents of the authenticity think that incidents are invented to establish the supposed relationship. Those who seek to reply to them by explaining away this reference to the Passover think that Psalm 34:20 is referred to, "He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken;" but the force of that passage in this connection would violently clash with any such adaptation of it as could make it refer to the cruel and violent death of the Lord. John 19:36
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