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Easter Part 2: the bones...

"...They [the Jews] requested that Pilate have the men's legs broken and that their bodies be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man and of the other one who had been crucified with Him. When they came to Jesus, they did not break His legs since they saw that He was already dead." John 19:31-32

Crucifixion was torturous. Apart from the beatings, mockery, and carrying your own cross leading up to the actual event...there were the nails, the crown, the gasping for breath. It was gruesome and it seems the Romans perfected it. I can't even imagine the grief that overtook those who stood watching their Savior in excruciating pain, crying out to God and then watching as He took his last breath. The Sabbath was coming and the Jews wanted to prepare, not wanting the bodies to remain on the cross, so the soldiers began breaking the victim's legs to speed up asphyxiation, so they would not be able to lift themselves up. Realizing Jesus was dead, they passed Him by. And when the world had gone dark, still a shimmer of light and hope in the distance was shining with this one small decision made to keep his bones whole. The morning was coming...

Psalm 34:20 "He protects all his bones; not one of them is broken."

This seemingly small, and often times forgotten detail at the cross, began with a history in Exodus 12, as the people were receiving instructions for Passover. It was imperative that they sacrificed an "unblemished animal". And amongst other laws about the animal and what they were to do with it, they were not allowed to break any of its bones (12:46). The foreshadow of Jesus' crucifixion was passing over them - God's sacrificial lamb.

About 900 years later, Ezekiel (chapter 37) would stand in the middle of a valley full of dry bones. God implored him, "Son of man, can these bones live?" Their conversation climaxed to bones rattling, coming together, breath entering them, and men standing on their feet in a vast army. The Lord spoke the most important few sentences of the entire story, "..Look how they say, 'Our bones are dried up, and our hope has perished; we are cut off...This is what the Lord God says: I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them...I will put My Spirit in you, and you will live...". Dead bones coming to life...hope was on the horizon.

Another 600 years had passed, and Jesus would lay dead. As time stood still, little did the world know that His bones were rattling, His lungs were being filled with neshamah - the breath of God, and that God's sacrificial lamb was soon to reveal that He truly was and is the King of Kings and the Great I Am. Prophecy was revealing itself, resurrection morning was coming, and our rescue had been well underway hundreds of years before.

"Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead..." 1 Peter 1:3


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