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Study in John’s Gospel

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  1. Study in John’s Gospel Presentation 93

  2. Scripture Fulfilled Chap 19v23-24 Presentation 93

  3. Introduction If you were asked to say in one sentence what the Bible was about, how would you reply? Jesus’ answer is found in Jn. 5v39, “the scriptures testify of me”. This reply so gripped Martin Luther that it caused him to write: “Here Christ indicates the principal reason why the Scripture was given by God. Men are to study and search in it and to learn that he, Mary's Son, is the one who is able to give eternal life to all who come to him and believe on him... Presentation 93

  4. Introduction …Therefore he who would correctly and profitably read Scripture should see to it that he finds Christ in it; then he finds life eternal without fail. On the other hand, if I do not so study and understand Moses and the prophets to that end... I may, of course, become a learned man ... and may preach what I have acquired; yet all this would do me no good whatsoever. For if I do not know and do not find the Christ, neither do I find salvation and life eternal.” Martin Luther Presentation 93

  5. Introduction Luther's point is that the Scriptures are, both in their general outline and in specific details, God's Word to us about Jesus. Consequently, whenever he approached the Bible, he knew from the start who was speaking in it and what its theme was. Sadly, some modern scholars have lost their way. They see the Bible as a book concerning various and sometimes even conflicting themes. As a result, the Bible does not make sense to them and they find it confusing. Presentation 93

  6. Four Prophecies This was not the case with the apostles. Oh they struggled with their understanding before the resurrection. But the 40 day period of instruction from Jesus before his ascension to heaven caused their confusion to vanish and their outlook to change. They understood that the Bible was indeed about Jesus, and saw it in a new light. In fact, they now clearly saw prophecies of his life on many of its pages. This was true of John, no less than the others. Much that had happened to Jesus up to this point had been in fulfilment of OT. Scripture. Presentation 93

  7. Four Prophecies One commentator points out that no less than 20 Old Testament predictions relating to events that surround the death of Christ, words written centuries before his first advent, were fulfilled with precision within a twenty-four-hour period at the time of his crucifixion. Thus far John has not drawn attention to this fulfilment of Scripture. But now he begins to identify the events of the crucifixion that were in fulfilment of specific Old Testament prophecies. Presentation 93

  8. Four Prophecies There are four such prophecies: 1. The division of Christ's clothing among the soldiers and the casting of lots for his seamless robe mentioned in v23 and v24 and prophesied in Psalm 22v18. Presentation 93

  9. Four Prophecies 2. The offering of a vinegar solution to drink, mentioned in v28 and v29 was prophesied Psalm 69v21. Presentation 93

  10. Four Prophecies 3. The breaking of the legs of the two thieves coupled with the decision not to break Jesus' legs, described in v31-33, 36 was prophesied in Psalm 34v20. Presentation 93

  11. Four Prophecies 4. The piercing of Christ's side with a spear mentioned in v34-35, and v37 was prophesied in Zechariah 12v10. Clearly John was eager to point out that it is in Scripture that we meet Jesus, learn of him, believe in him, and grow into the fullness of the faith. Presentation 93

  12. Psalm 22:18 Consider Psalm 22 as it sheds light on the crucifixion. The soldiers in the Roman execution party customarily received the clothes of the victim. Jews normally wore five articles of clothing: shoes, turban, girdle, tunic, and outer robe. Since there were four soldiers and five articles of clothing and since the most expensive article woven in one piece from top to bottom could not easily be divided, the soldiers gambled for it. Unwittingly fulfilling the prophecy of Ps.22v18. The case John seems to want to make is this, if what we have before us is an example of prophetic fulfilment then no aspect of the death of Christ is to be viewed as accidental. Presentation 93

  13. The Suffering Saviour Of course much more can be learned from Psalm 22, a Psalm that Jesus appears to have been meditating on while hanging on the cross. We are provided with several clues which relate Jesus’ thoughts to this Psalm thus providing a window into Jesus’ thought process. The first clue is that at the beginning of the period of darkness Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Mark 15v34, a direct quotation of Psalm 22v1. Presentation 93

  14. The Suffering Saviour The second clue is that at the end of three hours of darkness he cried out again, saying, “It is finished” Jn. 19v30. This phrase is a quotation of the last verse of the Psalm, v31. During his hours on the cross Jesus’ mind traversed the scope of the Psalm. He thought of the alienation of the One made sin for mankind. He reflected on the language of suffering and he thought of the final section that speaks of the spread of the gospel among the Gentiles. Only after that did Jesus utter the phrase that marks the Psalm's ending. Presentation 93

  15. The Suffering Saviour The Psalm provides three important pictures of Christ that fill out our understanding of his suffering; Verse 1 speaks of Christ’s God-forsakenness as he bore the penalty for sin. Remember God’s words to Adam, “you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Gen. 2v17 . Not merely physical death, but spiritual death the separation of the soul from the source of life - from God. That was the penalty Christ bore for human sin - separation from God. Presentation 93

  16. The Suffering Saviour So when Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”, it was the cry of one actually abandoned by the Father. I do not pretend fully to understand this. I cannot imagine how there can be a division in the Godhead. How can God the Son be forsaken by God the Father? It is a great mystery. But it is true nevertheless. Christ experienced forsakenness, and it was by enduring indescribable spiritual anguish that he accomplished our salvation. Presentation 93

  17. The Suffering Saviour The second picture of suffering is found in v6 of the psalm: “I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised by the people.” Why a worm? The worm referred to in Hebrew is ‘Tola’ from which a valuable crimson dye was extracted by crushing - in the same way that the cochineal from the Mexican beetle is extracted today. In Hebrew, the word ‘scarlet’ literally means the ‘splendour of the tola.’ Presentation 93

  18. The Suffering Saviour This image throws light upon Christ's thoughts, he saw himself as the ‘tola’, being crushed for God's people. His blood was shed to produce an infinitely more precious result than a crimson die. Isaiah describing the crushing experience of God’s substitutionary sacrifice goes on to say that his crushing means our wholeness, ‘by his wounds we are healed’ Is 53v5 see also 1Pet. 2v24. Paul speaks of our reconciliation with God in terms of, ‘peace through the blood of the cross’. Col.1v20 Presentation 93

  19. The Suffering Saviour The third image refers to severe mental anguish v12-13 “Strong bulls of Bashan encircle me. Roaring lions tearing their pray open their mouths against me”. Jesus was not allowed to suffer in silence. His suffering was compounded by the gloating, jeering comments of the crowd, yes and by the dark spiritual forces behind them. His whole mission had been misunderstood by the religious establishment, his motives had been impugned by them and to the very last they are standing there to fire their verbal barbs. How great must the temptation have been to step down from the cross in order to silence their taunting, “If you are the Son of God…” Presentation 93

  20. Christ’s Soul Satisfied Forsaken! Crushed! Ridiculed! These ideas all help to explain Christ's crucifixion. But there is a more moving concept to come. Jesus thoughts were not self-consuming. How do we know this? On his way to the cross he had addressed the tearful daughters of Jerusalem saying, “Weep for yourselves,” Luke 23v28. And then after he was raised up on the cross he spoke to Mary and John, “Dear women here is your son! ... here is your mother!” John 19v26-27. This is amazing their welfare filled his conscious concern! Presentation 93

  21. Christ’s Soul Satisfied Then, when God shrouded the cross with darkness, Jesus mind turned back to the meaning and purpose of his suffering. His thoughts were of himself before again returning to his followers as he now reflects on the end of Psalm 22. Before they had been only followers, now they are ‘brothers’. “I will declare your name to my bothers” Ps. 22v22. A new relationship which was underscored by Jesus’ first words after his resurrection, “Go to my brothers and tell them...I go to my Father and your Father” Jn. 20v17. His mission had a goal, the creation of a new relationship with his people. Presentation 93

  22. Christ’s Soul Satisfied On the cross Jesus looked even beyond the boundaries of Israel. In Ps.22v27 we read, “All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him”. Imagine, Jesus was thinking of you as he hung on the cross. He did not die for an impersonal world but for you personally. Have you put your trust in him? He wants you to come to him if you have not already done so. It may help you to know that in the moment of his death he looked forward to the spread of the gospel among all the nations. And his soul was satisfied. His mission accomplished. All the salvation promises of OT. scripture had found their terminus in him. Presentation 93