The 6-week period of Lent leads up to Easter and is a time for believers to really take in all Jesus did for us through his death and resurrection. This Lent, we are preparing by digging deep into Jesus’ character through the pages of the Bible. Our daily Bible readings will go from Genesis to Revelation searching for Jesus and who he is. Our study uses the SOAP method of Bible study to seek an application for each reading (not sure what this is? Check out the What’s SOAP? tab). We have provided an example SOAP note below today’s reading. Join in this study by completing the daily readings and journaling using SOAP and you are welcome to use the Comments section at the bottom of our homepage to share or ask questions.
Jesus is a sacrifice.
John 19:17-37 – So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle. 19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: jesus of nazareth, the king of the jews. 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.” 23 When 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 that said, “They divided my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.” So this is what the soldiers did. 25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. 28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A 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. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. 31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders 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. 32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35 The 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. 36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” 37 and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”
Jesus is the Atoning Sacrifice | Becky Newman
Not only does this scripture fulfill Zechariah 12:10, but it also fulfills the command for atonement given in the Old Testament through the sacrificed blood of animals in the temple. Atonement is the act of reconciling with God for our sins. The Day of Atonement was commanded in Leviticus 23 as a holy day in which the high priest atoned for the sins of the people through sacrificing goats and bulls. This holy day is still celebrated today in September or October and is more commonly known as Yom Kippur. But the holy celebration going on at the time of Jesus’ death was the Passover. The command to celebrate Passover is given in Exodus 12. A lamb is to be sacrificed for each household — “It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when He struck down the Egyptians.” (Exodus 12:27) At the time of Jesus, the Passover lambs were sacrificed in the temple, and as instructed in Leviticus, the blood of the lamb would have been poured out at the base of the altar on the same day Jesus died. One lamb for each household? That’s a lot of blood! Why blood? God answers that question in Leviticus 17:11 — “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for one’s life.” Historically, it’s thought that all that blood entered into a drainage system from the Temple that emptied into an underground spring, and thus a mix of blood and water flowed into the Kidron Valley from Jerusalem, which was used to water and fertilize the fields. This is very similar to the vision Ezekiel had of life-giving waters flowing from the Temple into the valley (Ezekiel 47). And all of this detail gets us to why John 19:34 is the foundation of our faith. When the soldier pierced Jesus’ side, blood and water flowed from Jesus, as the Temple (John 2:19), atoning for our sins once and for all, so that we are reconciled to God and can have a personal relationship with Him without a high priest mediating between us.
Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, just as John the Baptist proclaimed! Jesus’ sacrifice is our atonement. The blood and water that poured out gives me life and washes we whiter than snow before God, so I can sit here with You each day and feel Your presence and Your light within me and experience Your guidance and nudging.
Lord, I thank You for Jesus, for His atoning sacrifice for each one of my sins. Thank You for the life You give me through the living waters flowing from the Temple. Help me and my family celebrate Easter well this year as we remember all that You have done for us.
The Discover One Thing main website has more resources on the SOAP method of Bible study. Click HERE to go to the website.