Tuesday 23 April, 2019

John 19:31-42

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.” 38 Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. 39 He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. 40 Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41 At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

I have been interested in the delivery of justice for as long as I can remember. As an 8 year old, I can remember being given a detention for getting into a fight in the school yard and the person I was fighting with being let off. “That’s not fair!” I cried. I genuinely believe that the person I was fighting with deserved the punishment, and that I was completely in the right.

Even my name, Justin, is derived from the word justice.

This passage in John’s gospel, shows God’s genius as he turns justice on its head using a double injustice to ultimately achieve a just way for all sinners to achieve right relationship with Himself.

Romans 5:8 tells me that “while we were still sinners, Christ Died for us” and Romans 3:23 confirms what I know to be true “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

The narrative in John 19:31-42 shows me that the passage in 2 Corinthians 5:21 (God made Him that knew no sin to become sin for us so that we can become the righteousness of God) could just as accurately be written “God made Him that knew no injustice to receive injustice for us, so that we might receive His perfect justice”.

Thank you Lord that you have made a way that is completely fair, yet completely unfair at the same time. Your justice rules in my favour and I am eternally grateful.

Written by Ps. Justin Ware

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