BibleTools

Topical Studies

 A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


What the Bible says about Prophecies of Jesus Christ's Death
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Psalm 22:1-31

Perhaps the easiest way to see David as a prophet is to survey one of his most clearly prophetic psalms, Psalm 22. Anyone familiar with the scourging and crucifixion of Jesus Christ can see the obvious parallels, and the writers of the gospel accounts—especially Matthew—bring them out through direct quotations of this psalm. Henry Halley, author of Halley's Bible Handbook, writes of this psalm, "[T]hough written a thousand years before Jesus, it is so vivid a description of the crucifixion of Jesus that one would think of the writer as being personally present at the Cross" (p. 254).

No one knows what event of David's life, if any, provides the background to his plaintive song, but it must have been the nadir of his sufferings, the most likely guess being sometime during Saul's pursuit of him. However, even if it is based on David's experience of persecution, Psalm 22 is so specific and detailed in its descriptions of Christ's crucifixion that it can in reality only be a divinely inspired prophecy of the execution of the Son of God—a full millennium before the events took place in Roman Jerusalem.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
David the Prophet

Psalm 22:6-8

When Jesus was on the stake, the mob that had gathered mocked and yelled out, "He said He was the Messiah! He said He was the Son of God! Why do You not bring Yourself down?" That exactly fulfilled this prophecy.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Christ's Death, Resurrection, and Ascension

Psalm 22:6-8

David describes the Messiah's abusers and revilers in the mob that shouted for His death. As the prophet Isaiah later wrote: "He is despised and rejected by men, . . . He was despised, and we did not esteem Him" (Isaiah 53:3). Again, Matthew confirms the prophecy, recording the reaction of the crowd, who unwittingly used its very words:

And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads. . . . Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, . . . "He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, "I am the Son of God.'" Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing. (Matthew 27:39, 41, 43-44)

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
David the Prophet

Psalm 22:14-15

This is a prophecy of Christ is hanging on the stake. Remember that He asked for water (John 19:28)?

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Christ's Death, Resurrection, and Ascension

Matthew 26:27-29

Jesus was certainly aware that He would spend forty days with His disciples after His resurrection, time in which He would have been well able to enjoy a glass of wine with them. But the first part of His statement seems to have been a vow, or at least a strong promise, that He would abstain from wine until after the time of their resurrection.

It may be significant then that, just before His crucifixion, once He realized what He was being given, He refused the sour wine and gall mixture that was offered to Him: "They gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted, He would not drink" (Matthew 27:34; see also Mark 15:23; Luke 23:36).

From our human points of view, we may think that a mere taste of this foul-tasting cocktail would not have caused Jesus to break His vow—that it could hardly be construed as "drinking of the fruit of the vine" with His disciples. Jesus, however, looked at things from God's point of view, and He knew that all that His Father had assigned for Him to do was to be carried out perfectly, and not with an "oh, that should do" attitude.

The Greek verb for "taste" in Matthew 27:34 is geuomai, which can mean "to perceive the flavor of," suggesting that perhaps Jesus did not actually taste the mixture at all. In the haze of His agony, He may not have been aware of what the Roman soldier was holding up to Him until it reached His lips, and in that split-second, He recognized it for sour wine. In any case, a taste cannot be considered a drink.

Later, as His human life moved into its final moments, He was offered sour wine a second time: "Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink" (Matthew 27:48; see also Mark 15:36; John 19:29-30).

These "drink offerings" of sour wine and gall perfectly fulfilled David's prophecy of Psalm 69:21: "They also gave me gall for my food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink."

Staff
Of Sponges and Spears

Matthew 27:34

These "drink offerings" of sour wine and gall perfectly fulfilled David's prophecy of Psalm 69:21: "They also gave me gall for my food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink."

But what was this "sour wine"? Easton's Bible Dictionary describes this drink in its article, "Gall":

The drink offered to our Lord was vinegar (made of light wine rendered acid, the common drink of Roman soldiers) "mingled with gall," or, according to Mark 15:23, "mingled with myrrh"; both expressions meaning the same thing, namely, that the vinegar was made bitter by the infusion of wormwood or some other bitter substance, usually given, according to a merciful custom, as an anodyne [pain reliever] to those who were crucified, to render them insensible to pain. Our Lord, knowing this, refuses to drink it. He would take nothing to cloud his faculties or blunt the pain of dying. He chooses to suffer every element of woe in the bitter cup of agony given him by the Father (John 18:11).

Other commentators opine that the gall—being a poison as well as a desensitizing drug—was meant to speed the death of the victim before the grisly effects of the crucifixion did. But surely it was not offered as, Easton suggests, for the comfort of the condemned! Rather, it was given for the soldiers' own ease and perhaps for the benefit of the pitiless Jewish leaders who wanted the three victims dead and disposed of before the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (John 19:31-33).

Luke's account implies that the soldiers' offers of sour wine to Jesus were part of their mockery of Him: "The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine" (Luke 23:36). It is not logical that these soldiers would mock Jesus, beat Him, spit on Him, jam a crown of thorns on His head, flog Him terribly, and then give a pain-relieving drink to Him as a "merciful custom"! Later, to speed their deaths, the soldiers would break the legs of the two men who were crucified on either side of Jesus and would cruelly stab Him with a spear. They would have broken Jesus' legs too, but they were prevented from doing so for the prophecies to be accurately fulfilled. Not much evidence of mercy here!

Staff
Of Sponges and Spears

John 19:34

The modern understanding of the English word "pierced" used in these verses (also in Job 16:13; Psalm 22:16; Lamentations 3:13; and Revelation 1:7) does not adequately describe the magnitude of Jesus' terrible wound. When we think of "pierced," we probably think of:

» The minor puncture of the tiny needle used for the medical blood-tests we might have from time to time;

» The minute holes required for earrings; or

» The erroneous view of classical artists who painted depictions of the crucified Christ with small, inoffensive wounds from which drip insignificant trickles of blood.

Webster's Dictionary definitions, however, show that the Bible's translators did an accurate job in translating this word:

» To run into or through as a pointed weapon does;

» To stab;

» To enter or thrust into sharply or painfully;

» To force or make a way into or through.

Here is an excerpt from Albert Barnes' commentary on John 19:34:

[With a spear] The common spear which soldiers used in war. There can be no doubt that such a stroke from the strong arm of a Roman soldier would have caused death, if He had not been already dead. . . . Let the following circumstances be remembered, showing that death must have ensued from such a wound:

(1) The Saviour was elevated but a little from the ground, so as to be easily reached by the spear of a soldier.

(2) The wound must have been transversely upward, so as to have penetrated into the body, as he could not have stood directly under Him.

(3) It was probably made with a strong arm and with violence.

(4) The spear of the Roman soldier was a lance which tapered very gently to a point, and would penetrate easily.

(5) The wound was comparatively a large wound. It was so large as to admit the hand (John 20:27); but for a lance thus tapering to have made a wound so wide as to admit the hand, it must have been at least four or five inches in depth, and must have been such as to have made death certain. If it be remembered that this blow was probably in the left side, the conclusion is inevitable that death would have been the consequence of such a blow. . . .

It is clear that the spear pierced to the region of the heart. . . .

Such a flowing of blood and water makes it probable that the spear reached the heart, and if Jesus had not before been dead, this would have closed His life. . . .

He [John] shows that those who were sent to hasten His death believed that He had expired; that then a soldier inflicted a wound which would have terminated life if He had not been already dead; and that the infliction of this wound was followed by the fullest proof that He had truly expired.

Further research informs us that some Roman spears had larger blades attached to their "business end" for the purpose of inflicting larger wounds. However, if Barnes is correct that the point of this spear tapered gently to a point, the soldier must have viciously twisted it in order to create a five-inch gash. In fact, such a twisting motion, virtually guaranteeing a mortal wound, would have been second-nature to a veteran soldier.

Each year, as we reflect upon the great sufferings of our Savior, let us not be depressed by them. Although we should deeply appreciate the agonies that Jesus endured for us, we should realize that His physical suffering is now over, and has been over for nearly two thousand years. In this regard, Matthew Henry's Commentary on John 19:34 is very interesting, positive, forward-looking, and worthy of some reflection. He notes that the Creator—the One who later became Jesus Christ—pierced and opened Adam's side to create his wife, Eve. Likewise, Jesus Christ, the Second Adam, suffered His own side to be pierced and opened in order for His own Bride to be created.

The members of God's true church constitute the beloved Bride of Christ. Our tiny congregations have the wonderful privilege of being part of that church. As we have seen, Jesus calls on us to remember His affliction, including the piercing, the cup, the sour wine, and the gall. No matter how many years we have rehearsed these events, let us remember once again what our Savior went through bodily for us. As He said to His disciples, "This is My body which is given for you" (Luke 22:19).

Staff
Of Sponges and Spears


 




The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment

The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment

Sign up for the Berean: Daily Verse and Comment, and have Biblical truth delivered to your inbox. This daily newsletter provides a starting point for personal study, and gives valuable insight into the verses that make up the Word of God. See what over 145,000 subscribers are already receiving each day.

Email Address:

   
Leave this field empty

We respect your privacy. Your email address will not be sold, distributed, rented, or in any way given out to a third party. We have nothing to sell. You may easily unsubscribe at any time.
 A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
©Copyright 1992-2020 Church of the Great God.   Contact C.G.G. if you have questions or comments.
Share this on FacebookEmailPrinter version
Close
E-mail This Page