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fulfilled, saith, I thirst. 29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus, therefore, had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
See notes on Matt. xxvii. 46-50. That the scripture,' &c., Ps. lxix. 21. It is finished.' The sufferings and agonies in redeeming man are over. The work long contemplated, long promised, long expected by prophets and saints, is done. The toils in the ministry, the persecutions and mockeries, and the pangs of the garden and the cross, are ended, and man is redeemed.
31 The Jews therefore because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day), besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
"The preparation,' ver. 14. That the bodies,' &c. The law required that the bodies of those who were hung should not remain suspended during the night. See Deut. xxi. 22, 23. In the punishment by crucifixion, life was lengthened out for four, five, or eight days. The Jews, therefore, requested that their death might be hastened, and that the land might not be polluted by their bodies remaining suspended on the sabbath day. Was an high day.' It was called an 'high day' because that year the feast of the passover commenced on the sabbath. Their legs might be broken.' To hasten their death. The effect of this while they were suspended on the cross would be, to increase their pain by the act of breaking them, and to deprive their body of the support which it received from the feet, and to throw the whole weight on the hands. By this increased torment their lives were soon ended. Lactantius says that this was commonly done by the Romans to persons who were crucified.
32 Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. 33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs :
'Saw that he was dead.' Saw by the indications of death on his person, and perhaps by the testimony of the centurion, Matt. xxvii. 54. The death of Jesus was doubtless hastened by the intense agony of the garden, and the peculiar sufferings endured on the cross as an atonement for sin. Compare Matt. xxvii. 46.
34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came thereout blood and water.
'One of the soldiers.' One of those appointed to watch the
bodies till they were dead. This man appears to nave doubted whether Jesus was dead, and in order to see whether he was not yet sensible, he pierced him with his spear. The Jews designed that his legs should be broken, but this was prevented by the providence of God. Yet in another way more satisfactory proof was obtained of his death. This was so ordered, no doubt, that there might be the fullest proof that he was truly dead; that it could not be pretended that he had swooned away and revived. 'With a spear. The common spear which soldiers used in war. Pierced his side, and forthwith came,' &c. It is probable, though it is not certainly expressed, that the left side was pierced by the spear. It is evident that the spear reached the heart, and if Jesus had not before been dead, this would have closed his life. The heart is surrounded by a membrane called the pericardium. This membrane contains a serous matter or liquor resembling water, which prevents the surface of the heart from becoming dry by its continual motion. It was this which was pierced, and from which the water flowed. The point of the spear also reached one of the ventricles of the heart, and the blood yet warm rushed forth either mingled with or followed by the water of the pericardium, so as to appear to John to be blood and water flowing together. This was a natural effect, and would follow in any other case. It was adduced by John to establish one fact on which the whole of christianity turns-that he was truly dead. On this depends the doctrine of the atonement, of his resurrection, and of all the prominent doctrines of religion. This fact it was of importance to prove, that it might not be pretended that he had only fainted. This John establishes. On this fact he dwells with the interest which a subject of so much importance to the world demanded.
35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true and he knoweth that he saith true, that believe.
'He saw it.' John himself. He is accustomed to speak of himself in the third person. His record is true.' His testimony is true. He often appeals thus to the fact that his testimony was known to be true. It would be well all professed christians had such a character that their word would be assuredly believed.
36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.
'That the scripture might be fulfilled.' See Ex. xii. 46. John here regards the paschal lamb as an emblem of Christ; and as in the law it was commanded that a bone of the paschal lamb should not be broken, so in the providence of God it was ordered that a bone of the Saviour should not be broken.
37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.
Another scripture,' Zech. xii. 10. We must here he struck with the wonderful providence of God, that so many scriptures were fulfilled in his death. All these things happened without any design to fulfil the scriptures by the men engaged in these scenes. Little did they suppose when delivering him to Pilate when he was mocked-when they parted his garments-when they pierced him-that they were fulfilling ancient predictions. But in this way God has so ordered it, that the firmest foundation is laid for the belief that he was the true Messiah, and that the designs of wicked men shall all be overruled to the fulfilment of the great plans which God had in the creation of the world.
38 And after this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore and took the body of Jesus. 39 And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. 40 Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. 41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. 42 There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.
See notes on Matt. xxvii. 57-61.
1 THE first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. 2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. 3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. 4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. 5 And he stooping down, and looking in saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. 6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,
And the napkin that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. 8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. 9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.
For an account of the resurrection of Christ, see notes on Matt. xxviii. 'The scripture.' See Luke xxiv. 26, 46. The sense or meaning of the various predictions that foretold his death, as Ps. ii. 7. Compare Acts xiii. 33. Ps. xvi. 9, 10. Compare Acts ii. 25-32. Ps. cx. 1. Compare Acts ii. 34, 35.
11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, 12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.
"They have taken away.' That is, the disciples or friends of Jesus who had laid him there. Perhaps it was understood that the body was deposited there only to remain over the sabbath, with an intention then of removing it to some other place of burial. Hence they hastened early in the morning to make preparation, and Mary supposed they had arrived before her, and had taken him away.
14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
'Knew not that it was Jesus.' She was not expecting to see him. It was yet also twilight, and she could not see distinctly.
15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. 16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
'Jesus saith unto her, Mary.' This was spoken doubtless in a tone of voice that at once recalled him to her recollection. 'Rabboni.' This is a Hebrew word denoting master. It was at once an expression of her joy, and an acknowledgment of him as her Lord and Master.
17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and to your Father; and to my God, and your God. 18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.
'Touch me not,' &c. Mary, filled with joy and gratitude, was about to prostrate herself at his teet, disposed to remain with him, and offer him there her homage as her risen Lord. This is probably included in the word 'touch' in this place. And the language of Jesus is, Do not approach me now for this purpose. Do not delay here. Other opportunities will yet be afforded to see me, and to enjoy my presence hereafter. I have not yet ascended, that is, am not about to ascend immediately, but shall remain yet on the earth to afford opportunity to my disciples to enjoy my presence. My brethren.' See ch. xv. 15. My Father and your Father,' &c. Nothing was better fitted to afford them consolation than this assurance that his God was theirs, and that though he had been slain, yet they were still indissolubly united in attachment to the same Father and God.
19¶Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
The same day at evening.' On the first day of the week, the day of the resurrection of Christ. When the doors were shut.' Jesus had been taken from them, and it was natural that they should fear that the Jews would next attempt to wreak their vengeance on his followers. Hence they met in the evening, and with closed doors, lest the Jews should bring against them the same charge of sedition that they had against the Lord Jesus. It is not said what was the object of their assembling, but it is not unreasonable to suppose that it was to talk over the events which had just occurred; to deliberate about their condition, and to engage in acts of worship. Their minds were doubtless much agitated. They had seen their Master taken away and put to death. But a part of their number also had affirmed that they had seen him alive. In this state of agitation they naturally came together in a time and place of safety. It is worthy of remark that this is the first assembly that was convened for worship on the Lord's day, and in that assembly Jesus was present. Since that time the day has been observed in the church as the christian sabbath, particularly to commemorate the resurrection of Christ. Came Jesus,' &c. It is not certain that he came into their assembly in a miraculous manner. Jesus might have