Jesus’ Life: Chapter 18 – The Passion And Death Of Jesus
Time: Good Friday: Approximately 3.00 – 4.00pm
The usual Roman custom was to leave the bodies of those crucified hanging until putrified; it served as a warning to passersby of their ruling authority.
In contrast, the Jews wished to have all three bodies removed before their Sabbath (Mark 15:42) in accordance with Jewish law. (Deuteronomy 21:22) Moreover, the urgency to do so held greater importance than usual to them as the forthcoming Sabbath was a “high Sabbath, a day when Jews presented themselves before the Lord in the Temple”. (John 19:31)
Therefore, the Jewish leaders went to Pilate and asked for the “victims legs to be broken and their bodies taken down”. (John 19:31) Breaking their legs would cause further trauma, deem them unable to support their upper body to breathe and expedite their death. Pilate agreed to their request.
The soldiers, having broken the legs of the two criminals crucified on either side of Jesus, found that Jesus was already dead so, one of them thrust a spear into His side. Immediately, “blood and water flowed out”. (John 19:34)
“These things happened so that scripture would be fulfilled, ‘Not a bone of his will be broken’. And again another scripture says, ‘They will look on the one whom they have pierced’”. (John 19:36-37) (John 19:31-37)
The blood and water which flowed from Jesus’ side, was the cleansing fountain prophesied by Zechariah, “there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to cleanse them from sin and uncleanliness”. (Zech. 13:1)
Jesus had died for our atonement and purification.
Lord Jesus, forgive me my sins, save me from the tortures of hell and lead all poor suffering souls to Heaven especially, those most in need of your mercy. Amen.
Prayer: Holy Spirit (St Alphonsus Liguori)
You are Fire; enkindle in me your love.
You are Light; enlighten my mind
with the knowledge of eternal things.
You are the Dove; give me innocence of life.
You are the gentle Breeze;
disperse the storms of my passions.
You are the Tongue;
teach me how to bless you always.
You are the Cloud;
shelter me under the Shadow of your protection.
And, lastly –
You are the Giver of all heavenly gifts:
Animate me, I beseech you, with your grace;
Sanctify me with your charity;
Enlighten me with your wisdom;
Adopt me by your goodness as your child,
and save me in your infinite mercy;
So that I may ever bless you, praise you,
and love you;
first during this life on earth,
and then in heaven for all eternity. Amen.