Hey y’all! My name is Annaliese Luna and I am a sophomore studying Choral Music Education and serving on the BCM prayer team. I am so excited to be part of this Advent season and you should get excited because today, we are walking through how Old-Testament prophecy regarding the bones of the righteous is fulfilled during Jesus’ crucifixion. For reference, I am using the NIV version of the Bible, and without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Before we jump to Jesus’ death on the cross, we need to understand the importance of sacrifice and the significance of sacrificial rules. Before Christ, the only way to completely cleanse oneself of their sins was through the act of sacrifice, and many rules came with the action because God required a perfect, unblemished animal usually in the form of a lamb. One particular rule was that the bones of the sacrificial lamb could not be broken (Exodus 12:46) because a complete and unbroken body had to pay for the brokenness of us. Since Jesus was the perfect lamb of God, His bones were including in prophecies regarding His death on the cross, as seen in Psalm 34:20, “He protects all His bones, not one of them will be broken.”
Now let’s jump to the New Testament and observe Jesus’ crucifixion. Since Jesus was the perfect atonement (the payment required for making amends for our sins so we can have a relationship with God, who is holy, righteous, and without sin) for our sins, He had to endure the entire Roman process of crucifixion, which including beating, flogging (ripping of flesh with a sharp whip), and hanging on a cross till death. When the time came while He was hanging on the cross to break His, which was customary in the crucifixion process to hasten one’s death (John 19:33), the Roman soldiers found that he was already dead and instead pierced His side (John 19:34). This piercing fulfilled another Old-Testament prophecy found in Zechariah 12:10. As John recalls in verses 36-37, “These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled. ‘Not one of His bones will be broken,’ and, as another scripture says, ‘They will look on the one they have pierced.’”
Considering the amount of physical abuse on Jesus’ body, it is unfathomable how no bone was broken. Even though His outer flesh was torn to shreds, not one bone was blemished. In addition, the timing of His death was impeccable because He died before the Romans would customarily break the bones. All of this occurred so that prophecies in adherence to the religious sacrificial rules regarding a righteous sacrifice for one’s sins.
So, what does this mean for us today? For one thing, it proves the case for Christ because it proves that He was the Messiah and He was God in human flesh. The odds of someone enduring crucifixion without a single broken bone is highly improbable, yet Jesus did so. More importantly, the evidence that Old Testament prophecy was fulfilled in the New Testament shows that God always faithful in keeping His promises. Therefore, when hard times come, all you have to do is go back and read God’s promises to know that He is faithful and at work in your life. So, as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, who died on the cross for our sins so that we could have a relationship with a perfect, holy God, let’s celebrate and go tell the good news of Christ to others.
Write down a time in your life where you have seen God’s faithfulness in keeping His promises and thank Him for doing so in prayer.
Write down your favorite promise that you can always cling to that gives you comfort, peace, and hope, and pray that God helps you remember that promise when life gets tough.
Write down someone you can share that same promise with and pray that God gives you an opportunity to remind them of God’s love and faithfulness during this giving season.