But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. John 19:33-34
Roman soldiers were assassins. They were trained killers who would be killed themselves if they did not carry out their orders. To be sure Jesus was actually dead, one pierced Him in the side. They knew He was dead when the blood and water poured out. They did not know their unbiased witness would be the proof which would disprove an entire culture.
The best our current culture has to offer is a red carpet lined with applause.
You have done a good thing and they are all waiting for you. You step out and walk the length of the red carpet, back straight, chin up. Applause. It is one of those nights that feels so good you never want it to end. The doors spread open and a slick tray balances stems of spirits. Your seat is reserved and revered. They’re waiting for you to tell them how, how on earth you pulled it off.
You’re not really sure. But you have a good story, so you tell it. More applause. Then it’s over and the seat will be filled by someone else tomorrow. Back to the drawing board for you.
This is the best our culture has to offer- compensation in applause and fleeting fame. It never fully satisfies.
The one good thing that settles every debt.
When Jesus hung on the cross, fileted and drowning, his audience did not applaud. They wept or they scorned. They agonized or they terrorized. They did not know what they were watching, but they knew they wanted it to end.
When Jesus hung on the cross, he was crucified as a criminal, humiliated, brutalized, and mocked. It was the one night that felt so awful everyone- both those who loved Him and those who hated Him- wanted it to end. When it was finished, His chest was punctured and blood and water spilled onto the ground. It is a red carpet, unlike any ever seen, rolled out for you.
When Jesus chose to die that way, hundreds of years of prophecies were fulfilled.
They must not break any of its bones. Numbers 9:12
The Lord protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. Psalm 34:20
He was pierced for our transgressions. And by His wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
I will pour out and they will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. Zechariah 12:10
On that day a fountain will be opened to cleanse them from sin and impurity. Zechariah 13:1
The best Jesus has to offer is the best. Embedded and threaded into His red carpet are mercy, grace, truth, love, true love, forgiveness, healing, and purity. Those do not fade; they are eternal.
Jesus did the one good thing. The one good thing that settles every debt. God’s gifts in Jesus satisfy and sanctify deep places our shallow culture does now know.
Jesus did the good thing.
Our current culture wants us to believe there is no other way than “the end,” so live for right now. God is different. He never stops trying to tell us Jesus already ended it, so live for forever.
Jesus did the good thing. He went to the most trouble to show us He loves us. When we believe He died on the cross for us, and turn away from the things that nailed him to it, He reserves us a seat that never expires. Yet our culture does not applaud. And the path to Him is the road less traveled.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. John 10:28