Who We Are
 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I am thirsty."  A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips.  When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.  Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down.  The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other.  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.  The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe.  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." Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Centuries of perspective have given us a view of what was "really going on" on that day. But to those around the cross, it was anything but clear.
The Jews and the Romans thought they'd just gotten rid of a heretical troublemaker. But who had they nailed to the cross? John is at pains that we should know the truth (35). This death is not the end of a rebellious 33-year-old, but the fulfillment of centuries of longing, foretold in Scripture (28,36,37). No one is taking this person's life, but he is giving it up freely (30). Amazingly, here on this bleak hillside, the God of history was working out his strange plan and "reconciling the world to himself in Christ" (2 Cor. 5:19).
Could the people around the cross have seen this? No, not at all. Nor can we always see where and how God is at work in the bleakest and darkest moments of our lives. But Calvary shouts hope into our prisons of despair; where darkness has been darkest, the brightest light shall shine. "Even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you" (Psa. 139:12).
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