That Ye Might Believe
John 19:35-37 - Good Friday - April 18, 2014

“And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of Him shall not be broken. And again another scripture saith, They shall look on Him whom they pierced.”

By God’s grace we’ve continued in the details of Christ’s Passion, the details of the suffering, the death, and the burial of our Lord. May God bless your review of it all, that it may all come together in your mind, heart, and soul, and be for your assurance, for the strengthening of your faith. It was all truly for you. It was all recorded for you, as John says clearly, “that ye might believe.”

The details are more than enough to make anyone cry. Such brutality against the One Person who’s done nothing wrong. And Pilate’s soldiers had no clue who they were mocking, and spitting on. Yet, didn’t He do it for them too? Did He not die for them too?

By God’s grace we do know Christ, but yet, how often we forget Him, and go about our daily things as if nothing happened at all.

But it did happen. The sun was darkened, the earth shook, the rocks rent, the graves were opened, as though even nature itself knew something was wrong. The Son of God died. The creator of life, lays down His life, that we might live.

Let it be for your assurance. Let it be for your strength, for your faith. It is recorded, that you might believe.

For the joy that was set before Him He endured the cross - joy as He faced death. For He died, that we might live. That you might believe.

Let us consider that it was day number 6 when God created man. And it was day number what?...6, when God’s Son re-created us on the cross, as He says, “Behold I make all things new.” He did that by dying. To take away the power of all sin and death, and the devil, Jesus died.

He is laid to rest, but of course, it’s not the end. He went to the grave not to stay there, but to overcome. So that we never have to go through death alone. We never have to fear it. Christ already went through it for us. “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”

We call it Good Friday, yet, still, it doesn’t always seem very good, when we consider what He went through. It’s like He was surrounded by a pack of hungry wolves. He’s surrounded by the High Priest and his ruling council, the Sanhedrin. They’re not about to let this trouble-maker go free. They can’t stand Him. He dares to make Himself equal with God, and continues to teach contrary to their precious traditions. Then He is struck for telling the truth about how He taught openly in the world.

Then the false witnesses surround Him with the false accusations.

Later, under Pilate’s jurisdiction the soldiers surround Him, and they mock and abuse Him.

Still later the crowd surrounds Him, crying to “Crucify Him.” And Pilate is willing to sacrifice an innocent man to remain on everyone’s good side.

He’s surrounded, even after He dies. His enemies, assuming He’s still alive, want to speed up the process by breaking His legs.

But there was one thing they couldn’t touch. They broke His skin all right, with the crown of thorns, and other abuses. But there was one thing they couldn’t break. His bones. But why?

They didn’t want any of them remaining on the cross by sundown, for that marked the beginning of the Sabbath. But much to their surprise, Jesus had already died. So they didn’t break His legs, that the Scriptures should be fulfilled.

Clearly it was all according to plan, God’s plan. Not one single bone would be broken, because Jesus is the Lamb of God. The Old Testament sacrificial lambs had to be perfect, completely whole.

That’s who died for you and me. The perfect Substitute, that He might make us completely perfect and whole in God’s eyes.

He remakes you, He renews you, He recreated you, by dying for you. And it’s not only what He did then, but also, what He continues to do for you and me now. He promises to keep us in that true saving faith by His Word, by His Sacraments - washing away our sin in the waters of Holy Baptism, which is not water only, but water comprehended in and connected to God’s Word. He continues to seal to us the forgiveness of sins in the Holy Supper, as Scripture says, the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin.

And so we have come to an end of the Passion History. We’ve learned and re-learned and it has been for our assurance. “He that saw it bare record, that ye might believe.” That you might continue to believe. In Jesus’ name. Amen.