John 19:31–33: Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.
In the only known archeological find of a crucifixion, which came to light in 1968, the skeletal remains revealed that the lower legs had been shattered by a single blow. This illustrates this passage. Because of the Law a body was not to remain exposed on a tree (or cross) overnight and certainly not on a Sabbath. A person so executed was under God’s curse and his body if left exposed would defile the land. The smashing of the lower leg bones was called in Latin the crurifragium. This caused death to occur fairly quickly by shock, loss of blood, and inability to breathe (the chest cavity would bear the pressure of the body’s weight after the legs were broken). Without this procedure, a person could live for many hours or even days. This crurifragium was done to the two thieves on each side of Jesus. Jesus had already died so His legs were not broken. 1
Your Word is Truth
When you want to complain about how hard your Christian life is, read again what an innocent and sinless Savior endured for you. He prayed and never complained. He thanked the Father for the joy to endure such hostility in order to save the people He loved. When His closest friends fled, He pressed on to the finish line. Keep your eyes on the prize of heaven and your journey on earth will be more fulfilling.
“He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken.” –Psalm 34:20
You Alone are God
Jesus died on a cross, because He chose to redeem the world from a cross. – TWEET IT
Your Will be Done
Lord, thank You for all the pain and criticism You endured for my salvation.
1. Walvoord, John F., & Zuck, R. B., Dallas Theological Seminary. (1985). The Bible Knowledge Commentary: