John 19:34

To this solemn, awful moment Jesus had been looking forward during the whole of his ministry. As the ministry drew to a close he felt the approach of its consummation, and again and again gave utterance to his feelings. He knew that the hour had come, that he was about to leave the world; he had looked up to the Father and had said, "I come to thee." And now the reason for living was over, and nothing remained for him but to die. The end was marked by the brief, momentous exclamation, "It is finished!"

I. THE PREDICTIONS REFERRING TO THE MESSIAH WERE NOW ALL FULFILLED. It had been written, "The Seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head;" "Thou hast brought me into the dust of death;" "It pleased the Lord to bruise him;" "The Messiah shall be cut off;" "I will smite the Shepherd." These predictions of the sufferings of the Anointed of God were now verified in the experience completed by the Son of man.

II. THE OBEDIENCE AND HUMILIATION OF THE SON OF GOD WERE NOW COMPLETED. His humiliation had been apparent in his taking the form of a servant, and enduring poverty and privation, anguish and contempt. His obedience had commenced with his childhood, had been continued during his ministry, and was now perfected in death, even the death of the cross. His active service was one long act of obedience, and his patient endurance now made that obedience complete. He "learned obedience by the things which he suffered." Nothing had been left undone which could prove Christ's unhesitating submission to the will of God his Father. When he had endured the cross, despising the shame, his offering of filial obedience, subjection, and consecration was ready to be presented to the Father by whose will he had come, and had endured all the consequences of coming, into this world of sin and misery.

III. THE TERM OF CHRIST'S SUFFERING AND SORROW WAS AT AN END. He had shrunk from no trial; he had drained the cup to the dregs. Now there was no more humiliation, subjection, conflict. He was about to exchange the mock robes of royalty, the reed-scepter, the crown of thorns, for the symbols and the reality of universal empire. The period of agony was past; the period of triumph was at hand.

IV. THE SACRIFICE OF THE LAMB OF GOD WAS ACCOMPLISHED. The one offering appointed by Divine righteousness and love was now to fulfill its purpose, to supersede the prophetic and anticipatory sacrifices of the dispensation which was passing away. The economy of shadows was to give place to that of substance. Reconciliation, not merely legal, but moral, not for Israel only, but for mankind, was now brought about by the work of the Divine Mediator. The veil of the temple was rent, the way into the holiest was opened. Provision was made for the inflowing of mercy like a mighty stream. The means were now introduced to secure the end dear to the Divine heart - the everlasting salvation of sinful men.


1. In this language we have an appeal to the Father's approval. It is to us a matter of infinite importance to know that the will of God was fulfilled to the very utmost by our Substitute and Representative.

2. We have also in this cry an exclamation expressive of Christ's own satisfaction and joy. To him it could not but be a relief to feel that the experience of pain and bitter woe to which he had submitted was now at an end. It is our privilege to suffer with him, and with him to die unto sin.

3. The hearer of the gospel may in these words welcome an assurance that redemption has been wrought, that the ransom has been paid, that salvation may now be published to all mankind through the once crucified and now glorified Redeemer. - T.

One of the soldiers with a spear pierced His side.
I. IT WAS AN ACT OF INSULT AND INDIGNITY TO HIS PERSON. To this, indeed, He was no stranger. In the hall of Pilate, and on the cross He encountered indignities of the cruellest kind. But, beyond the moment of death, the malice of His enemies pursued Him. We cannot behold the body, which the Holy Spirit had prepared, thus mangled, without the deepest sorrow and humiliation. We could not see the body of a convicted malefactor thus insulted without the deepest pity. "He was wounded for our transgressions." Let us look to Him whom we pierced, and mourn because of Him. And let the believing contemplation of the wounds of Jesus teach us submission under the varied ills and sorrows of our own earthly lot.

II. IT ASCERTAINS, AND PLACES BEYOND QUESTION, THE REALITY OF HIS DEATH. On this some of the most important truths depend.

1. If He had not actually expired, there would have been no sacrifice at all. The true nature of a sacrifice is the actual dying of the victim. If, therefore, the death of Jesus were not put beyond all question, His doctrine might enlighten, and His example direct us, but we should have no assurance that an actual and efficient atonement had been made for sin.

2. The reality of our Lord's death is essential to the confirmation of the hopes which are founded on His resurrection. If we could not show that death had actually taken place, "our preaching would be vain, your faith would be vain, and you would be yet in your sins." The piercing of His side put His death beyond question. Believing that He "both died, and rose, and revived," we look up to Him with sacred satisfaction and joy, and adore Him as "Lord both of the dead and of the living."


1. With respect to the first of these, it is obvious, that it is the prescription in reference to the Paschal Lamb that is pointed to. The executioner breaks the legs first of the one malefactor, and then of the other; but why does he stop short? Nobody interferes to arrest the fatal blow. But had it fallen the pretensions of Jesus to be the antitype of the Paschal Lamb, and consequently the Messiah of Israel, would have been for ever annulled. While, therefore, the executioner proceeds to do his work, an invisible Power interposed to restrain him. The honour of God's Son was at stake — the comfort of the Church was in peril — the mission of Jesus must be established by the fulfilment of prophecy.

2. Nor is the piercing of His side a less remarkable fulfilment. In the accomplishing of the one, the soldier abstains from doing to Jesus what he had done to the others, and what he had been told to do to all; while, in accomplishing the other prophecy, another soldier does to him what he did not do to the others, and what he was not told to do. And by this opposite conduct of two Roman soldiers were two memorable predictions of God's Word accomplished.

IV. IT WAS AN EMBLEM OF THE EXPIATORY AND PURIFYING VIRTUE OF HIS SACRIFICE. The piercing of his Master's side, and the issuing of blood and water from the wound, made a deep and abiding impression on the mind of John, and we find him recurring to it in his first Epistle (ver. 6). "This is He who came by water and blood." In all languages water has been employed as an emblem of moral cleansing, while the universal prevalence of sacrifice has made blood the proper symbol of expiation.

(J. Johnston.)

I. THE OCCASION. The scrupulosity of the Jews, which teaches us —

1. That superstition is fuller of ceremony than of mercy.

2. That the worst of men are usually very solicitous about external worship.

3. That malefactors are not to be taken out of the hands of justice, and left to the malice of the executioner or the fury of the multitude. They had to ask leave of Pilate for the additional punishment.

4. That when a man once gives himself up to please men there is no end to his compliance. Pilate who began by consenting to scourge Christ ends by signing an order for the breaking of His legs.

5. That Christ was willing to die for us, hence He died before the usual time. Had His legs been broken His death would have seemed the effect of violence rather than His own resignation (John 10:18).


1. AS an act of Christ's love and condescension, that He would expose His body to the malice and violence of wicked men. He might have dried up the soldier's arm as He did Jeroboams; but by this stroke Christ would have His heart opened to show how full of love He is to sinners. As at the beginning Adam's side was opened and Eve was taken out of it; so is the Church out of Christ's side. In this circumstance there is —(1) Hope for all wounded sinners. It is said of those converts (Acts 2:37) that "they were pricked to their hearts." Christ's heart is wounded that they might be healed. This is the cleft of the rock in which guilty men may find refuge when wrath makes inquisition for sinners.(2) Matter of thankfulness. Soldiers to endear themselves to their country are wont to show their scars received in public service: so Christ (John 20:27). In the sacrament these things are presented to faith.

2. As a certain pledge of Christ's death. The flowing of blood and water shows that the pericardium was pierced. So His enemies could not say that He was half dead, and that His resurrection was but a reviving out of a swoon. Upon this is based the Resurrection and all its benefits, and the fulness of the expiation which Christ offered to justice.

3. As a Divine necessity. Christ was to die —(1) As a Surety. We deserved death, but our Surety was to pay our debt. This Christ did (1 Peter 3:18; 1 Timothy 2:6).(2) As a Testator or Maker of the New Testament. We could never have had the benefit of the Covenant if Christ had not died (Hebrews 9:16).

(T. Manton, D. D.)

Forthwith came there out blood and water.
In the water and the blood are represented the most essential elements of salvation. The water has a remote reference to baptism, but it chiefly symbolizes the moral purifying power of the word of Christ. The blood points out the ransom paid for our guilt, as well as the atoning sacrifice. The blood flowed separately from the water; justification must not be mingled with, much less substituted for, personal amendment.

(F. Krummacher.)

Since Dr. Stroud published his work on "The Physical Causes of Christ's Death," we have met with no doubt expressed as to the death of Christ having immediately resulted from rupture of the heart. "Joy, or grief, or anger, suddenly or intensely excited, have often been known to produce this effect. The heart, which the universal language of mankind has spoken of as peculiarly affected by the play of the passions, has been found in such cases to have been rent or torn by the violence of its own action. The blood issuing from the fissure thus created has filled the pericardium, or sac, by which the heart is enclosed, and by its pressure has stopped the action of the heart" (Dr. Hanna). Common sorrow can, in its sudden extremity, break hearts; why may not that sorrow, deep beyond all other sorrows, have broken His? We believe it did. Now, when blood escapes from its vessels, within a short time it coagulates, its watery part separating from the rest; and there would be, so science tells us, within an hour or two after death such a flow of blood and water from a piercing as that which John saw. The late Sir James Simpson has said on this matter: "It has always appeared, to my medical mind at least, that this mode by which death was produced in the human body of Christ intensifies all our thoughts and ideas regarding the immensity of the astounding sacrifice which He made for our sinful race on the cross. Nothing can possibly be more striking and startling than the appalling and terrific passiveness with which God as man submitted, for our sakes, His incarnate body to all the horrors and tortures of the Crucifixion. But our wonderment at the stupendous sacrifice only increases when we reflect that, whilst enduring for our sins the most cruel and agonizing form of corporeal death, He was ultimately slain, not by the effects of the anguish of His corporeal frame, but by the effects of the mightier anguish of His mind; the fleshly walls of His heart, like the veil, as it were, in the Temple of His human body, becoming rent and riven, as for us He poured out His soul unto death. 'The travail of His soul' in that awful hour thus standing out as unspeakably bitterer and more dreadful than the travail of His body."

(C. Stanford, D.D.)

Cleopas, Cleophas, Jesus, Joseph, Mary, Nicodemus, Pilate
Arimathea, Gabbatha, Golgotha, Jerusalem, Nazareth, The Place of the Skull, The Stone Pavement
Blood, Bringing, Flow, Flowed, Forth, Forthwith, Howbeit, However, Immediately, Lance, Pierce, Pierced, Soldiers, Spear, Straight, Straightway, Sudden, Thrust, Wound
1. Jesus is scourged, crowned with thorns, and beaten.
4. Pilate is desirous to release him,
15. but being overcome with the outrage of the crowd, he delivers him to be crucified.
23. They cast lots for his garments.
25. He commends his mother to John.
28. He dies.
31. His side is pierced.
38. He is buried by Joseph and Nicodemus.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
John 19:34

     5545   spear

John 19:26-35

     2412   cross, accounts of

John 19:31-36

     5163   legs

John 19:31-42

     7110   body of Christ

John 19:32-34

     5281   crucifixion

John 19:33-34

     5441   philosophy

February 20 Morning
He shall see of the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied.--ISA. 53:11. Jesus . . . said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.--He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.--To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

August 4 Morning
It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.--JOHN 19:30. Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.--I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.--We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering an offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

October 18 Morning
One of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.--JOHN 19:34. Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you.--The life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls.--It is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Jesus said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.--By his own blood he entered in once into
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

February 17 Morning
The whole bullock shall he carry forth without the camp unto a clean place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn him on the wood with fire.--LEV. 4:12. They took Jesus, and led him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: where they crucified him.--The bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

The Title on the Cross
'Pilate wrote a title also, and put it on the cross.' --JOHN xix. 19. This title is recorded by all four Evangelists, in words varying in form but alike in substance. It strikes them all as significant that, meaning only to fling a jeer at his unruly subjects, Pilate should have written it, and proclaimed this Nazarene visionary to be He for whom Israel had longed through weary ages. John's account is the fullest, as indeed his narrative of all Pilate's shufflings is the most complete. He alone records
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: St. John Chaps. XV to XXI

The Irrevocable Past
'What I have written I have written.'--JOHN xix. 22. This was a mere piece of obstinacy. Pilate knew that he had prostituted his office in condemning Jesus, and he revenged himself for weak compliance by ill-timed mulishness. A cool-headed governor would have humoured his difficult subjects in such a trifle, as a just one would have been inflexible in a matter of life and death. But this man's facile yielding and his stiff-necked obstinacy were both misplaced. 'So I will, so I command. Let my will
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: St. John Chaps. XV to XXI

Christ's Finished and Unfinished Work
'Jesus ... said, It is finished.'--JOHN xix. 30. 'He said unto me, It is done.'--REV. xxi. 6. One of these sayings was spoken from the Cross, the other from the Throne. The Speaker of both is the same. In the one, His voice 'then shook the earth,' as the rending rocks testified; in the other, His voice 'will shake not the earth only but also heaven'; for 'new heavens and a new earth' accompanied the proclamation. In the one, like some traveller ready to depart, who casts a final glance over his preparations,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: St. John Chaps. XV to XXI

Christ Our Passover
'These things were done, that the Scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of Him shall not be broken.'--JOHN xix. 36. The Evangelist, in the words of this text, points to the great Feast of the Passover and to the Paschal Lamb, as finding their highest fulfilment, as he calls it, in Jesus Christ. For this purpose of bringing out the correspondence between the shadow and the substance he avails himself of a singular coincidence concerning a perfectly unimportant matter--viz., the abnormally rapid sinking
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: St. John Chaps. XV to XXI

The Grave in a Garden
'In the garden a new tomb.'--JOHN xix. 41 (R.V.). This is possibly no more than a topographical note introduced merely for the sake of accuracy. But it is quite in John's manner to attach importance to these apparent trifles and to give no express statement that he is doing so. There are several other instances in the Gospel where similar details are given which appear to have had in his eyes a symbolical meaning--e.g. 'And it was night.' There may have been such a thought in his mind, for all men
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: St. John Chaps. XV to XXI

Jesus Sentenced
'Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged Him. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote Him with their hands. Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring Him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in Him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the Man! When the chief priests
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: St. John Chaps. XV to XXI

An Eye-Witness's Account of the Crucifixion
'And He bearing His cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified Him, and two other with Him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. Then said the chief priests
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: St. John Chaps. XV to XXI

Joseph and Nicodemus
'And after this Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; ... And there came also Nicodemus which at the first came to Jesus by night.'--JOHN xix. 38, 39. While Christ lived, these two men had been unfaithful to their convictions; but His death, which terrified and paralysed and scattered His avowed disciples, seems to have shamed and stung them into courage. They came now, when they must have known
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: St. John Chaps. XV to XXI

The Fifth Word
"I thirst."--JOHN XIX. 28. This is the only utterance of our Blessed Lord in which He gave expression to His physical sufferings. Not least of these was that intolerable thirst which is the invariable result of all serious wounds, as those know well who have ever visited patients in a hospital after they have undergone a surgical operation. In this case it must have been aggravated beyond endurance by exposure to the burning heat of an Eastern sun. This word, then, spoken under such circumstances,
J. H. Beibitz—Gloria Crucis

The Sixth Word
"It is accomplished."--ST. JOHN XIX. 30. 1. What had been accomplished? In the first place, that work which Christ had come into the world to do. All that work may be resumed in a single word, "sacrifice." The Son of God had come for this one purpose, to offer a sacrifice. Here is room for serious misunderstanding. The blood, the pain, the death, were not the sacrifice. Nothing visible was the sacrifice, least of all the physical surroundings of its culminating act. There is only one thing
J. H. Beibitz—Gloria Crucis

The Third Word
"Lady, behold thy son." "Behold thy mother." ST. JOHN XIX. 26, 27. In this Word we see the Son of God revealed as human son, and human friend, all the more truly and genuinely human in both relations, because in each and every relation of life, Divine. 1. The first lesson in the Divine Life for us to learn here is the simple, almost vulgarly commonplace one, yet so greatly needing to be learnt, that "charity," which is but a synonym of the Divine Life, "begins at home." Home life is the real test
J. H. Beibitz—Gloria Crucis

The Last Look at Life,
(Passion Sermon.) TEXT: JOHN xix. 30. "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, It is finished." THESE greatest and most glorious of the last words -*- of our Saviour on the cross come immediately after those which are apparently of the least significance and importance. The Lord said, "I thirst;" then the moistened sponge was handed to Him; and when He had received the soothing, though not pleasant draught, He cried, "It is finished." And we must not break the connection of these
Friedrich Schleiermacher—Selected Sermons of Schleiermacher

The Shortest of the Seven Cries
As these seven sayings were so faithfully recorded, we do not wonder that they have frequently been the subject of devout meditation. Fathers and confessors, preachers and divines have delighted to dwell upon every syllable of these matchless cries. These solemn sentences have shone like the seven golden candlesticks or the seven stars of the Apocalypse, and have lighted multitudes of men to him who spake them. Thoughtful men have drawn a wealth of meaning from them, and in so doing have arranged
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 24: 1878

The Procession of Sorrow
I. After our Lord Jesus Christ had been formally condemned by Pilate, our text tells us he was led away. I invite your attention to CHRIST AS LED FORTH. Pilate, as we reminded you, scourged our Savior according to the common custom of Roman courts. The lictors executed their cruel office upon his shoulders with their rods and scourges, until the stripes had reached the full number. Jesus is formally condemned to crucifixion, but before he is led away he is given over to the Praetorian guards that
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 9: 1863

Death of Jesus.
Although the real motive for the death of Jesus was entirely religious, his enemies had succeeded, in the judgment-hall, in representing him as guilty of treason against the state; they could not have obtained from the sceptical Pilate a condemnation simply on the ground of heterodoxy. Consistently with this idea, the priests demanded, through the people, the crucifixion of Jesus. This punishment was not Jewish in its origin; if the condemnation of Jesus had been purely Mosaic, he would have been
Ernest Renan—The Life of Jesus

The Third Word from the Cross
In the life of our Lord from first to last there is a strange blending of the majestic and the lowly. When a beam of His divine dignity is allowed to shine out and dazzle us, it is never long before there ensues some incident which reminds us that He is bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh; and, contrariwise, when He does anything which impressively brings home to us His humanity, there always follows something to remind us that He was greater than the sons of men. Thus at His birth He was laid
James Stalker—The Trial and Death of Jesus Christ

Objections to Genuineness.
THE most plausible objection to the genuineness of these writings is thus expressed by Dupin: "Eusebius and Jerome wrote an accurate catalogue of each author known to them--with a few obscure exceptions,--and yet never mention the writings of the Areopagite." Great is the rejoicing in the House of the Anti-Areopagites over this PROOF;--but what are the facts? Eusebius acknowledges that innumerable works have not come to him--Jerome disclaims either to know or to give an accurate catalogue either

And at his Crucifixion, when He Asked a Drink...
And at His crucifixion, when He asked a drink, they gave Him to drink vinegar mingled with gall. (Cf. Joh. xix. 29) And this was declared through David. They gave gall to my meat, and in any thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. [262]
Irenæus—The Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching

Inward Confirmation of the Veracity of the Scriptures
We are living in a day when confidence is lacking; when skepticism and agnosticism are becoming more and more prevalent; and when doubt and uncertainty are made the badges of culture and wisdom. Everywhere men are demanding proof. Hypotheses and speculations fail to satisfy: the heart cannot rest content until it is able to say, "I know." The demand of the human mind is for definite knowledge and positive assurance. And God has condescended to meet this need. One thing which distinguishes Christianity
Arthur W. Pink—The Divine Inspiration of the Bible

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