Jesus’s Crucifixion and Death Fulfilled Scripture
23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, 24 so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says, “They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.” So the soldiers did these things,
Word Study: Garments here could mean all other clothes that Jesus had on Him except for the tunic. The tunic was an under garment that was worn inside next to the skin. By seamless, it means that the tunic was woven from top throughout as one garment.
Comment: John tells us that the soldiers divided Jesus’s clothes into four parts. They could not divide his tunic because it was seamless and they thought it better to cast lots for it, to decide who it must belong to. According to commentaries I have read, it was apparently custom for the soldiers who perform the crucifixion to take the spoils, in this case the clothes of the person being crucified. This most of the time meant that the person who was crucified was naked. One commentary made an interesting comparison that since when sin entered world, Adam and Eve realized that they were naked and were ashamed, and now Jesus bears the shame of the sin by being crucified naked. The action of the soldiers was a fulfilment of Psalm 22:18.
25 but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
Comment: In contrast to the soldiers who were busy crucifying and dividing the clothes of Jesus, also at the cross, was five people among whom were Jesus’s Mother and her sister (probably Salome, Mark 15:40), Mary the wife of Clopas, Mary Magdalene and John. Jesus on noticing His mother and John, described as the disciple whom Jesus loved the most, Jesus entrusted His mother to John to take care of and since that point, John did exactly that.
28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Comment: Another indication that Jesus was deity, another indication that Jesus was truly God and another indication that Jesus came to fulfil God’s plan of redemption of the world, Jesus knew that it was now fulfilled. Jesus knew that God’s plan of redemption was now complete, He went on to say that He was thirsty so that scripture of Psalm 69:21 could be fulfilled once more by the soldiers who instead of giving Him water, they gave Him sour wine or vinegar (which apparently they liked drinking). After the soldiers gave Him sour wine or vinegar, Jesus said that it was finished, it was complete, God’s plan of redemption was at hand, He gave up His spirit, showing that He was in complete control even to the point of death.
31 Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would 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. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. 35 He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. 36 For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” 37 And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.”
Comment: John 19:14 tells us that this preparation was for Passover, and in keeping with Deut 21:23, and also the fact that the next day was also a special day because it was a Sabbath day of the Passover. The Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken, meaning Jesus and the two criminals that were crucified, they requested that their legs be broken so that their death might come speedily due to suffocation. While on the cross, the victim had to use his legs to raise himself so that he can breathe, otherwise they would die because of suffocation. Pilate agreed and the soldiers started breaking their legs but, when they came to Jesus , they saw that He was already dead and therefore the did not break His legs. The soldiers were again fulfilling scripture Psalm 34:20 and Exo 12:46.
One of the soldiers then decided to pierce his side and blood and water came out. This indicated that Jesus was truly dead. John was there and He saw the blood and water come out, and He is the one testifying that indeed it took place and it is true, so that you may believe that Jesus was truly dead. Again this was a fulfilment of scripture and this time Zech 12:10.
Message: Jesus’s crucifixion and death was not at the will of the Jews and the roman soldiers at the time but it was so that scripture must be fulfilled and God’s will be done.