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A Survey of Messianic Prophecy
Page 7: The Death of Jesus

John continues telling the final minutes of Jesus life as follows,

"Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, 'It is finished!' And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. Then the Jews, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Him; but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. (John 19:30-34)

Notice how wonderfully this corresponds to the prophecies of Zechariah and David recorded hundreds of years before,

"I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn." (Zechariah 12:10)

"He keeps all his bones, Not one of them is broken." (Psalm 34:20)

At the time of Jesus' death several other interesting things happened. Of chief interest is a great earthquake and darkness over the land. Matthew records these events,

"Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour… And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split." (Matthew 27:45,51)

As noted in contemporary testimony of the Bible, even the pagan writer Origen confirms these events,

"And with regard to the eclipse in the time of Tiberius Caesar, in whose reign Jesus appears to have been crucified, and the great earthquakes which then took place, Phlegon too, I think, has written in the thirteenth or fourteenth book of his Chronicles." 2

Even more amazing is the fact that Amos foretells these events several hundred years earlier,

"The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob, 'Indeed, I will never forget any of their deeds. Because of this will not the land quake and everyone who dwells in it mourn? Indeed, all of it will rise up like the Nile, And it will be tossed about And subside like the Nile of Egypt. It will come about in that day,' declares the Lord GOD, 'that I will make the sun go down at noon and make the earth dark in broad daylight. Then I will turn your festivals into mourning and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring sackcloth on everyone's loins and baldness on every head. And I will make it like a time of mourning for an only son, and the end of it will be like a bitter day.'" (Amos 8:7-10)

Incredible! On that day - a day of mourning for an only son - the earth will shake and the sun will go down at noon. If you are not familiar with the Jewish clock, you may want to note that the Jewish day begins at 6:00am and ends at 6:00pm. The day is then divided into three-hour increments - the third hour is 9:00am, etc. With that in mind, notice that the sun went down on the day that Jesus died from the sixth hour until the ninth hour - as recorded by Matthew. The sixth hour is noon! Amos named the precise hour of darkness on the day that Jesus died; and he did it more than 700 years prior. Truly this could only have been done by the power of God.

The Resurrection of Jesus -->

Origen. Against Celsus 2.33, from Roberts, Alexander, and Donaldson, James, eds. The Ante-Nicene Fathers. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdsmans Publishing Co., 1973.

 Article info: 
By: Bill Smith
This article is adapted from Bill's book Firmly Rooted. Click here to learn how to get a copy.
 This Series: 
1 Introduction
2 The Lineage of Jesus
3 The Birth of Jesus
4 The Life of Jesus
5 The Betrayal of Jesus
6 The Torture of Jesus
7 The Death of Jesus
8 The Resurrection of Jesus

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