I am poured out like water; all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; it is melted within Me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and My tongue cleaves to My jaws; and you lay Me in the dust of death. For dogs have surrounded Me.” The word ‘dogs’ is often used in reference to the Gentiles. “A band of evildoers has encompassed Me; they pierced My hands and My feet. I can count all My bones, they look, they stare at Me;” and then, again, verse 18, “They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.” This is a very strong picture of the fulfillment, particularly in Mark’s Gospel. I Will read you some verses from Mark 15 and this supplements what we are reading here in John. In Mark 15:29-32, we see, “Those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads, and saying, ‘Ha, You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself and come down from the Cross’. In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes, were mocking Him among themselves, and saying, ‘He saved others; He cannot save Himself. Let this Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the Cross, so that we may see and believe’. Those who were crucified with Him were also insulting Him.” At first both did, but in the end, one changed and repented.
So, you have a picture here of tremendous rejection, a culmination of that rejection. Going back to our text, we see in verse 25, “Therefore the soldiers did these things, but standing by the Cross of Jesus were His mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.” If you put the Gospels together, you get three Mary’s and Salome who were near the Cross at first. Then we see them again and they are further away from the Cross, standing at a distance. Mary, I believe, was experiencing something that was predicted even before Jesus’ birth. Turn to Luke, chapter two, and it illustrates this very point. It was on her heart even before her son was born. In verse 34, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed, and a sword will pierce even your own soul,” speaking, here, to Mary, “to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
So, she understood these things, but she also knew what would ultimately take place. Now it is being fulfilled. What is interesting, as we go on to the next verse, when we look at Jesus, even on the Cross, He fulfills His responsibilities as a son. He gives His choicest disciple the responsibility to care for her. Verse 26, “When Jesus saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son’. Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother’. From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.”
So, He was making provision for her. We later see her, in Acts 1:14, and she is awaiting Pentecost with the other disciples in the Upper Room.
So, she is found yet again in the book of Acts. If we go to verse 28, we see, “After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, ‘I am thirsty’.” This is also a fulfillment of Psalm 22 and also Psalm 69, as well. A few verses from that Messianic Psalm and you have a feeling for that. It is good to know of these Messianic prophecies, and Psalm 69 has a number of them. Beginning with verse three we see, “I am weary with My crying; My throat is parched; My eyes fall while I wait for My God.” Verse 15 reads, “May the flood of water not overflow Me, nor the deep swallow Me up, nor the pit shut its mouth on me,” and verse 21, “They also gave Me gall for My food and for My thirst they gave Me vinegar to drink.” Back to verse four and we see, “Those who hate Me without a cause are more than the hairs on My head.” You will recall that Jesus quoted this earlier, in John 15. Verse eight of this Psalm is also something He quoted, when He said, “I have become estranged from My brothers and an alien to My mother’s sons.” This He spoke in John 7. There is an emphasis here on reproach as well. From verse 19, “You know My reproach and My shame and My dishonor; all My adversaries are before You.” Returning to John, and verse 30, “Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished’.” It is possible that He received this so that He could speak. His mouth could have been so dry that He was unable to speak. The verse concludes, “And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” There are actually seven statements made from the Cross. “I have completed the work that You sent Me to do.” Tetelestai—it is finished—is what He cries out. The debt was paid on full.
The blood of the sacrifices could only cover sin, but the blood of the Lamb of God took away the sins of the world. Again, from John 1:29, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” Also, I would invite you to consider the words of Hebrews chapter nine, verses 24 to 28. “For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And inasmuch as it is appointed and for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.”
So, this is an anticipation of His Second Coming, which will be coming of power and glory. Let’s consider, then, seven statements from the Cross. The first three, actually, relate to the needs of others. The first one was to those who crucified Him. That would be found in Luke 23, verse 34. “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do,” are the first words uttered by Jesus on the Cross. The second statement is found in Luke’s Gospel as well, and it is to the believing thief. It is told in verses 39 to 43 of Luke chapter 23. “One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, ‘Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself, and us’. But the other answered, and rebuking him said, ‘Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong’. And he was saying, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come in Your Kingdom’. And He said to him, ‘Truly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise’.” This thief then became the very first Christian.
So, he actually promises to this criminal, the one who believed, that he would be with Him in Paradise. The third saying from the Cross is found here in our Gospel, John 19, and particularly in verses 25 to 27 and it involves His mother. We just read how He made provision for John to take His mother under his wing. Then, in the fourth case, it turns from the need of others to His relationship with His Father. It is found in Matthew 27, verses 45 to 50. “Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani’, that is, ‘Father, Father, why have You forsaken Me’?” This is a quote, as you know from the first verse of Psalm 22, that same Messianic Psalm we looked at before. It is a fulfillment of that as well. “And some of those standing there, when they heard it, began saying, ‘This man is calling for Elijah’. Immediately one of them ran, and taking a sponge, he filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed and gave Him a drink. But the rest of them said, ‘Let us see if Elijah will come and save Him’. And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up His spirit.”
So, we have the original theme of others, and then His Father, and the fifth statement from the Cross has to do with Himself. The last three, in fact, focus on Himself, and first of all, His body.
So, in John 19:28, we see, “After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, ‘I am thirsty’.” Earlier Scriptures we looked at indicated that it would occur on the crucifixion. The next statement is found in verse 30, the sixth statement, and this is concerning His soul and it says, “Therefore when Jesus received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished’. He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” But, there is one more that takes place. The seventh is in Luke’s Gospel. In Luke 23:46 we see, “And Jesus, crying out in a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit’. Having said this, He breathed His last.” Jesus did not die by asphyxiation, although that was what crucifixion was designed to do. He died of His volition, and He gave up His spirit. The soldiers, when they saw that He had died, were quite surprised. It was not an ordinary sequence. In any event, we see that the first three statements deal with others and then with His Father and then with Himself. And so, if we tie all these seven statements together we see a kind of ‘mini-theology’ and how He is concerned for the needs of others, and how He wrestles with the separation from His Father, and how He is obedient; body, soul, and spirit, to the work that God has called Him to do. The death of Jesus, as you know, is a major theme in John’s Gospel.
It is pictured as the slaying of a lamb in chapter one. It is depicted as the destroying of the temple in chapter two. It is seen as the lifting up of a serpent in chapter three. It is focused upon as a shepherd laying down his life for his sheep in chapter ten. It is seen as the planting of the seed in the ground in chapter twelve. Jesus’ death was not an accident. It was a Divine appointment. We have to keep this in mind. His death was voluntary; He willingly dismissed His spirit. Again, I refer you back to John chapter ten, and a very important statement. He says, in verses 17 to 18, “For this reason the Father loves Me because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.” It was a voluntary submission to His Father.