Page 11 - August 2023 - Truth & Tidings
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Wesley write, “Amazing love! How can   not only wants to prove that Jesus died,
        it be that Thou, my God, shouldst die for   but to prove that His humanity was genu-
        me? ‘Tis mystery all! The immortal dies;   ine.  Even in Jesus’ glorified body, those
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        who can explore His strange design?”  wounds were present when He showed
                                              Himself to His disciples. That pierced side
        The Witness of His Death              and those precious nail prints will serve

          It is more than likely that when John   as reminders forever that Christ entered
        wrote these words, Matthew, Mark and   into humanity and unequivocally died for
        Luke had all died. Nor were any of them   us. “He was wounded for our transgres-
        physically present when Jesus was cruci-  sions, he was bruised for our iniquities”
        fied.  But John was there (Joh 19:25-27).   (Isa 53:5).
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        He was the only disciple who returned        Crown Him the Lord of love;
        to the cross and remained to witness all      Behold His hands and side;
        that transpired. “And he that saw it bare   Rich wounds, yet visible above
        record, and his record is true: and he
        knoweth that he saith true, that ye might        In beauty glorified;
        believe” (v35). He heard Jesus’ cry, “It is    All hail, Redeemer, hail!
        finished.” He watched Jesus bow His sa-       For Thou hast died for me:
        cred head. He beheld the miracle of Jesus   Thy praise shall never, never fail
        releasing His spirit. He noticed that the       Throughout eternity. 9
        soldiers smashed the criminals’ legs, but
        not His, because He was dead already.   The Hope of His Death
        John gives us a true and reliable eyewit-  Why does John emphasize his testi-
        ness account of the most significant death   mony? What is his purpose in recording
        in earth’s history.                   the many details of Jesus’ death? “That
        The Proof of His Death                ye might believe” (19:35). He wants the
                                              readers of his Gospel to “believe that
          But although the breaking of Jesus’ legs   Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and
        wasn’t necessary, one of the soldiers won-  that believing ye might have life through
        dered if He could truly be dead already.   his name” (20:31). Have you believed? Do
        John documents, “But one of the soldiers   you have life?
        with a spear pierced his side, and forth-  The incarnate Maker died. This was the
        with came there out blood and water”   very reason He went all the way to Cal-
        (v34). Although John doesn’t tell us which   vary. We have indisputable written proof
        side of Jesus was pierced, it is possible that   of His journey, His sufferings and His
        “the spear may have pierced Jesus’ heart,   death. And the written record is enough
        resulting, either directly or via chest and   for you to believe it. God hasn’t given
        lung, in the flow of blood and water. The   us anything more than His Word, nor is
        flow of blood and water underscores that   anything more needed.
        Jesus died as a fully human being.”  John
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                                              ⁸ John may have been striking a blow at
        ⁶ This obviously does not call into question the   docetism, an early heresy which taught that
        reliability of their accounts.        Christ did not have a real or natural body but
        ⁷ Andreas J. Kostenberger, John: Baker Exegetical   only an apparent or phantom one.
        Commentary on the New Testament (Grand   ⁹ Matthew Bridges (1800-1894), revised by
        Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2004), 552.  Godfrey Thring (1823-1903)

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