Our verse for today comes from John 19:33, ” But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. “
Death by crucifixion was viciously cruel. It exacted punishment in the worst possible ways, slowly with intense suffering and agony. While the victim still harbored any slight will to live, as they hung between life and death, they would endure the pain sent out by the spikes through their feet to press down and lift their bodies up by their legs to capture another breath. For the death that was overtaking them was coming, gasp by gasp, by way of suffocation. The helpless sufferer was literally drowning in their own bodily fluids as their lungs gradually received less and less air. And to speed up this process, not for sympathy’s sake, but for social and religious reasons, the prisoner’s legs would sometimes be broken, eliminating the ability to reach for the oxygen that made this wicked cycle possible. So while the guards smashed the bones of the other two being crucified near our Savior, the soldier approaching Jesus realized that He was already dead. Divinely, His torture had ended before He was made to endure even more than was already comprehensible. Jesus died without being broken. He gave His life before they could take it from Him.
And so, is no less required of us? I think exactly the same is demanded of us. But in our case, it works the complete opposite. We must be broken to die to ourselves. There is no submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ without the breaking of my will. I cannot say I am dead to myself if my legs still work and I am about the business of securing my own air. Jesus died unbroken so that my brokenness could receive life. He willingly gave up what He had so that He could receive what He never surrendered, and for me to live and reign with Him, I must be broken of myself and receive from Him what I cannot attain without Him. This death-for-life exchange is real. We cannot live for ourselves and also receive the everlasting life of Christ. He is the life, not a life, or part of it. So we have to die, not on the cross but at it, so that we may live by the One who is life Himself.
As we seek Him today, ask God to replace the life you’ve made for yourself with the life He’s made for you.
Author – Rich Holt | BCWorldview.org
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