Friday, October 26, 2018

John 19:31-42: Death, Truth, and the Meaning of it All

1.The scriptures are clear that Jesus came in the flesh (John 1:14; 1 John 1:1-4) and that he died a real death. What makes his real death certain to the soldiers and all who were there? (vv. 32-34)

2. That Jesus suffered and died a real human death is something that John (“He who saw it”in verse 35) wants to make sure that we know. What comfort do you find in knowing that Jesus died a real death?

3. John not only wants us to know that these things actually happened, but he also wants us to know the significance of why they happened. He says that “these things took place that the scripture might be fulfilled.” How do the two passages he quotes—the first one from Exodus 12:46/Numbers 9:12/Psalm 34:20, and the second one—from Zechariah 12:10, including the section up through Zechariah 13:1) shed light on the significance of the death of Jesus? What is John saying the crucifixion of Jesus means? (vv. 35-37)

4. Joseph and Nicodemus both exhibit fear and are somewhat secretive about identifying with Jesus (for Nicodemus see also John 3:1ff, and John 7:50). Is it a challenge for you to publicly identify with Jesus? If so, what makes it challenging? Have you also been fearful to identify with Jesus? In what ways are your fears similar to Joseph & Nicodemus’s fears, and in what ways are they quite different from your fears? (vv. 38-39)

5. Nicodemus brings spices - myrrh and aloes - to anoint the body of Jesus for burial. Myrrh reminds us of one of the gift brought to Jesus when he was a baby, a gift from the magi that was fit for a king. Likewise the amount of myrrh and aloes (75 lbs) was suggestive of the kingly character of Jesus. Look at the following three references to myrrh and aloes: Ps. 45:8; Prov. 7:17; Song 4:14. Is there any other possible hint about the significance of anointing the body of Jesus with myrrh and aloes?

6. Is there anything significant about the fact that the tomb of Jesus is in a garden? (vv 41-42)

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