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12. None of His Bones Would Be Broken
What is David telling us here? What is the significance of unbroken bones? Well to truly understand the full meaning, one must understand the old Mosaic law, which is part of the covenant from God given to the Jewish people.
God gave us a foreshadowing or a forewarning of His plan to cleanse us from our sins through the blood of Christ. He is going to show us how the blood of the lamb is required for the redemption of His people from the clutches of the world. If you read the following paragraphs carefully enough you will clearly see that this was a precursor to the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of all our sins. The parallels are too obvious to ignore. God is going to tell us that the death of a firstborn son will allow His people to be free. He does this by grace. We are not saved by works, just like the Jews were not saved from Pharaoh by their works. First God delivered the Jewish people from Egypt and 1,500 years later, He delivered the rest of us in a similar manner through His Son.
This precursor was given by God thru Moses which was in fact part of the great covenant with His chosen people. The Jews had been crying out to the Lord for deliverance from their affliction, so Moses was picked by God as the chosen leader of the Jews to deliver His people from the great Pharaoh of Egypt. Moses had demonstrated the power of God to the Pharaoh by bringing the following nine plagues against Egypt and the gods that they worshiped:
1. The Plague of Blood
Pharaoh still did not agree to let the Jewish people go free. Why would he? He had a tremendous army to maintain order, and their was no doubt that the Jews were the backbone of his economy. It’s hard to beat slave labor when it comes to keeping the merchants and government prospering. In spite of the severe hardships brought on by the previous nine plagues, Pharaoh was intent on reigning in the Jews by hardening his heart against the wishes of their God. He would soon find out that this was the worst of all possible plans.
As always, God is in control and He was about to break Pharaoh’s willpower. He was on the verge of unleashing the 10th Plague, which was the one that broke Pharaoh’s back. This Plague would be the ticket to get the people of Israel (Jews) out of Egypt. Keep in mind that this was nearly 1,500 years before Christ.
Now for a little history lesson before we move into the Passover. The night of the Passover was 430 years after God had given Jacob permission to enter this country of Egypt with his small clan of 70 members. Jacob desired to enter this foreign land to be reunited with his long lost son Joseph. You may recall the Bible lesson where Joseph had been sold into slavery by his jealous brothers and ended up in Egypt. But because the LORD had given Joseph the ability to read dreams, he didn’t stay in slavery very long. This particular Pharaoh had heard about Joseph’s ability to read dreams and asked for the meaning of the dream which was keeping him awake at nights. Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream as foretelling seven years of bumper crops and then seven years of famine. The enlightened Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of all the land to ensure that there would be plenty of food saved up for the seven years of famine. This made Joseph the second most powerful man in Egypt. No wonder Jacob was willing to leave Canaan to be reunited with his favorite son.
So how did the Jewish people fall from holding the seat of the second most powerful position in Egypt, to the role of Egyptian slaves? Remember, we are dealing with mankind. We are now in a different time, with a different Pharaoh and a different set of rules. After 430 years in Egypt, Jacob’s descendants now find themselves in misery and without hope. Even though they had become slaves in Egypt, did God fulfill His promises to Jacob and his 70 family members? On the night of this Passover, Jacob’s little clan of 70 members was now numbering between 3 to 5 million people. That’s right, while in the slavery of Egypt, they had become a great nation of Israelites. This was a fulfillment of prophecy that was given to Jacob 430 years before he touched foot in Egypt. And the second part of this prophecy was about to be fulfilled. God was about to bring them out again!
Now let’s check into this 10th Plague that brings the Jews out of Egypt. It was a nasty one and it applied to everyone, both Israel and Gentiles and, believe it or not, even to livestock as well. This is what our Lord told Moses:
Now you may be saying, “whoa, wait a minute! How can there be a distinction between Egypt and Israel if all first born are to die, including the slaves and even the livestock?” This midnight event is called the Passover and therein lies the secret of God’s word. Salvation comes from the shedding of blood by the perfect lamb. This shedding of blood would create an atonement for the people of Israel and would allow them to be passed over and justified in sight of the LORD. The parallels of this event give me chills down my spine. Let’s look at the details of that Passover night.
The Passover Night (read chapter 12 of Exodus)
1. The LORD told Moses that this was going to be a new beginning for the Jews (Jesus death was the new beginning, or a new life, for the Gentiles). In fact the Jewish people were told to literally restart the calendar for a new year as of that night. That new calendar has been in existence til present day.
2. For the whole community of Israel, each man was to take a lamb for his family on the 10th day of this new month in this new year. Now you just couldn’t take any old lamb, it had to be a year-old male without defect. In other words, it had to be perfect. (Jesus allowed himself to be presented as King of the Jews as he entered Jerusalem riding on a mere donkey. It was the only time in all His teaching that He allowed the people to refer to Him as the King. This happened on the 10th day of this new month, but it was nearly 1,500 years from the first Passover. He was of course without blemish of sin and was referred to as the Lamb of God by John the Baptist. He was therefore presented as the perfect lamb.)
3. They cared for the lamb until the 14th day and then slaughtered the perfect lamb at twilight as directed by God. (On the 14th, the exact same day nearly 1,500 years later, Jesus was crucified and even though it was 3 o’clock in the afternoon, God made it look like twilight by darkening the earth.)
4. They were to then take some blood from the perfect lamb, and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they were to eat the lambs. (With the blood running down from the top of the doorframe and a hurried swath across the sides of the frame you could see the dripping blood slowly making the sign of a cross. This sign was painted 1,500 years before Christ was crucified and over a thousand years before death by the cross–crucifixion–was even invented.)
5. This shedding of blood from the perfect lamb was the only protection from the penalty of death that each house was going to receive. (The blood of Jesus is the only salvation for all of humanity. Jesus ransomed us from the power of death. His blood provides the remission of our sins. We are justified by his actions. He paid off all our debts.)
6. The Jews were given strict orders not to leave any of the meat til morning and they were not to break any of the lamb’s bones during the course of the slaughter. (Normally the crucified victims were left hanging on the cross until they died and this could often take days. Because this was the night of the Passover, the soldiers had to make sure that the deaths were completed prior to the beginning of the nighttime Passover Celebration. It was against the Jewish law to have a punishment continuing into the night of the Passover. Therefore in order to make sure that the three crucifixions were completed before sundown, the Roman soldiers went about breaking the legs of the three. This had the effect of making it impossible for the person on the cross to breathe, because he could not push air into the lungs by pressing down on his feet. With broken legs they literally suffocated. Guess who totally surprised the Roman soldiers by dying before His bones could be broken? It wasn’t either of the thieves. It was the perfect lamb of God.)
7. God tells us how the salvation was to work:
At His second coming, Jesus will come to judge the living and the dead, and He will judge the heart. Only those that have taken on the blood of the Lamb of God by faith, will be saved. We are justified only through the blood of Jesus.
The yeast is a picture of pride. God does not want any of it in His house. Yeast puffs the bread up and pride puffs up man’s vision of himself. The celebration of Passover removes the pride/yeast from the person/bread. We had no input into creating a path for salvation, it was simply by the grace of God. We can not take credit for the remission of our sins.
9. Finally the Lord told the Israelites that on the first and seventh day they were not to do any work. These days were sacred. (On the day that Jesus presented himself as the Lamb of God for the remission of all mankind’s sin, and on the day that Jesus rose from the tomb are sacred days. They are to symbolize that we were saved by grace through faith in our savior. The Jews were told not to do any work on those days. This is symbolism that we can’t earn our salvation. It is a gift from God. All we can do is give Him honor and glory in thankfulness for His love.)
After the Israelites had sacrificed the lambs, put the blood on the doorways, and had eaten all of the cooked lamb without breaking any of the bones, then the Lord fulfilled His promise. He sent the angel of death over Egypt and wiped out every firstborn that was not protected by the blood of the lamb. You can imagine the wailing by Egyptians that night, for there was not an unprotected house without someone dead. We all need to be protected by the blood of Christ, or you will not be spared on judgement day. We do not have a backup plan. Jesus told us:
Not only did Pharaoh let the Israelites leave Egypt, but he agreed to Moses’s request for gold and silver to be given as a farewell gift. Israel plundered the Egyptians. If only Pharaoh knew with whom he was dealing, however he did not know God. We do. We are without excuse. We need to honor our powerful God that saved us from the world and the prince of deception. There was only one way to redeem the mortgage that we had hanging over our heads, and that was by someone else making our payment. Jesus did this for us. He had the legal right as the Son of Man. He had the ability, because He was without sin. He had the willingness, because He loved us. He paid the full debt for every sin that has ever been committed or ever will be committed by mankind. We all have the opportunity for salvation. There is no excuse. He hung on that cross for every sinner. All we have to do is come to Him in faith, repent from our sins and begin a new life in Christ. That is all that stands between every person on this earth and eternal life. Why would anyone pass on the opportunity of a lifetime?
Let me conclude this section by saying that given the number of beatings that Jesus endured, the severity of the whipping and the scourging, and the fact that it was almost guaranteed that his legs would need to be broken by the Roman soldiers to induce a quick death, it is absolutely incredible that Jesus did not suffer a single broken bone. I have proposed that those odds would be 1 in 100. As with every other of the eight prophecies, I believe that the odds were realistically much greater then what I have stated.
There you have it in a nutshell. After studying just eight of the 300-plus prophecies regarding Jesus’ time on earth, you would have to concede that the odds of it coming to pass simply by pure luck would be 1 in 10 to the 28th power. Let’s do a quick review:
1. Come from Bethlehem: 1 in 10,000
If you multiplied this out it would be 1 in 10 to 28th power. Remember that even if we subtracted out the 10 billion people that have roamed the earth over all time, we still ended up with a huge number, 1 in 10 to the 18th power. Let’s end this part of the book by agreeing that we could not pick out the one and only marked silver coin in the pile of 10 to the 18th power of coins, which would cover an area the size of Texas over two feet deep. It could only happen with the divine hand of God. Praise be to God!
I thank you so much for reading this book. I pray that you have been moved to consider accepting the Lord as your savior, or at least to dust off your Bible and begin to read it in earnest. Trust me, the Holy Spirit will do the rest. It certainly did for me. I have not always been this new man (even though I am in a very old body). I was once a very old man (Adam) in a very new body. I was totally lost and in love with the ways of the world. I was on a one-way track, racing out of control. Worse yet, I was staring right into a headlight. The only problem is that I did not know it at the time.
Chapter 13 tells how I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior. It wasn’t pretty. It’s sad. It’s embarrassing It’s frightening and it humbles me beyond tears. I shared it with you only because I know that there is someone out there that believes they are beyond saving. Let me say to you, I’m a living testament that anyone can be saved. You are not beyond reach. If the Holy Spirit could reach me, trust me, you are well within the grasp of salvation. Gary Harbo took the hook, line and sinker of the great deceiver. I was master of my own destiny. I was in charge. I was one with the world and I was of the world. I took the great deceivers bait.
But praise be to God, He didn’t give up on me. He sent me the greatest fisher of men. Our Lord caught me back, brought me into the light, and redeemed me. I pray for the same blessing to each and every one of you. Help your friends or your relatives come to know Christ. Whoever may need the hand of God, I pray that they learn to walk in the light.
With God's grace from your brother in Christ,