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John Chapter 19:31-42

Cross the Bridge / David McGee
The Truth Network Radio
March 4, 2021 12:00 am

John Chapter 19:31-42

Cross the Bridge / David McGee

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March 4, 2021 12:00 am

Cross the Bridge 41093-2

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I don't think anybody ever had to speak to Joseph of Arimathea about the cross or the suffering that was endured or the pain that Jesus went through. I think he knew.

I think you understand. He understood probably more deeply than most of us this morning. And from this point forward, Joseph has this relationship with Jesus and he's boldly now, you know, for fear of the Jews before it, now he's standing before Pilate saying, can I have the body of Jesus? Something happened. What happened to Joseph? The cross. The cross. He realized what Jesus endured for him. We need to realize what Jesus did for us on the cross. When we grab a hold of that, when we get a hold of that, do you understand how easy serving God is?

Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David Magee. David is the senior pastor of the bridge in Kernersville, North Carolina. Sometimes serving God can leave us tired and worn out, but serving God is easier and lighter when we realize what he did for us on the cross. Today, Pastor David points us to the cross and towards the empty tomb as he continues in the Gospel of John chapter 19 with part two of his teaching, the tomb. Verse 31. Therefore, because it was the preparation day that the body should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath, for the Sabbath was a high day, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with him. Verse 33. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.

But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. Verse 35. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true.

And he knows that he is telling truth so that you may believe. For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled. Not one of his bones shall be broken.

This is incredible. Consider this. Pilate sent an order that these soldiers would go and break the legs of all three people who were being crucified. The soldiers, under penalty of death, a painful death, not only disregarded that order and didn't break the legs of Jesus, but then one of them did something he wasn't supposed to do in putting a spear inside of Jesus. So what they were supposed to do, they didn't do.

What he wasn't supposed to do, he did do that all Scripture might be fulfilled. And guys, we're not talking about a bunch of ragtag wannabe soldiers. We're talking about Roman soldiers.

We're talking about some of those highly skilled, highly trained soldiers in the history of mankind. And under the penalty of death, they disregarded what Pilate told them to do to fulfill Scripture that they were not aware of. The whole broken bone thing was very important. Jesus was a picture of the Passover lamb. And speaking of the Passover lamb in Exodus 12 46, it says, in one house it shall be eaten.

You shall not carry any of the flesh outside the house, nor shall you break one of its bones. Now that's speaking about the Passover lamb. Jesus was and is the picture of the Passover lamb. That's why in John chapter 1 verse 29, John the Baptist speaks of him and it says, the next day John saw Jesus coming towards him and said, behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Now if you were a Jewish person standing there, you know exactly what John was saying.

In John 1 36, he says it again. And looking at Jesus as he walked, he said, behold the lamb of God. You realize that 27 times in the book of Revelation, Jesus is referred to as the lamb of God. There's a picture there guys.

And part of that picture is that none of the bones would be broken. He is the lamb. He's not just a lamb. He's the lamb. He is the only lamb.

Verse 37, and again another Scripture says, they shall look on him whom they pierced. Do you understand he is the only way you can be forgiven of your sins? Are you leaning on your own good works?

Because if you are, that's going to fail you. As a matter of fact, if you've tried for any length of time to live a perfect life, you've become painfully aware that you can't depend on your own good works. You depend upon Jesus. First Peter 1 18 says, knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things like silver or gold from your aimless conduct, received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 15, for I've delivered to you first of all that which I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that he was buried and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. Do you believe that? Are you acting on that knowledge?

Are you acting on that knowledge? Verse 38, after this Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus. And Pilate gave him permission, so he came and took the body of Jesus. This is interesting, because after his death, you know what you see? Only the people that loved him and believed in him, touch him, and that's who he fellowships from this point forward. The offer had been made to the whole world, but after the death, his relationship was with those who believed him, and such as it is today. The offer has been made to the whole world, but if you reject Jesus, if you've not made it personal, then you don't really have a relationship with Jesus.

Why? Because your sin is in the way. The Lord wants to deal with your sin, and he's done everything that he had to do to deal with your sin. In the thousand steps that existed between you and him, he's taken 999 of them. Now what do we know about this Joseph of Arimathea? He's an interesting man. We do know some things about him. We know that he was wealthy, because the Bible tells us. Matthew 27 58 says, Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. So we have this guy of means that's now following Jesus. And you know, again, the body of Christ is made up of all kinds of different people. I think there's one philosophy or teaching that everybody who follows Jesus is supposed to be rich.

I don't buy that. I don't see that in scripture. And then we have another philosophy on the other end that says everybody that follows Jesus has to, you know, eat dirt to live. I mean, you know, you can't have things.

You've got to be in just complete and utter poverty. And if you, you know, if you live in a house, you're in sin. You know, I mean, so I reject both of those, because both of those are out of balance. I think the body of Christ is made up of those who might not have a lot of material possessions. And yes, those that may. Joseph had a lot of material possessions. It didn't keep him from following the Lord.

And it may be difficult for somebody with possessions to follow the Lord. You know, Jesus said, you know, the whole eye of the needle thing. It's easier for a camel to get through the eye of the needle. And I've heard the explanations. Well, there's this little gate in Jerusalem that's called the eye of the needle. Have you ever heard that? Yeah, that's real, that's bogus.

That's, there's no historical fact for that. You know how you get a camel through the eye of the needle? You grind him up real, no, sorry. But it doesn't say, but Jesus then says, but with man, things are not possible, but with God, all things are possible.

All things are possible. So then Mark chapter 15, verse 43 says, Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent council member who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God coming and taking courage, went in the pilot and asked for the body of Jesus. So he was well regarded on the Sanhedrin, the Sanhedrin. And, and now it's interesting because the King James says that he craved, craved, it's a very strong word in the Greek, craved the body of Jesus. Let me ask you a question. Do you crave the body of Christ? I mean, do you really crave it? The last few weeks, I was out of town with a family and man, I miss church. I missed being here.

Why? Because I, I love it here. I like fellowship and I like hearing what God's doing in your life and in the lives of others and worshiping God with you guys. I love that. And when I'm not here, I miss that.

What's it like for you? Do you crave it? Or is it kind of like, eh, if I miss a few weeks, no big deal. Is that healthy?

Absolutely not. I think we're to crave the body of Christ. Now, I wonder what Joseph was thinking as he received that broken, beaten, bloodied body. I don't think anybody ever had to speak to Joseph of Arimathea about the cross or the suffering that was endured or the pain that Jesus went through. I think he knew. I think he understand.

He understood probably more deeply than most of us this morning. And from this point forward, Joseph has this relationship with Jesus. And he's boldly now, you know, for fear of the Jews before it, now he's standing before Pilate saying, can I have the body of Jesus?

Something happened. What happened to Joseph? The cross. The cross. He realized what Jesus endured for him.

That's the next life lesson. We need to realize what Jesus did for us on the cross. When we grab a hold of that, when we get a hold of that, do you understand how easy serving God is? When you realize what he did for you? See, whenever I'm talking to somebody and they're talking about the hassles of serving God, well, they want me to come in Sunday morning to help clean the church.

I'm not going to do that. You know, it tells me when somebody says, they don't have a clear picture of what Jesus did for them. Because when you get that clear picture, it's like, man, there's nothing I wouldn't do. And let me get a little more personal. When I start going through those times, because yes, I have those times when, you know, a little pastor pity party kind of thing. Oh, they're so mean.

They don't love me. You know, that whole thing. Cross has gotten blurry to me. I need to remember what Jesus did for me. Because as I remember what he did for me, it puts everything else in perspective. It's no longer a hassle to serve God. It's a joy. And Matt, I suggest if you're in a moment like that, the cross has gotten blurry to you. You've forgotten what he did for you. Because as we remember what he did for us, it becomes a joy to serve him.

And we have to come back to that place often. We'll be right back with more from David McGee on Cross the Bridge. Right now, here's a word from associate pastor D.A.

Brown. Hey, we thank you for listening today. We want to pray specifically for a few cities in our listening audience.

Elko, Fernley, Las Vegas, Lovelock, Reno, Eli, and Round Mountain, Nevada. God, we thank you for these cities and the people listening. Lord, we thank you for the people who live in these cities. We pray that you would convince and convict them of their need for you and how much you love them and everything that you've done for them to have a relationship with you. God, I pray that you would fill people with faith to say yes. So we pray that you would fill people with faith to say yes.

That they would put their hope in you, Jesus. Lord, we pray for the town governments, the town council, the mayor, the police chief, those in the fire department, all those working to lead in these cities. We pray that you would give them wisdom and discernment, that they would be people of your word who would look to your Bible for answers. And God, we pray that you would pour out your Holy Spirit on these cities for your glory. In Jesus' name, amen.

Thank you, brother. And now let's get back to David McGee as he continues teaching verse by verse. Verse 39, and Nicodemus who at first came to Jesus by night also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. Now there's some discussion about how, what the weight of these herbs were.

It was a lot, which is interesting because let me ask you a question. Right before the Sabbath, where would Nicodemus have found all these things? Now I've heard different hypothesis that, well, they were both wealthy men. They probably had some of those laying around.

Maybe. You know what I think? I think Joseph and Nicodemus believed Jesus when Jesus said, I'm going to die. I think they, to me, they appear to be ready for this, which means they understood that when Jesus said he was going to die, they understood he was a Passover lamb that would be crucified at Passover. And they were sitting there ready, knowing. And it's interesting because the guys that were in the limelight, the disciples, except for John, nowhere to be found.

Joseph and Nicodemus, who had kind of been hesitant, now are the guys that stepped forward. That's interesting to me. I understand and understand this is just the earthly body of Jesus. You understand the earthly body is only temporary. Your earthly body is only temporary.

Do you understand that? Some of you are going, praise God. I mean, that's the reality of it. It's temporary. And then, you know, I try to eat right and exercise and all those sorts of things, but hey, I'm going to die. This body, it's going to be gone. I'm not going to cling to it.

I want to try to get the most mileage I can before that moment, so I can accomplish that which I've been sent forth to do. But it's just a tent. It's just a tent.

And especially for those who might be suffering with health issues and illnesses and stuff, don't get too wrapped up in that. It's just a tent. Yeah, some tents have holes in them. Holes in them. You know, some tents are sagging a little bit.

I mean, that just happens as we grow older, and then there's more and more patches that have to be put on there, you know. It's just a tent. Don't get wrapped up in that. See, Paul, 2 Corinthians 4 says, but we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellence of the power may be of God, and not of us. See, at some point, we throw off these earthen vessels. We're done with these bodies, and we'll have a glorified body. Remember that.

Why? Because we tend not to remember that. 1 Corinthians 15, 51 says, behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. We shall not all sleep, meaning some of us won't taste death before the coming of Jesus Christ. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. We have to go through the transformation.

We have to go through this transformation, and it's a painful thing. It's especially painful when you see people that you love and you care about and you know go through this. But if they know Jesus, they're not depressed now.

They're not hurting now. They're glorified. They're around the throne, praising God. And while we can miss having them here, there's no need to feel sorry for them.

Verse 40, then they took the body of Jesus and bound it in strips of linen with the spices as the custom of the Jews is to bury. Now, again, I'm struck because the disciples at this moment are gone, but these two guys came to the forefront. And I wonder, you know, after these movements, did these guys, were they given the holy boot off of the Sanhedrin? I can't imagine that they were okay with them staying. Their actions lost them more than likely, their jobs, their roles in society, and yet they were willing to step out and do this. These guys that had been behind the scenes.

And you know what? That's so important. The next life lesson is often the people behind the scenes that make a difference. It's often the people behind the scenes that make a difference.

Because so much stuff goes on behind the scenes, you just wouldn't believe it. All the work of all the, not only the paid staff, but the volunteer staff, all the stuff that goes into Sunday morning, all the stuff with the sound and the lights and the media and the worship and all these things and the cleaning of the church, so much we take for granted. I mean, you know, you go into a bathroom, it's a little bit dirty, you get all freaked out. But wait a minute, when you go in there and it's clean, do you think, wow, somebody cleaned this. Somebody actually gave of their time on a Saturday or Sunday morning and cleaned the bathroom so you'd be blessed.

Behind the scenes. It's this little picture in my head that when I get to heaven, you know, the rewards are going to be given out and God's going to look at me and go, well, you got most of yours down there, but those people that were praying for you day after day, let me recognize them. And again, if you pray for me on a daily, please pray for me on a daily basis. And if you pray for me on a day, thank you. Thank you. And understand that when somebody comes forward on a Sunday morning, that's not a reward just for me.

That's a win for us. See, because as they came in, if there wouldn't have been a parking space or somebody to help them to show where things were, guess what? They might have battled and left, but they were in here. All this stuff. And that's so important in any ministry.

These are unsung heroes, if you will. Verse 41, now in the place where he was crucified, there was a garden and in the garden, a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So there they laid Jesus because of the Jews preparation day, for the tomb was nearby. It's interesting, on Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, they would do something interesting.

The high priest would go into the Holy of Holies only once a year. In tradition, this is not in the Bible, but tradition has been handed down, is what they would do is they would tie a rope to his leg. Because as the high priest went into the Holy of Holies, if he wasn't right or the nation wasn't right, there was the chance that he would be struck dead. So they would tie a rope to his leg and there were bells around the hem of his garment. And as he walked around, you could hear the bells ringing. So they were outside and they listened for the bells. And if the bells didn't ring for a while, they became concerned. If they didn't ring for a long while, then they kind of tugged on the rope a little bit. How fearful it must have been for that high priest once a year to go into the Holy of Holies, knowing his life was at risk.

Contrast that to us. I mean, how many of you actually, when you came in through the doors this morning, thought, ooh, might die in there today? Hopefully you didn't. As a matter of fact, it's not necessary. Why?

Because now we can approach boldly the throne. Wow. What a difference.

What a difference. We don't need a rope. We don't need a net, if you will.

Don't need a parachute. Pilate says something interesting. Makes me wonder what Pilate knew.

In Matthew 27, 65, Pilate said to them, you have a guard, go your way, make it as secure as you know how. I think Pilate suspected something was going to happen. If the story ended here, it'd still be a great story. I mean, here's this great teacher who expounded these truths and stood up for what was right. And even though he was innocent, he was crucified.

Still be a great story. I mean, be right up there with other world religions, I guess. And some of those world religion people, they died. We know where some of their graves are. But the tomb of Jesus is empty.

That changes everything. The story doesn't end here. If it did end here, we wouldn't be here.

I'd have little or nothing to say to you. But it doesn't end here. Grab onto this, loved ones. It doesn't end with death. It ends with the resurrection power. See, because we're tempted to think that it ends with death, your death, my death. No. No. And it's interesting the terms, because we say, well, so-and-so has died.

Really? Is that what the Bible says? If they know Jesus, the Bible says they never die eternally.

I understand the use of the word. But one day, maybe tomorrow, maybe 10 years, maybe 20 years, 30 years, I don't know, somebody may say to you, well, you know, Pastor David died. Don't you believe it? I will be more alive in that moment than I have ever been. Because these truths are eternal. It doesn't end with death.

If you know Jesus. Death was beaten so that now the Savior has won the ultimate victory and we can follow him in that. Do you have this victory?

Are you walking in it? The fear of death has been removed. It doesn't end with death. Luke 10 20 says, nevertheless, do not rejoice in this that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven. See, if you've come to Jesus and you're involved in ministry, that's awesome, but don't get confused about something. I mean, it can be awesome seeing people come to the Lord or discipling people, but rejoice because you're going to heaven. I'm going to heaven. You'll recognize me in heaven because I'll be walking around going, I made it. Praise God, I'm in. I'm rejoicing that my name is written there.

They're using Joseph of Arimathea's tomb just for the weekend. It doesn't end with death. It ends with the resurrection. And yes, we have to die to ourselves as we follow Jesus, but it doesn't end there.

It ends with the resurrection power of Jesus Christ coming into our lives. Do you have that power? Friend, do you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven?

You can know right now. I want to lead you in a short, simple prayer, simply telling God you're sorry and asking Him to help you to live for Him. Please pray this prayer with me out loud right now. Dear Jesus, I pray that you will live for me. Dear Jesus, I believe you died for me, that I could be forgiven.

And I believe you were raised from the dead, that I could have a new life. And I've done wrong things. I have sinned. And I'm sorry. Please forgive me of all those things. Please give me the power to live for you of my days. In Jesus' name.

Amen. Friend, if you prayed that prayer according to the Bible, you've been forgiven. You've been born again. So congratulations, friend.

You just made the greatest decision that you will ever make. God bless you. If you prayed that prayer with David for the first time, we'd love to hear from you. You can visit to receive our First Steps package with helpful resources to help you begin your walk with Christ.

Or you can write to Cross the Bridge at P.O. Box 12-515, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 27117, and share how God is working in your life. You know, the Bible tells us that the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. But it does cost for us to come and bring that message to you and to others in your neighborhood, through radio, through the internet, and through the mobile technologies that God has gifted us to be able to use. So if you'd like to support this ministry, please go to, click on the donate button, and ask God how much he would have you give, either on a one-time basis or a continuing basis each month to help ensure that the teaching of God's Word continues to go out through Cross the Bridge.

Thank you so much. Well, DA, before we go, what are some ways that we can bless our listeners? Each day you can wake up with encouragement from Pastor David through the Word of God, with his email devotional, life lessons to consider, a daily reading plan, and a thought to meditate on throughout your day from the heart of David McGee. Those are terrific, and it's easy and it's free. So folks, sign up today at Thanks again for listening, and join us next time as David McGee continues teaching verse by verse in the Gospel of John.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-18 23:47:12 / 2023-12-18 23:57:43 / 11

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