Today we remember the death of our Passover Lamb, the One who has rescued us out of slavery to sin and into freedom eternal. Let’s listen to John’s account of this solemn day.
By Jaime Sherman
It is fitting that our Come and See journey through the Gospel of John wraps up this weekend with a few more details about its writer. In today’s section, we learn that this young disciple, John, was standing by the cross with a trio of Marys — Jesus’ mother, John’s mother/Jesus’ aunt, and Mary Magdalene — when Jesus spoke His final words before giving up His spirit.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son!" Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home (John 19:26-27).
On Sunday, we’ll see John enter the story again, so stay tuned!
As Jesus charged John with Mary’s care, He knew the time had come for His death.
After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit (John 19:28-30).
A simple, profound detail is included in this section. Someone, standing at the foot of the cross, used a hyssop branch to lift a sponge of sour wine to Jesus’ mouth. The hyssop branch was a key tool in carrying out the Israelite’s rescue from the tenth and final plague in Egypt — the death of the firstborn (Exodus 12:21-23).
Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you."
Hyssop is mentioned in other places in the Old Testament as an agent of cleansing, for while it is a beautiful herb it is also a volatile one. In Psalm 51:7, the psalmist David asks God to “purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”
As Jesus hung on the cross bearing the weight of our sins, He — the Only Son of God — drank the cup of His Father’s righteous wrath and washed us whiter than snow, declaring, “It is finished.”
The crucifixion took place at the base of the same mountain on which God instructed Abraham to sacrifice Isaac in Genesis 22.
Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you (verse 2).
When God saw Abraham’s fear was rightly place in Him and that he had obediently followed His instructions, God provided a ram to be bound and burned in Isaac’s place. Then, Abraham called the mountain “The Lord will provide” (22:12-14), a beautiful foreshadowing of what we see today in John 19 as Jesus became the provision in our place upon the same mountain.
For more of the Good Friday story, please join us this evening via UFC’s livestream service at 6 p.m. on both YouTube and Facebook as we remember Jesus’ sacrifice and burial.
Today’s Hymn Trio
When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died, my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast save in the death of Christ, my God! All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them through his blood. See, from his head, his hands, his feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down. Did e'er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown? Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were a present far too small. Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.
Isaac Watts (1707)
Today’s John 18-19 voice
Where is the man who fears the Lord? God will teach him how to choose the best. He shall live within God’s circle of blessing, and his children shall inherit the earth.
Psalm 25:12-13 (TLB) has been Gayle‘s life verse since she was a teenager. She accepted the Lord at age 10 at church camp and continued in a Bible-teaching fellowship. She has always had a deep reverence, respect, and fear of the Lord. She has prayed and asked for His guidance with so many of life’s choices, and He has been faithful to answer. She became a nurse, married Jim, moved to Oregon, and served in Haiti and Thailand.