John 19:28-30

Sunday Morning Bible Study

March 23, 1997


We've been studying Jesus on the cross, and have been looking at what's known as the "seven last words", the seven last phrase that Jesus spoke on the cross, before dying.

Last Word #1: Forgiveness.

Luke 23:34 Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do

Last Word #2: Paradise

Luke 23:43 ... To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Last Word #3: Mary

While on the cross, Jesus asked His disciple John to take care of His mother, Mary.

Last Word #4: Forsaken

Mat 27:46 ... My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

On the cross, God heaped upon Jesus the sins of the world, allowing Jesus to die in our place.

(2 Cor 5:21 KJV) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Time synchronization

We now pick up our chronology of Jesus hanging on the cross at 3:00 in the afternoon.

Jesus has been hanging on the cross with the nails through His hands and feet for six hours now.

It's almost over.

:28-30 It is finished

:28 After this, Jesus knowing

This shows that Jesus was still conscious still the end, still aware of what was going on.

Why bring this up?

Earlier, just before the crucifixion, Jesus had refused a drink of wine mixed with gall and myrrh (Mat 27:34), a type of anesthetic, meant to help deaden the pain of crucifixion.

Jesus didn't accept it.

He didn't want to escape His problems, He dealt with them head on.


You don't have to escape.

It seems to me that sometimes God needs to teach us certain lessons in life.

Yet when we do everything to either escape our problems, or numb ourselves so much that we can't fell them anymore, I'm not so sure we're learning the lessons we're supposed to be learning.


The kid who sleeps though seventh grade, is only bound to repeat it.


It's like getting on a roller coaster, then closing your eyes and curling up so tight that you just miss most of the fun.

Why bother even getting on the ride if you never experience it.

Ride life with your eyes open and your arms stretched out.

:28 that the scripture might be fulfilled,

Several of those ancient prophesies, both by David, are coming to pass.

David described that Jesus would be thirsty during His death (Ps.22:15)

He was supposed to be given vinegar to drink (Ps.69:21)

:28 saith, I thirst.

Last Word #5:


Just to let you know, Jesus was human.

He's not one of those people who just can't relate to you, because He never has any problems.

We might tend to think, "Well Jesus was God, so being on the cross must not have been that big of a deal."

Jesus was not only fully God, but He was also fully human.

He experienced all the pain and suffering that any person might have being crucified, perhaps even more (since He carried the sins of the world as well).

:29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar:

vinegar - oxos - a mixture of sour wine or vinegar and water.

The Romans called this drink "Posca" (not "Pepsi"), and even their generals drank it. The vinegar may have been there not just for the prisoners, but even for the soldiers.

:29 put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.

Hyssop was a bush that had stems 2-3 ft long, with bushy leaves on it.

This would mean that Jesus was hanging with His feet perhaps 2-3 feet off the ground, close enough to touch.

:30 It is finished

The Greek word here is tetelestai.

It means "to bring to a close, to finish, to end"

The word could be used in several ways:

A servant would use it when reporting to his or her master, "I have completed the work assigned to me" (John 17:4).

When an artist completed a picture, or a writer a manuscript, he or she might say, "It is finished!"

When a merchant used this term, it meant "The debt is paid in full!"

Receipts for taxes found in the ancient Greek papyri have written across them this single Greek word, which means "paid in full."

The price for our redemption from sin was paid in full by our Lord's death.

Last Word #6:

Paid in full

It's at this point that your salvation had been purchased in full.

It wasn't paid by some kind of supposed suffering in hell (as some teach).

It was paid for on the cross.


There was once a rather eccentric evangelist named Alexander Wooten, who was approached by a flippant young man who asked, "What must I do to be saved?"

"It's too late!" Wooten replied, and went about his work.

The young man became alarmed. "Do you mean that it's too late for me to be saved?" he asked. "Is there nothing I can do?"

"Too late!" said Wooten. "It's already been done! The only thing you can do is believe."


Stop punishing yourself.

Sometimes we struggle with guilt, having a hard time accepting that our debt must be already paid.

We punish ourselves because we think we must deserve some kind of punishment.

It's especially tough when it's concerning a sin that we repeat over and over and over again.

When Jesus died on the cross, how many of your sins were still in the future?

Did Jesus pay for all of your sins, or just part of them?

Did He just pay for sins #1-136? But not for #137?

You may say to me, "But I've sinned enough for two people!"

Do you somehow think that Jesus can't pay for the both of you?

He died an infinite death, paying for an infinite amount of sin!

That's enough to even include you!

When we continue to punish ourselves over our sins, or we feel like we just can't accept Jesus' forgiveness because we don't deserve it, we are kind of kicking Him in the face.

It's like we are saying to Him, "No, You did not pay enough to cover this one particular sin!"

He paid at one time, enough for all of us.

(Heb 10:12 KJV) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;


Martin Luther was one who struggled with his sins. Before his break with the Catholic church he went to confession every day and was so guilt-ridden by his sins he would almost have gone every hour.

On most nights Luther slept well, but he even felt guilty about that, thinking, Here am I, sinful as I am, having a good night's sleep. So he would confess that. One day the older priest to whom Luther went for confession said to him, "Martin, either find a new sin and commit it, or quit coming to see me!"

Perhaps we need to quit hanging on to our guilt, and let Jesus cleanse us.

:30 he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Or, "gave up the spirit".

Jesus said,

Joh 10:17-18 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.

In control of this situation, Jesus simply dismisses His spirit.

Time Synchronization:

Luke records something else that Jesus says right here at the time of dismissing His spirit.

Luke 23:46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

Perhaps His crying out with a loud voice was when He said "It is finished".

commend - He's putting His Spirit aside, putting it into God's hands.

gave up the ghost - literally, "breathed out", gave His last breath. It's just the opposite of God putting life into Adam:

(Gen 2:7 KJV) And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Note: Jesus is again quoting the Psalms, again quoting David (Ps.31:5)

Last Word #7:

Trust when forsaken.

Peter writes,

1 Pet 2:21-23 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: {22} Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: {23} Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:

Committed - to give into the hands (of another) (same word that's used in John 19:30 as "gave up")

This is an example we're supposed to be following.

What's Jesus doing?

He's trusting God with His spirit, His life.

He's placing His life into God's hands.

Keep in mind -

Jesus has also felt as if God had abandoned Him.

Just moments ago,

Mat 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

It's easy to trust God with your life when you think that God is making all the right decisions, and everything seems to be going your way.

But God's desire is that we be like Jesus, and be willing to trust our lives into His hands, even when we are questioning what's going on.


"The Road of Life"

At first I saw God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong, so as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die.

He was sort of like a president. I recognized His picture when I saw it, but I didn't really know Him.

But later on when I met Christ, it seemed as though life were rather like a bike ride, but it was a tandem bike and I noticed that Christ was in the back helping me pedal.

I don't know just when it was that He suggested that we change places, but life has not been the same since.

When I was in control, I knew the way. It was rather boring, but predictable...It was the shortest distance between two points.

But when He took the lead, He knew delightful long cuts up the mountains and through the rocky places at breakneck was all I could do to hang on! Even though it looked like madness, He said, "Pedal!"

I worried and was anxious and asked, "Where are you taking me?" He smiled and didn't answer and I started to learn to trust.

I forgot my old life and entered into the adventure. And when I'd say, "I'm scared, "He'd lean back and touch my hand.

He took me to people with gifts that I needed, gifts of healing, acceptance, and joy. They gave me gifts to take on my journey, my Lord's and mine.

And we were off again. He said, "Give the gifts away; they're extra baggage and too much weight." So I did, and I found that in giving, I received, and still our burden was light.

I did not trust Him, at first, in control of my life. I thought He'd wreck it; but He knows bike secrets, knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners, knows how to jump clear dangers, knows how to fly to shorten scary passages.

And I am learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places. And I'm beginning to enjoy the view and the cool breeze on my face with my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ.

And when I'm sure I can't do anymore, He just smiles and says, "Pedal."

:31-37 A Death Certificate

:31 (for that sabbath day was an high day,)

In other words, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread fell that year on a Sabbath, making it a "high" or "special" festival.

This made the Jews anxious about getting things cleaned up and put away, wanting the criminals to be dead and buried.

:31 legs might be broken

The idea was to speed up the death.

A person might die from loss of blood, but most likely the cause of death would be asphyxiation, as they could no longer keep pushing themselves up on the nails to get a breath. If the legs were broken, it all happened much quicker.

:32 brake the legs of the first,

When the soldiers came up to the criminals, they could see that they were alive, and so their legs were broken to hurry things along.

:33 saw that he was dead already,

There are lots of crazy ideas going around about the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Some of the ideas claim that He never died in the first place, but simply fainted on the cross, and was revived in the tomb.

Here's one of the first points of evidence against that theory.

These are trained executioners, it's their job to know when someone is dead or not.

They could tell the other prisoners were not dead.

Their first impression of Jesus was that He was dead.

:34 forthwith came there out blood and water.

Here's the second piece of evidence for the death of Jesus.

The piercing of a person's side with a spear was a way of certifying whether or not the person was alive or not.

When Pilate was asked for the body of Jesus by Joseph of Arimathea, he was surprised that Jesus had already been dead.

But the centurion in charge could certify that indeed Jesus was dead (Mark 15:44-45) because of the blood and water.

From Josh McDowell's Evidence that Demands a Verdict (pg.206-207):

Samuel Houghton, M.D., the great physiologist from the University of Dublin, relates his view on the physical cause of Christ's death:

"Repeated observations and experiments made upon men and animals have led me to the following results -

"it ... would occur in a crucified person, who had died upon the cross from rupture of the heart ... There remains, therefore, no supposition possible to explain the recorded phenomenon except the combination of the crucifixion and rupture of the heart.

He died from a broken heart.

:35 he that saw it bare record,

John is telling us that this is his own testimony about what happened that day.

:36 A bone of him shall not be broken.

Several prophesies fulfilled - (Ex. 12:46; Ps.34:20)

:37 They shall look on him whom they pierced.

This one comes from Zechariah (Zec 12:10)


Fulfill the Scriptures

Have you noticed how many times John mentions that the Scriptures were fulfilled?

Do you kind of get an idea that the Scriptures are just a little bit important?

1. It gives us proof of the awesome, incredible evidence of the supernatural origin of God's Word.

2. It shows us beyond a doubt just who Jesus is, God's Savior, sent to save us!

3. It shows me that I better be serious about God's Word in my own life.

I too need to have the Scriptures "fulfilled" in my life.

Too many of us are relying upon our feelings when it comes to trying to have a relationship with God.

If I'm happy, then I'm doing fine with God.

If I'm depressed, then I'm not.

Instead, I need to get into the Book to find out what God says is pleasing to Him.

I need to be basing my life upon the Scriptures as well.


Jesus told a story of a house that made it through the storm:

(Mat 7:24-27 KJV) Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: {25} And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. {26} And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: {27} And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.