Casting stones

As nearly every Bible translation points out in the footnotes, the passage in John 8 about the woman caught in adultery isn’t found in the earliest manuscripts.  Therefore, it may not have been in the original writings of the Bible.*

It is a memorable passage and doesn’t contradict other doctrines, but neither does it add anything that isn’t taught elsewhere.  The problems start when people twist the passage to say things that aren’t there.  Here’s the text:

The Woman Caught in Adultery — John 8:2 – 11

Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them.  The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst  they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery.  Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?”  This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.  And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground.  But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.  Jesus stood up and said to her,”Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”  She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

If someone drew the conclusion that Jesus was once again clever and outwitted the Pharisees who were trying to trap him, that would be fine. Or that He upheld the law on capital punishment (you must have two witnesses). Or that He outed their hypocrisy in not bringing the man. Those would all be good.

The main misuse of the passage is by those who exclaim, “He who is without sin can cast the first stone!,” when trying to shut up anyone making a judgment they disagree with.  But as you may have noticed, that objection is self-refuting and ironically hypocritical: They imply that all judging is wrong, but they are judging you for judging.  But there is more.

Jesus was referring to real stones that would kill the person. Real stones thrown at a real person until he or she was really dead.  Criticizing someone else hardly rises to the level of killing him by stoning. Flippantly equating death by stoning with mere criticism is beyond hyperbole.

And even if Jesus said the part about not casting the first stone, it wouldn’t have meant, “Never say adultery is wrong!”  Note that the passage also says, “Go and sin no more.”

Those advocating the “judging = casting stones” view typically make all sorts of judgments, including advocating hate speech / hate crime laws.  But shouldn’t they be consistent and not judge anyone for anything, ever?

The passage is also misused to oppose capital punishment in principle.  But again, Jesus upheld the law: If there had been two witnesses present, stoning would have been appropriate at that time.

Keep in mind that any criticisms of this post will be considered stone-casting on your part.  And you know how wrong that is!

* Skeptics like Bart Ehrman like to say that this passage and the “long ending” of the Gospel of Mark reduce our confidence that the original writings were the word of God, but they are really proof that the system works.  Based on the work of textual critics on literally thousands of ancient manuscripts, we can be very confident about what the original writings said.

Another false teacher profile

Here are some lowlights from false teacher Chuck Currie’s latest sermon: Immigrant Rights Sunday: A Sermon On John 20:19-31.  The shortcut to this link is http://wp.me/p1wGU-2TH .

The “sermon” is a train wreck of bad theology and bad thinking, but it is illuminating in highlighting a false teacher.  As a public service I listened to it all (the FDA considers it a substitute for Syrup of Ipecac, so listen to it at your own risk).  Seriously, I urge people to know just how rampant fakes are in the church today.  While Chuck only led one small failed church, the United Church of Christ puts him out there as a mouthpiece for their denomination.  That speaks volumes.

Sometimes I feel sorry for those misled by false teachers like Chuck, but other times I think they get what they deserve.  This wolf in sheep’s clothing has taken off the sheep’s clothing and is pure wolf.  If they were real Christians they should have gotten up and left, or at least made sure he never took the pulpit in their church again.

Note that he picks one passage, explains why he thinks it doesn’t belong in the Bible, then switches to politics.  Some of the more egregious errors and issues:

  • Your first question might be, “What does the passage about Thomas seeing the evidence of Jesus’ resurrection have to do with the rights of illegal immigrants?”  The answer, of course, is “Nothing.  It is just a random scripture read to help pretend that what follows is somehow associated with historic Christianity.”
  • He claims that the Gospel of John was written 100 years after the resurrection.  Conservative scholarship places it at 50-70 A.D. (partly because no destruction of the temple is mentioned), but even Liberal scholars will put it at 90-100 A.D.  Claiming it was written in 130 A.D. isn’t just Liberal, it is crazy-making-this-up-as-I-go-along-Liberal.  This Gospel was quoted by church fathers, some of whom were John’s disciples, many times before 130 A.D.  (what a great author to be quoted before you wrote something!).  Chuck offers no support for his fantasy date.  But a late dating is crucial to his underlying theme that the writers were forgers and liars.  Such is the desperate position of anti-Christians.  They hate the eye-witness claims of John, so they must position the whole book as lies.  Hey Chuck, just because you are a serial, unrepentant liar doesn’t mean the early Christians were.
  • If the early Christians didn’t think the physical resurrection was true they wouldn’t lie about it.  They’d stop being Christians!  Why endure the persecution if you “knew” your religion was false?  They had access to 1 Corinthians 15 from within a couple decades of the resurrection, so they knew essential that doctrine was.  In the same way, if a false teacher like Chuck really believed what he taught he’d have his church send out reverse missionaries. After all, if there are other ways to salvation besides Jesus, as Chuck claims, then the loving thing to do would be to encourage everyone to adhere to their local religion and avoid any conflict or persecution.
  • He brags about preaching for “marriage equality” (not in the Bible) and support for gun control (not in the Bible).  But even his prior Liberal (and failed) church didn’t like his illegal immigration views.  I suppose he thinks they were all racists.
  • If Chuck thinks the Gospel of John is inauthentic, why does he bother to preach from it?
  • He references global climate change as if it is a real issue for the church to deal with.
  • He claims that John was made up, but quotes it when it serves his purpose.  The passage is a classic one to demonstrate the reality of the physical resurrection, but Chuck thinks it is a lie.
  • Chuck thinks Jesus’ mission is to give unlimited rights to illegal aliens.  Of course Chuck just calls them “immigrants.”
  • He forgot to mention Romans 13 and the role of government and how Christians should obey laws.
  • It never occurs to him to share the real Gospel with illegal immigrants — or anyone else, for that matter.
  • He talks about loving our neighbors but is wildly pro-abortion, even advocating taxpayer-funded abortions.
  • He plays the race card about those questioning Obama’s birth certificate.  What a joke.  People don’t like Obama because he is a bad President with bad ideas.  He thinks it is racism because no other President was asked to provide a birth certificate, ignoring the fact that it has never been a question in the past.  Don’t you think Clinton would have loved to have been asked for his BC?  It would have drawn attention away from the serial adultery and credible rape allegations against him.  BTW, race-baiting is nothing new for Chuck (click the link for a funny episode).  And remember, he supports taxpayer-funded abortions, which will increase the ratio of abortions in the black community to beyond the current ratio of 3x to that of whites.  That’s real racism.
  • Another sermon with no cross and no Gospel — just droning on with politics disguised as religion.  He advocates for the “Dream Act.”

Warning: Be sure to save your comments if you post at Chuck’s site.  He has a history of deleting comments, only to then lie about what the comments really said.  Should we be surprised that a false teacher would do such a thing?

Some other considerations about this false teacher:

For starters, he never demonstrated why we should listen to him.  Let’s look at some facts about Chuck’s leadership and executive experience:

  • Very Liberal “reverend”
  • Very Liberal denomination
  • Very Liberal city and state
  • Failed church

Hmmmm . . . see anything wrong with that?  How can orthodox pastors like Mark Driscoll preach long, “boring” (in the traditional, secular sense) verse-by-verse sermons in Liberal places like Seattle and grow their church attendance dramatically, while people like Chuck have every demographic in their favor yet produce an epic FAIL?  Must be those UCC ejector seats!  What is it that qualifies Chuck as an expert here on religion or politics, especially when it is proven that Liberals fail at basic economics?

Some more of Chuck’s views:

  • Jesus is not the only way to salvation
  • Jesus is pro-abortion, including partial-birth abortion and taxpayer-funded abortion
  • the Holy Spirit told him and the other Liberals in the UCC that God has changed his stance on marriage, parenting and homosexual behavior (now that’s blasphemy!)
  • you should take first grade girls to gay pride parades (something about millstones comes to mind) .  You’d think that even his atheist wife (he’s apparently not much of an evangelist) would prevent that abuse of their children.
  • the book of John doesn’t belong in the Bible
  • gets more excited worshiping Charles Darwin more than he does Jesus
  • the Gospel of Thomas does belong in the Bible
  • it is acceptable to lie and libel people on blogs as long as you think you won’t get caught
  • Christians  have as much to learn from other religions as they do from us (really?  I don’t remember Jesus saying that . . . what does Islam have to teach about Jesus that the Bible doesn’t?)
  • and so much more!
You’ve been warned.  Run, don’t walk, from Chuck and the UCC.

Lost books of the Bible? Nope.

Some false teachers and skeptics claim that some books like the Gospel of Thomas were “lost” from the Bible (1).  This is still an important issue.  An agnostic employee of mine saw one of those “lost books” shows on TV and was captivated by it.  He asked me a lot of questions and seemed convinced by the DaVinci Code-type reasoning that Constantine and/or those misogynistic church fathers deliberately left out books they disagreed with.

But whether you think that the Bible is divinely inspired or not, it is bad reasoning to claim that any books of the Bible have been lost.  Greg Koukl has a great summary of this in No “lost” book:

Regardless of how you view the Scripture – as supernatural or as natural – there is no sense in which there could be lost books of the Bible.  If the Bible is supernatural – if God is responsible for its writing, it’s transmission and its survival – then God, being God, doesn’t fail.  He doesn’t make mistakes, He doesn’t forget things and He’s not constrained by man’s limitations.  God can’t lose his lessons.

However, if the Bible is not supernatural, as many will contend, especially those who claim to have found lost books – one faces a different problem.  By what standard do we claim that these are bona fide lost books of the canon of the early church?  If, from a human perspective, the Bible is that collection of writings reflecting the beliefs of early Christianity, then any writings discarded by the church fathers were not books of their Bible by very definition.

The good news is that my employee has an open mind and saw the wisdom in this reasoning.  He’s still exploring, but I’m encouraged.

Whether one believes that the Bible is divinely inspired or not, there is no rational basis to claim there are any lost books.  God doesn’t lose things, and if it was a purely man-made creation then by definition they put in what they wanted.

Anyone claiming the name of Christ who believes that books were lost is, at best, “saved and (very) confused,” and most likely a false teacher.

(1) See this example where false teacher Chuck Currie claims that the Gospel of John does not belong in the Bible but that the Gospel of Thomas does (So long, John 3:16 and more!).  Of course, that tips his hand as to not believing in any real God at all, because Chuck’s “god” isn’t powerful enough to preserve his teachings.

You’d think that such a transparent wolf in sheep’s clothing would be booted out of any church, yet Chuck is a spokesperson for the UCC.

The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry has an excellent collection of articles on the supposed lost books.   You can read the Gospel of Thomas there, for example.  Note that the Bible critics and false teachers rarely quote passages like this one:

114 Simon Peter said to them: Let Mary go forth from among us, for women are not worthy of the life. Jesus said: Behold, I shall lead her, that I may make her male, in order that she also may become a living spirit like you males. For every woman who makes herself male shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.

They just use the existence of these books to cast doubt on the real Bible.  Just your basic Satan-inspired actions.

 

Christmas gift idea

pocket.jpgNo, no, not for me.  Although . . .

If you are looking for gift ideas for folks who perform services like newspaper delivery, lawn maintenance, cleaning, etc. consider a gift card to Wal-Mart (or whatever) along with a Gospel of John booklet (or a Gospel of Juan for Spanish speaking folks).  You can get free copies at the Pocket Testament League

Seriously, if you are going to give a present to celebrate the birth of Christ, what could be more relevant than an account of his life?

—–

More about the organization:

The Pocket Testament League has, for more than 110 years, motivated Christians to read, carry and share the Word of God. Begun in 1893 as the vision of a teenage girl named Helen Cadbury, the League provides free resources empowering people to develop a lifestyle of personal evangelism.

You can get free copies of the Gospel of John with various covers and translations.  You can order all you like (they do accept donations, but it is not required).  If you are able to strike up a conversation with someone on spiritual matters you can offer to give them a booklet.  It may be less intimidating to the other person than if you gave them a whole Bible to read (though that is good, too!). 

As noted in these 8 Witnessing Tips, it is helpful to leave them with something. The Gospel of John is considered one of the most beautiful works of literature ever written, and of course it was inspired by the Holy Spirit.  As John himself wrote,

John 20:30-31 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

John 21

j21.jpgGreetings!

Jesus and the Miraculous Catch of Fish

21     Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 3 “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

5 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”

“No,” they answered.

6 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. 8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. 9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.”

11 Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

These are very specific descriptions of Jesus with a physical risen body.  Some people try to say Jesus was just raised spritually, but that is in direct conflict to the Bible.

Jesus Reinstates Peter

15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?”

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Was Jesus being hard on Peter, or was He proving to him that despite his denials he was being restored?

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”

22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the brothers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”

V. 22 has a lesson we should all remember when we worry about the path of others.  Jesus said to Peter, ” . . . what is that to you?  You must follow me.”  That is our command: To follow him.

24 This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.

25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Thus ends a magnificent work of literature, noting the claim that this is the truth and that Jesus did so many things that we couldn’t record them all.  I pray that people take the message of this book seriously and put their faith in Jesus.

John 20

j20.jpgGreetings! This is the central point in human history.  If Jesus stayed dead, we would be without hope.  Christianity would be false, and we should be “pitied above all men,” as Paul says. 

But the tomb was empty! Hallelujah for that!  Jesus really rose from the dead physically. 

The Empty Tomb

20     Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

10 Then the disciples went back to their homes, 11 but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

15 “Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).

17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

It is hard to imagine the reactions of the Disciples.  Holy Saturday must have the longest day ever for them.  Their friend and leader was brutally executed.  All of them had given up years of their lives and assumed He would win in the end.  He did, of course, but not the way they planned.

Jesus Appears to Thomas

24 Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

30 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

I submit that Thomas got a bad rap in forever being know as “Doubting Thomas.”  Did Jesus chastise Thomas for doubting?  No.  And remember that Jesus was not shy about rebuking the Disciples when they got things wrong.  Thomas asked for evidence and he got it. 

Doubts are OK, provided you don’t use them as an excuse not to believe.  Use them to keep honestly searching for the truth and Jesus promised you will find it. 

Now Jesus will probably not appear to you directly, but He didn’t expect you to believe just because someone said to.  There is plenty of evidence for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and for the accuracy and integrity of the Bible.  All of the examples of sharing the Gospel in the Bible involve using fact, reason and evidence.  So let’s give Thomas a break.

John 19

j19.jpgGreetings!

Jesus Sentenced to be Crucified

19     Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2 The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe 3 and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they struck him in the face.

Flogging was a serious punishment.  If you saw the Passion of the Christ movie you might have wondered if that was what it was really like.  We don’t know exactly.  In some ways, them movie may have been a bit over the top with the sadistic nature of the Roman soldiers and the hooks on the whips.  But in other ways it was understated.  Those being punished sometimes died.  They might have huge chunks of flesh removed such that you could see organs.  It was very grisly.

Yet here was God in human form willingly taking this abuse on our behalf! 

4 Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.” 5 When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”

6 As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”

The Crucifixion

But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.”

7 The Jews insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.”

Even PIlate saw Jesus’ innocence.  Jesus did claim to be the Son of God and He proved it by his resurrection.

8 When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, 9 and he went back inside the palace. “Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”

11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

12 From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jews kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.”

Pilate was in a very awkward position.  Rome did not like governors who couldn’t control their territories, but they also didn’t like unnecessary violence.  If you want to know more about Pontius Pilate I encourage you to read Pontius Pilate, a Novel by Paul L. Maier.  It is a very engaging work of historical fiction. 

13 When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). 14 It was the day of Preparation of Passover Week, about the sixth hour.

“Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.

15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”

“Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked.

“We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.

16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.

The chief priests claim to have no king but Caesar showed just how far their hearts were from God.  They hated Caesar, but apparently hated Jesus more and would say anything to be rid of him.

The Crucifixion

So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18 Here they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.

19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”

22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”

23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.

24 “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.”

This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said,

“They divided my garments among them

and cast lots for my clothing.”

So this is what the soldiers did.

That is one of the many prophecies that Jesus could not have fulfilled on his own.

25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

As the oldest son Jesus wanted to ensure his mother was taken care of. 

The Death of Jesus

28 Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

“It is finished” is another way of saying, “the debt is paid in full.”  I love that phrase.  Jesus work was done.  He came and died for our sins so that we could be forgiven and reconciled to God.” 

31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. 36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” 37 and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”

The Burial of Jesus

38 Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. 39 He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. 40 Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41 At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

These two men were very brave to do this.  They didn’t know Jesus would rise from the dead on the third day.