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DISCOVERY OF THE FACTS 1. The Death of Jesus Made Sure, vv. 37–37 What final request did the Jews make of Pilate? What was the purpose of this request? Why were the Jews unwilling that the bodies should remain on the crosses over that Sabbath? (23" class="scriptRef">Deut. 21:22, 23.) Was there any especial reason why they were more unwilling that that Sabbath should be defiled than any other? Had they themselves done anything that would defile their land more than the mere leaving of the crucified bodies on the cross possibly could? Are men today ever scrupulous about ceremonial defilement who are quite blind to moral defilement? Was “the Sabbath Day” which was to follow “the preparation,” the weekly Sabbath day or “the first day” of “the feast of unleavened bread”? (Lev. 23:6, 7; John 19:14, 42; 18:28; Matt. 27:62; Mark 15:42; Matt. 17:21, 23; 20:19; Mark 8:31; Luke 9:22.) In case it was the latter what occurred at the temple at the very moment Jesus died without the camp? (Ex. 12:6; Lev. 23:5; compare 1 Cor. 5:7.) What precaution was taken to make sure of the death of the two robbers? Why did they not break the legs of Jesus also? Why did Jesus die so much sooner than the others? (2 Cor. 5:21; Matt. 26:46; Ps. 69:20; compare John 19:34.) May it not have been that Jesus was not really dead but only in a swoon, and that the supposed resurrection was only a case of temporarily suspended, and afterwards restored, animation? What precaution did one of the soldiers take to make sure that He was really dead? What was the result of that spear thrust? What was the physiological significance of the coming forth of “blood and water”? Who bears witness to this fact? Did he know the physiological significance of it? Is there in this little detail, the full meaning of which the narrator himself could not have known, any proof of the genuineness of the story? Had the coming forth of the “blood and water” any moral or spiritual significance? (Zech. 13:1; Titus 2:14.) For what purpose did John record this seemingly insignificant little detail (v. 35)? Did John have this purpose in view in much that he wrote? (John 20:31; 11:15, 42; 14:29; compare 1 John 5:13.) In the testimony that we give to the world concerning Jesus what should be our purpose? Have we any occasion to be grateful that the Roman soldier thrust his spear into the Saviour’s side? Of what truth is this an illustration? (Ps. 76:10.) What two prophecies were fulfilled in the treatment of Jesus after death (vv. 36, 37)? Where is the scripture “A bone of Him shall not be broken” found? (Ex. 12:46; Num. 9:12; Ps. 34:20.) Where is the other scripture quoted in v. 37 found? (Zech. 12:10.) Were these men conscious that they were fulfilling Scriptures? Did the fact that these things had been prophesied in any wise interfere with the freedom of their action? Through what sort of action then does God carry out His eternal purposes and fulfill His “sure word of prophecy”? 2. The Burial of Jesus, vv. 38–42; Matt. 27:61 Who buried Jesus? What do we know about this man? (Matt. 27:57–60; Mark 15:42–46; Luke 23:50–53.) What sort of a disciple had Joseph been up to this time? Were there many secret disciples? (John 12:42.) What lies at the bottom of secret discipleship? (John 12:43.) Is it acceptable to Christ? (Matt. 10:32, 33; Mark 8:38.) Are secret disciples saved? (Ro. 10:9, 10.) Of what proverb of Solomon was the secret discipleship of Joseph of Arimathea an illustration? (Prov. 29; 25.) What brought Joseph out as an open disciple and delivered him from the snare into which the fear of man had brought him? Did Joseph display any courage at the end? Is one who holds back for fear of man likely, when he does come out, to display as much courage and devotion in the service of his crucified Lord as those who come out more promptly? What did Pilate do before delivering the body to Joseph? (Mark 15:44, 45.) At every step in the execution of Jesus, what was care taken to see to? Is any room left to doubt the reality and certainty of His death? Is it in any way a good thing for us that such care was taken? Who came with Joseph? How had he come first to Jesus? Had he ever up to this time lifted his voice openly for Jesus? (John 7:50, 51.) Had he ever come out so openly for Jesus as at this time? What brought him out? Had Joseph’s new decision any influence over him? Had Jesus repulsed the first timid manifestations of the faith of Nicodemus? (See John 3:1–14; compare Matt. 12:20.) Is there any suggestion in this as to how to deal with timid, hesitating souls? Was the patience and tenderness of Jesus in dealing with Nicodemus rewarded at the end? How did Nicodemus show his love to the crucified One? Where did they lay the body of Jesus? Why did they lay it there (v. 42)? What prophecy was fulfilled in this? (Is. 53:9.) 3. Precautions Against a Fraudulent Claim that Jesus Had Risen. Matt. 27:62–66 Of what were the enemies of Jesus afraid? Why were they afraid of this (v. 63)? What evidence have we that some of the words of Jesus had made a deeper impression upon the minds of the enemies of Jesus than upon the minds of His disciples? Why was this? What did the enemies of Jesus call Him? If Jesus was so called by His enemies, what may we expect if we live like Him? (Matt. 10:25.) What precaution was taken against a false claim that Jesus had arisen as He had announced He would? Have we any occasion to regret these steps that the enemies of Jesus had taken? What good resulted from it? Did Pilate accede to their request? What did he bid them do? Did they make it as sure as they could? Did they succeed in keeping Jesus in the sepulchre? With what kind of a Christ did they imagine they had to do? With what kind of a Christ did they discover, before many days, they had to do? What became of all their cunning plans to stop the spread of faith in Jesus? Why? (Prov. 21:30.) How did all these things that are recorded as done against Jesus turn out finally? How will all the steps taken against Jesus by His enemies finally result? (Ps. 76:10.) CLASSIFICATION OF TEACHINGS 1. God Makes the free acts of men carry out His eternal purposes and fulfills His prophecies, John 19:33–37; makes trivial and seemingly accidental circumstances carry out His eternal purposes and fulfill his prophecies, John 19:41–42; compare Is. 53:9; uses the hostile acts of the enemies of Christ to authenticate His claims, John 19:31–37; Matt. 27:63–66. 2. Jesus Called a deceiver, Matt. 27:63; compare c. 10:25; Had a real human body, John 19:34; Died as a pascal lamb, John 19:30; compare Ex. 12:46; Sooner than His two companions. Why? (John 19:33; compare Matt. 26:46; 2 Cor. 5:21; Ps. 69:20; John 19:34.) Died of a broken heart, John 19:34. What broke His heart? Died to cleanse us from sin and uncleanliness. Blood and water flowed from the pierced side, John 19:34; compare Zech. 13:1; died beyond a question, not merely apparently but really, John 19:34, 35; was buried, John 19:42; was laid away in a rich man’s sepulchre, John 19:42; sealed in the sepulchre, Matt. 27:66; a guard set over the sepulchre, Matt. 27:66; His resurrection was unquestionable and genuine, Matt. 27:63–66; fulfilled prophecy, John 19:36, 37; compare Ex. 12:46; Zech. 12:10; testified to by a truthful eye witness, John 19:35. 3. The Word of God Its certainty, John 19:36; compare Ex. 12:46; John 19:37; compare Zech. 12:10; John 19:35; its minute accuracy, John 19:42; compare Is. 53:9; its purpose, “that ye might believe” John 19:35; its divine origin (see references under certainty and accuracy.) 4. The Enemies of Christ Very sensitive regarding the ceremonial defilement of the land, though utterly insensible to its moral defilement by their enormous sin, John 19:31; compare Deut. 21:22–23; made sure of Christ’s death, John 19:31–34; made as sure as they could that He should remain in the sepulchre, Matt. 27:63–66; remembered the words of Jesus, Matt. 27:63; dreaded their defilement, Matt. 27:63, 64; called Jesus a deceiver, Matt. 27:63; imagined they lead to do with a dead Christ, Matt. 27:63–66; by all their prudent and cunning attempts to put Jesus out of the way, succeeded only in establishing the reality of His death and certainty of His resurrection, John 19:31–36; Matt. 27:63–66. 5. Joseph of Arimathea A secret disciple, John 19:38; ensnared by the fear of man, 38; brought out by the death of Christ, 38; came out at last boldly (more boldly and fearlessly than those who had come out before him) 38; took the body of Jesus—whom the world had rejected and crucified—and buried it in his own new tomb, 38–42; compare Matt. 27:60; performed most disagreeable duties and those that involved ceremonial defilement and exclusion from the Passover, John 19:38, 39; influenced Nicodemus by his bold attitude (?) John 19:38, 39. 6. Nicodemus Came to Jesus at first by night, John 19:39; came out boldly with Joseph when others had deserted, 39; brought a costly offering at the last to the crucified One, 39; performed laborious and defiling service for the crucified One, 40.

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