This is my personal summary of Rev Dr Stephen Tong's sermon on 29 September 2013 in STEMI Expository Preaching at True Way Presbyterian Church Singapore. It was preached in Chinese with English translation.
The sky turned dark when Jesus was
crucified. He was crucified for 6 hours, from 9 am to 3 pm. At 3 pm, He gave up His
spirit, “I commit my
spirit into Your hands.” Jesus’ death is an active death. He died willingly.
bones are harder to break than any other bones in the body. They were broken to ensure the crucified
criminals die. When they found that Jesus
already was dead, there was no need to break His bones. To confirm His death, His side was pierced
and blood and water flowed. Jesus showed
no reaction confirming He already died.
happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of
his bones will be broken, and, as
another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.” (Jn.
This was spoken long
time ago by the prophets. At that time nobody
understood what it meant and who the Scripture was referring to whose bones
will not be broken. This is the word of
God that transcends all time and space.
Through the mouth of David the psalmist, God spoke about the death of
Jesus and the manner in which He would die, and specifically that His bones were not broken.
Jesus sacrificed His whole
life for us. How shameful it would be
for us not to love the Lord when we see Him face to face one day. His love is too high, too wide and too
deep. When we think of how much He
suffered for us, may we love Him more.
Jesus never did something for Himself during His time on earth. He was never concerned about material
things. When He died, even His outer
garment was taken. Who then would take
care of His burial? Where did Peter
weep? Where were all His disciples? Who should handle His body?
The Scripture recorded two persons, Joseph of Arimathea and
Nicodemus. This is the only time Joseph
of Arimathea was mentioned. He was not
one of the twelve. He was a righteous
man, with good standing in the society and was a rich man. The problem with him was he was afraid of his
own safety. He wanted to play safe so he
followed Jesus secretly.
One day he saw Jesus died. He never imagined Jesus would sacrifice
Himself to die for them. His conscience
was stirred and he wanted to handle the burial of Jesus. Joseph was also a trusted and respected man
as he was able to get permission from Pilate to take the body of Jesus, though
Pilate had been troubled with Jesus the whole day. (v.38)
Before Joseph buried
Jesus, Nicodemus came. Both were highly
respected Jewish leaders. Nicodemus embalmed
the body of Jesus with about 100 kg of spices.
It is a very expensive burial. Jesus
never prepared anything for Himself in His life but God had prepared everything
for His burial (v.39-42).
When you faithfully serve
the Lord, God will take care of you. We do
not need to be concerned about our own needs as our true and living God will
take care of us.