Daily Devotional John 19:23–30
How can we talk about Jesus in the Old Testament? Which parts apply to Him? And how should we interpret some of the strange language and figures of speech? A very helpful reference is The Moody Handbook of Messianic Prophecy, edited by Moody professor Michael Rydelnik and Edwin Blum. This book analyzes every OT passage that is considered Messianic!
This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled.
The fulfillment of Messianic prophecies proves that Scripture is one unified story. This would only be possible if the Bible was inspired by the God who is sovereign over history. Today’s reading from the Crucifixion narrative provides two specific examples. First, the Roman soldiers who crucified Christ divided His clothes among themselves (vv. 23–24). The seamless undergarment, however, was too valuable to be torn, so they cast lots for it. Their actions fulfilled the prophecy of Psalm 22:18. Psalm 22 is the prayer of a righteous sufferer, written nearly one thousand years before Christ. This example shows that prophecy can be both thematic and specific. Thematically, Jesus is the perfect example of a righteous sufferer. He even quoted Psalm 22:1 while on the cross (Matt. 27:46). The details about casting lots for His garment cannot be accidental. Fulfilled prophecies like these strengthen our faith.
Another example is Jesus’ words “I am thirsty” on the cross (vv. 28–30). They gave Him wine vinegar to drink, fulfilling Psalm 69:21 (see Ps. 22:15). Jesus said it, “so that Scripture would be fulfilled.” After receiving the drink, in total control of the situation, He said, “It is finished,” bowed His head, and gave up His spirit.
Psalm 69 is also the prayer of a righteous sufferer. Psalms 69 and 22 are the most quoted psalms in the New Testament! Why not add both of these to today’s reading?
>> Would you like to learn more about Messianic prophecy? We encourage you to invest in a good study Bible or get a copy of the Moody Handbook mentioned in today’s opening paragraph.
Pray with Us
Today’s passage emphasizes that Your death on the cross was fully under Your control and part of Your plan. In our own suffering, help us cling to the truth that You are still in control, and we ultimately have nothing to fear.