Did Jesus Really Die?
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Delivered By
Brian Winburn
Delivered On
June 10, 2018
Central Passage
John 19:31-37

I used to wonder if Jesus was a real person or just another fairy tale? Today we ask the question, Did Jesus Really Die? 

Below are the notes of the pastor. This is not a transcript.

John 19:31-37 Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. 32So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. 33But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. 35He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. 36For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” 37And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.”

The Day of Preparation- what is that and what does it have to do with this?

Outwardly the Jews still wish to present themselves as blameless and without wrongdoing, but inwardly they have just murdered God’s son. Often a sign of the religious is a greater care for minor details than for the major purposes that God has called us to. How we look or are perceived is greater than the call to make disciples or to obey even if that obedience leads to the cross.

It is nothing short of God’s providence that Christ has died quicker than the other men. Surely, He had endured a more painful death, but while God spared no wrath, He did make certain that Christ died before the sun set. This again takes us to the Passover lamb.

Exodus 12:46 It shall be eaten in one house; you shall not take any of the flesh outside the house, and you shall not break any of its bones.

Numbers 9:12 They shall leave none of it until the morning, nor break any of its bones; according to all the statute for the Passover they shall keep it.

1. His enemies might tear His flesh, &c., take away His life, heap upon Him every dishonour, but they could not break a bone of the body of Jesus. An attempt was made. Pilate commanded the soldiers to break the legs of the crucified. This was done to the two malefactors, but when they came to Jesus they could not break His legs. Roman soldiers were not accustomed to break the commands of their governors; but there stood what was mightier than the governor, mightier than Caesar: a text of Scripture.

They pierced His side and blood and water flowed.

  1. This has long been described by doctors as only possible when a heart literally explodes in a person’s chest.
  2. Blood and water have long been used in the process to pay for sins and washing away the defilement from a person. Jesus has paid it all and He has washed us clean.
  3. 1 John 5:16 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.


  1. In the water and the blood are represented the most essential elements of salvation. The water has a remote reference to baptism, but it chiefly symbolizes the moral purifying power of the word of Christ. The blood points out the ransom paid for our guilt, as well as the atoning sacrifice. The blood flowed separately from the water; justification must not be mingled with, much less substituted for, personal amendment.

Since Dr. Stroud published his work on "The Physical Causes of Christ's Death," we have met with no doubt expressed as to the death of Christ having immediately resulted from rupture of the heart. "Joy, or grief, or anger, suddenly or intensely excited, have often been known to produce this effect. The heart, which the universal language of mankind has spoken of as peculiarly affected by the play of the passions, has been found in such cases to have been rent or torn by the violence of its own action. The blood issuing from the fissure thus created has filled the pericardium, or sac, by which the heart is enclosed, and by its pressure has stopped the action of the heart" (Dr. Hanna). Common sorrow can, in its sudden extremity, break hearts; why may not that sorrow, deep beyond all other sorrows, have broken His? We believe it did. Now, when blood escapes from its vessels, within a short time it coagulates, its watery part separating from the rest; and there would be, so science tells us, within an hour or two after death such a flow of blood and water from a piercing as that which John saw. The late Sir James Simpson has said on this matter: "It has always appeared, to my medical mind at least, that this mode by which death was produced in the human body of Christ intensifies all our thoughts and ideas regarding the immensity of the astounding sacrifice which He made for our sinful race on the cross. Nothing can possibly be more striking and startling than the appalling and terrific passiveness with which God as man submitted, for our sakes, His incarnate body to all the horrors and tortures of the Crucifixion. But our wonderment at the stupendous sacrifice only increases when we reflect that, whilst enduring for our sins the most cruel and agonizing form of corporeal death, He was ultimately slain, not by the effects of the anguish of His corporeal frame, but by the effects of the mightier anguish of His mind; the fleshly walls of His heart, like the veil, as it were, in the Temple of His human body, becoming rent and riven, as for us He poured out His soul unto death. 'The travail of His soul' in that awful hour thus standing out as unspeakably bitterer and more dreadful than the travail of His body."

For those who say that Jesus didn’t die, but merely passed out. The amount of wounds alone would kill Him, but this wound would especially prove His death. A professional killer, led by God’s providence, inflicted more damage by piercing Jesus than He would have by breaking His legs.

John has written this so we might believe. Christ is dying so that we might believe. Christ is the lamb of God who has come to take away the sin of the world. Johns testimony is that Jesus is the lamb of God. What am I doing that you might believe?

Here John quotes Zechariah 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

In this passage the one that they are piercing is God the Father. The sins of the Jews have pierced the heart of God. Now, in John 19 we see this physically taking place. Though the Jews did not lift a finger to do it either time. The blame is still on the Jews.

Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

Are you guilty of killing Christ even though you weren’t even there?

Revelation 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Christ occupied the cross once and now for eternity He shall occupy the throne!

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