Jesus Gave His Life Willingly – John 19

Jesus Gave His Life Willingly.

John 19:30 “gave up his spirit”

Luke 23:46 (ESV)
46  Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last John 19:34 “soldiers pierced Jesus side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water”


#1 A Demonstration of a Real Death.

It was a medical indication that A) he was really dead and B) he didn’t die as the direct result of the crucifixion.

On practical thing we can note from this is that Jesus was in control of things right up to the end. We know from Scripture that nobody forced Jesus’s life from him, he gave it up willingly. This is rightly applied to Jesus’ willing submission to his captors, even stopping his disciples from fighting his arrest. However, we see this is true all the way to the end, when it is Jesus who surrenders himself to his Father and lets go of his own life rather than the physical reality of the cross actually taking his life.

Another practical result that came out of the deal was that finding him already dead at such an early time frame, they did not go on to break his legs to induce a quick death by suffocation as would have been required otherwise.

Thus, something that was said about him in the OT that could have been understood figuratively, also literally happened in spite of the odds.

Psalm 34:20 (ESV)
He keeps all his bones;
   not one of them is broken.

This is not how a person being crucified usually died, by the way. Crucifixion was a long, slow torment that eventually ended in gradual death by exhaustion. Someone who was only a few hours in crying out with a loud voice and then suddenly expiring was quite out of the ordinary! John’s point here seems to be that, while Jesus died on the cross, he did not die of the cross. Instead, as he had claimed earlier on in his ministry, he had life in himself, and he had the power to lay it down and to take it up again, and no one would take his life from him

blood for remission, water for regeneration; blood for atonement, water for purification. Matthew Henry

# 2 To fulfill prophecy:

John offers an explanation in the immediate context of the verse. In verse 37, he writes: “And again another scripture says, ‘They shall look on him whom they have pierced.'” This is a quotation from Zechariah 12:10, a lengthy verse which reads:

And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of compassion and supplication, so that, when they look on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a first-born. (Zechariah 12:10)

John is thus identifying Jesus as the prophesied one. He fits the characteristics of the Zechariah verse: He was pierced, He was from the lineage of David, and He was a firstborn, only child. Zechariah even went on a few verses later, describing the day that this man was pierced as the day

there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to cleanse them from sin and uncleanliness.” (Zech. 13:1)


# 3 To signify the birth of the Church

The idea that life and salvation poured out from Christ’s side in the form of blood and water also communicates the birth of Christ’s Church. This truth can be seen when we focus on the location of the outpouring––Christ’s side.

In the Old Testament, life was often derived from the “side” of a type of Christ. For instance:

So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. (Genesis 2:21-22)

Paul teaches us explicitly that Adam is a type of Christ. (cf. Rom. 5:14) So you see the significance of the “sleeping man” (also an ancient figure of someone deceased, e.g. Matt. 27:52) whose side was opened, and how life came from it. From Adam’s side came Eve. And from Christ’s side came life for all the Church.


Another example is Noah’s Ark.

Genesis 6:16 Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above; and set the door of the ark in its side; make it with lower, second, and third decks.

The ark itself was a “vessel of salvation” from the flood. All the creatures and Noah’s family entered and exited by this portal in the ark’s “side.” When we view the ark as a type of Christ, we can even more clearly see how the Church is availed of the true “vessel of salvation” by participating in Christ’s side––which again is the blood and water representing Communion and the Baptism.

Water flowing from the Rock, a the anti-type of Exo. 17:6. See the Rock here.