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A Broken Heart

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Book of John

A Sermon on John 19:31-37

Jesus’ Side Is Pierced

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. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.” (ESV)

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Why do Christians gather for worship on Good Friday? Certain religious and pseudo-Christian religions gather for what might be called, “holy days.” Listen as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains how tradition, not facts or truth, often drive these empty and meaningless gatherings. But why does the church gather for worship on these special occasions? Dr. Lloyd-Jones opens John 19:31-37 to answer that very question. The Christian faith and motives for Christian worship are based on the certainty of facts. While other religions create what appear to be worship-filled gatherings, they are empty and void of fact. They are created in the minds of men. By contrast, the Christian faith is built on the foundation of fact. Furthermore, those facts are certain and peculiar in nature unfolding the fulfillment of prophecy from centuries gone by. What is the fact that drives worship on Good Friday? In this sermon, Lloyd-Jones teaches that the death of Christ and all of the peculiar facts of his death drive this worship. And, why does his death cause us to worship? Through his death, a literal broken heart, the Lamb of God provides forgiveness for our sin.


Additional Scripture Translations

John 19:31-37, New American Standard Bible

Care of the Body of Jesus

31Now then, since it was the day of preparation, to prevent the bodies from remaining on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews requested of Pilate that their legs be broken, and the bodies be taken away. 32So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man, and of the other who was crucified with Him; 33but after they came to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. 34Yet one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 35And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. 36For these things took place so that the Scripture would be fulfilled: “Not a bone of Him shall be broken.” 37And again another Scripture says, “They will look at Him whom they pierced.”

John 19:31-37, King James Version

31The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. 33But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: 34But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. 35And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. 36For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. 37And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.


About Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.