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 …
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, …
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.
The sermon opens by discussing the justification for having a Good Friday service as Protestants. The preacher argues that while they reject holy days, it is good to remember the historical facts of the faith.
The first general message is that the Christian faith is based on historical facts, not just ideas. The preacher warns against turning the faith into just a philosophy.
The second general message is the certainty of the facts. The preacher points to John's testimony about the events to show they are true.
The third general message is the peculiar nature of the facts. The preacher asks why John includes such specific details about the crucifixion.
The first particular message is that the details were included to answer early objections to the faith, such as that Jesus did not really die. The details show he truly died.
The second particular message is that the details show the fulfillment of prophecy, such as about the Passover lamb and the Messiah. This shows God's plan was at work.
The third particular message is that the details show the actual cause of Jesus's death was a ruptured heart from the intense suffering he endured. The preacher argues only this medically explains the blood and water.
The suffering that caused Jesus's death was bearing the punishment for sins. The preacher says this shows there was no other way for God to forgive sins.
Jesus endured this suffering for each person. The preacher challenges the listeners to consider the price Jesus paid for their forgiveness.
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.