‘That the scripture might be fulfilled’, John 19. 28
As publishers of a Christian magazine that focuses upon the exposition of scripture, this is an important text. Its context is the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus, and it prefaces one of the seven sayings of the Saviour from the cross.
In the events preceding, as well as those at Calvary itself, there is a record of fulfilled scripture. Remember that in the garden as they came to take the Lord with swords and staves, Matthew records, ‘all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled’, 26. 56. In the betrayal by Judas and the use of the thirty pieces of silver to buy the potter’s field, Matthew again records, ‘Then was fulfilled that which was spoke by Jeremy the prophet’, 27. 9. As the soldiers crucified the Lord and parted His garments casting lots, Matthew tells us that it was all done, ‘that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet’, v. 35. These were not events that could have been orchestrated by any other than God, the sovereign controller of all things.
Seeing the Saviour amongst two malefactors, occupying the place of the chief of sinners, the sceptic might describe Mark’s comment, ‘the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors’, 15. 28, as coincidental, but reading in John chapter 19 that the spear that pierced the Saviour’s side was a fulfilment of scripture cannot be dismissed so easily. John tells us, ‘these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken’, v. 36.
Whilst these are instances of the essential unity of the scriptures, they also declare their divine origin, inspiration, and authority. All the prophetic scriptures concerning the life and death of the Saviour were fulfilled. As other writers in this magazine have shown, this fact can be a tremendous tool in seeking to reach the lost. The prophetic scriptures show that the Bible is God’s word to a needy world.
However, this text is also a help to all believers. Challenges to the veracity of the word of God are not new, but to trace through the scriptures the occasions where God has portrayed the future in some detail and all that detail has been fulfilled, should fill us all with assurance that we can trust the scriptures for every part of our lives. Equally, as we come to scripture which describes what will take place in coming days, we can view such chapters and verses with assurance. As God has kept His word before, He will keep His word again. We can echo the words of the Apostle Paul, ‘all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us’, 2 Cor. 1. 20.
As you come to this magazine and the articles that it contains, we trust that you will find something that will be to your spiritual blessing and edification, whether it be a word of encouragement or a word of challenge.