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Breaking The criminals' legs and piercing Jesus' side

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Chapter Summary

The last two quotations in John's gospel conclude his account of Jesus' death on the cross. Both quotations are in the words of the author and are found nowhere else in the N.T. The words from Zech 12:10 are alluded to in Rev 1:7. Cf. also Mt 24:30. The sources usually given for first quotation are Ex 12:46; Num 9:12; and Ps 34:21; cf. also Ps 22:17 f. The source of the second quotation is Zech 12:10. In discussing our quotation from Zechariah, Bemard says: "The manner of the Lord's death was, according to Jn., in fulfilment both of type and prophecy; negatively, because His legs were not broken as the usual custom was in the case of crucified persons, so that the type of the Paschal Lamb might be fulfilled in Him; and positively, by the piercing of His side, as had been prophesied in Zech. 12:10".

Keywords: breaking of criminals legs; Jesus' death; John's gospel; New Testament; piercing Jesus side; Zechariah

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