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Discovery Magazine 3/1/2007

The Lamb With No Broken Bones

  Suppose you are going to pick John Smith up at the airport. What if you have never met him? How are you going to know which one of the passengers is john Smith? You would need a description. You would need to know things like his height, weight, hair color, and what he was wearing. Finding a man who is six feet tall with blonde hair, who is wearing blue jeans and a white button- up shirt would be pretty easy.

In the Old Testament, God told the Jewish nation about a special person who was coming to lead them. This person was called the messiah of Savior. But the Jews needed to know what to look for. How would they know who the Messiah was if they had no information about Him? For this reason, God told the Jews many things about the messiah that would help them identify Him. This is called Messianic prophecy. It simply means that God Predicted things about the Messiah in the Old Testament that would come true later. When they did come true, then the Jews would know who the Messiah was. For instance, God told the Jews that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), and would die for their sins (Isaiah 53). God even told the Jews that the Messiah would be betrayed for exactly 30 pieces of silver (Zachariah 11:12). These are just a few of the Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament. There are actually more than 300 prophecies concerning the messiah that all came true in the life of Jesus.

There is one very interesting thing about the Messiah that God told the Jewish nation. In Exodus 12, God told the Israelites to celebrate the Passover feast. God designed this feast to help Israel remember the night He brought them out of Egypt. During the first Passover, they were supposed to sacrifice and eat a special lamb. After killing the lamb, they were told to put some of its blood around their doors. That night, God went through Egypt and killed all the firstborn children of the Egyptians. But God did not kill the firstborn children in any house that had the blood of the lamb over the door. The blood of the lamb saved their lives. But there was something very important about the way the Jews killed the lamb. God told them to make sure that they did not break any of its bones (Exodus 12:46). Why would God tell them not to break its bones? We find out the answer in the New Testament.

Jesus, the Messiah, was sacrificed on the cross for our sins. Usually, when someone was hung on a cross Roman soldiers would break his legs. This would keep the person from being able to raise up and breathe, and he would die more quickly. The bible says that Roman soldiers broke the legs of the two robbers who were crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus, He was already dead. They did not break His legs. Why? Because He was like the Passover lamb- not a single bone was broken. The apostle John said: “For these things were done that the scripture should be fulfilled, ‘Not one of His bones shall be broken’” (John 19:36).

The Bible describes Jesus as “the Lamb of God who was takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Just as the blood of the Passover lamb saved the lives of the firstborn in Israel, the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God, saves those who obey Him today. God told the world to look for a coming messiah, and He described many things to help us identify the Savior. One of those things was the fact that not a bone of His would be broken, a prophecy which matches perfectly with Jesus’ death on the cross.

Copyright © 2007 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

*Please keep in mind that Discovery articles are written for 3rd-6th graders.

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