31Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should 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. [simple_tooltip content=’31 Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should 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.

32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him.

33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.

34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.

35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe.

36 For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, “Not one of His bones shall be broken.”

37 And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.”’](John 19:31-37)[/simple_tooltip]


Prophecies about the Messiah continued to be fulfilled after Jesus died on the Cross, and one of these happened because of the Sabbath. No work could be done on the Sabbath, which meant Jesus had to die and be buried before it began. That is why the Jews asked Pilate to break His legs. Breaking the legs of those being crucified hastened death. Verse thirty-three says that Jesus was already dead, so the Scripture was fulfilled: “He guards all His bones: not one of them is broken.” (Ps. 34:20)—all because of the Sabbath.

The Sabbath was first mentioned in Scripture in Exodus 16, then shortly after, the Lord commanded the observance of the Sabbath day in the Ten Commandments [simple_tooltip content=’8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,

10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.

11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.’](Ex. 20:8-11)[/simple_tooltip]. God connected the Sabbath with the rest He took on the seventh day of creation. According to [simple_tooltip content=’Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest, that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female servant and the stranger may be refreshed.’]Exodus 23:12[/simple_tooltip], one of the purposes of the Sabbath was to give God’s people and their animals one day of physical rest each week. Today’s medical science has proven that our bodies need at least one day of rest each week to function at our peak.

In [simple_tooltip content=’16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths,

17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.’]Colossians 2:16-17[/simple_tooltip], Paul revealed that the Sabbath was only a shadow of things to come and had been fulfilled in Christ. [simple_tooltip content=’1 Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.

2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.

3 For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said:
“So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest,’”
although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

4 For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works;”

5 and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.”

6 Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience,

7 again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said:
“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts.”

8 For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day.

9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.

10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.’]Hebrews 4:1-11[/simple_tooltip] talks about a Sabbath rest that is available to all New Testament believers, but is not necessarily functional in all of them. This New Testament Sabbath rest is simply our relationship with God in which we cease from doing things by our own efforts and allow God to work through us.

As you ponder the importance of the Sabbath in Jesus’ death, think about the fact that He died to give you rest. If you are in turmoil or confused in any way today, cast your care upon Him and be restored to His continual Sabbath rest.