June 21 - His Testimony is True

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

June 21 – His Testimony is True

A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.” (John 19:28-37)

My father was a great story teller.  He could get away with tall tales and no one would know the difference.  When I was a kid, it frustrated me to no end that he could trick me into believing the wildest things that came out of his mouth.  Then, one day, I saw his tell … there was just a little glint in his eyes when he began to tell a tale.  I began to pay attention and after a lot of years, I was able to discern the difference between a retelling of an actual event or a grand story that he was making up as he went along.

If he wanted to let me in on the telling, he’d give me a wink and I’d know not to betray him … the result would be a lot of fun.

Not only was Dad a great teller of fictional stories, but in his retelling of true stories, you were drawn in and waited with bated breath for highlights.  We grew up knowing the stories of our childhood because Mom and Dad told them to us over and over.  We knew many of the fun stories of their childhoods and the years they knew each other before we came along.  These became an ingrained part of our histories and you will hear the three of us kids telling the same stories along with stories of experiences in our lives.

The stories that we heard from Mom and Dad are told with a different confidence than the stories we tell of our own lives.  Those things that we experienced are told with more detail and emotion because of our direct interaction with the moment.

John relates the story of Jesus’ death and the actions and events surrounding it and tells us in these verses that he was a part of all that happened.  It was John who got Peter into the high priest’s courtyard and watched as he denied Jesus.  It was John who saw the soldiers put Jesus on the cross and then cast lots for his clothing.  It was John who promised to care for Mary, Jesus’ mother.  It was John who heard Jesus speak His last words.

His testimony is true.  He tells us this story so that we will believe.