Not One Broken Bone

King David Wrote Prophetically About the Image of Jesus as the Unbroken Savior

The Messiah: Not One of His Bones Broken King David knew that to stand for truth meant to fall prey to those who hated the truth. This kind of opposition was something that he experienced throughout much of his reign as king over Israel. The book of Psalms is filled with David's heartfelt curses against his adversaries. But in the midst of his trials, he also knew that God was a deliverer. David had seen many times when God's hand moved and enemies fled or were destroyed.

Perhaps one of the most significant verses that David wrote concerning one such escape from death held a much deeper meaning than just a simple claim to divine intervention. It not only signified the incredible and very personal protection that God granted to David, but it also was a prophetic image of the coming Messiah. David wrote that “many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. He guards all his bones; not one of them is broken.” (Psalm 34:19-20)

One could believe that God intended David's preservation to include more than just his physical being. God can provide not only physical protection, but emotional and spiritual as well. It was as if God was communicating to David that the core of who he was, the internal resolve that supported him, the central framework of faith that upheld the very essence of his existence was not going to be broken. God was carefully guarding the inward man for the purpose of a greater calling that perhaps David did not even fully understand. Yet he was going to remain intact completely, from the inside out.

In light of this truth, David knew that with God defending him, there was ultimately nothing that man could do to him. They could, per se, physically harm him, but they could not destroy him, nor could they do away with all that he stood for. For God had made a promise to David, a promise for an everlasting kingdom. And David knew that God was a keeper of His promises. But the One who came as the fulfillment of that promise endured much the same treatment as David, even worse.

The Romans were killing machines. They made a sport out of fully humiliating the condemned criminals, even prolonging their suffering for entertainment's sake. And Jesus was no exception. The Romans successfully reduced the body of Jesus to the ugliest and most brutalized state known to man. They tortured Him, and mutilated Him beyond recognition. They shredded his flesh with a whip, beat Him with a rod, mocked Him, spit on Him, and then finally nailed Him to a cross to die a slow and suffocating death. Yet, just as God had promised through the prophetic message of David, not one of His bones was broken.

Even when it came time to hasten the deaths of the crucified by breaking their legs, Jesus was spared: “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. Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 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. For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, 'Not one of His bones shall be broken.'” (John 19:31-36)

Jesus allowed Himself to endure the most agonizing event of His life because of His Father's promise to preserve Him, and to resurrect Him at the appointed time. Despite the enemy's efforts to crush Him, the very foundation upon which Jesus was built remained unshaken. The brutality of the Romans, the hatred of the Jews, and the determination of Satan could not break the Pillar of truth.

Written by: Amy Miller