Not a Bone of Him Shall be Broken (Jn 19:36)

It’s a small thing, almost unnoticeable, really.

And now in looking it up many Bible versions do translate it differently.

But the version of John 19:36 that I heard and reflected on was:

“Not a bone of Him shall be broken.”

It was pointedly not “His”. And I thought it odd. Wouldn’t anyone else use “his” there?

But with it being “him” it is beautiful. Jesus did not care about himself. He did not care about things being “his” — even his own body. Everything Jesus did was for others and not himself.

Jesus’ body was more a vessel which served God and God’s purpose rather than anything that could belong to Jesus. So where we in our very failed ways would want to stake claim to our bodies as “ours”, Jesus serves as a counterpoint – an example of what our temporal being really means.

It is not “my” body”, but rather “the body given to me to serve God while I am living in the flesh”. Am I able to get out of myself and see that? Am I able to keep it in proper perspective? Am I able to focus on the eternal rather than the temporary? Am I able to truly live in the way God calls me to live — for others and not just for myself?

So much of my thinking is “me” and “I. With a seemingly simple word choice the Gospel writers have shown us a depth to God’s message and Jesus’ purpose.

“Not a bone of him shall be broken” shows us how Jesus is for all of us and not for himself. Let us cling to his example and do our best to live not trying to possess our bodies as our own, but to give them their proper value in service to God.

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