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his body is not to remain all night on the tree, but you are to surely bury him the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God), so that you do not defile your land that Yahweh your God gives you for an inheritance.” Bible

“his body is not to remain all night on the tree, but you are to surely bury him the same day.” It is amazing that this command in the Law was fulfilled in Jesus Christ even though that fulfillment was not done intentionally. It usually took people two or three days to die on a cross in Roman crucifixion, and since Roman crucifixion was done in part to terrorize the people into submitting to Rome, the Romans had no reason or intention to take Jesus’ body down from the cross in a way that fulfilled the Mosaic Law. Similarly, when the religious leaders shouted “Crucify him” to Pontus Pilate and gave Jesus to the Romans to be crucified, they had no specific intention of having the law of Moses fulfilled in Christ. But by God’s design, it was the Passover when Jesus was crucified, and the scrupulously religious Sadducees and Pharisees did not want any human body, not just Jesus’ body, hanging on a Roman cross during their feast day (John 19:31). So they directed that Jesus and the people crucified with him be treated in a way that would assure they would all die so the dead bodies could be taken down that day (John 19:32). Jesus, for his part, gave up his life, the others died by the purposely accelerated process of crucifixion. The end result was that, although Jesus had no control over it, and neither the Romans or Jews intentionally planned it, even in his death on the cross as a sin offering (2 Cor. 5:21) and a curse on our behalf (Gal. 3:13), Jesus fulfilled the Law. His dead body was taken from the cross before sunset—he did not remain all night on the cross.


Commentary for: Deuteronomy 21:23