Q. Thank you for your ministry. I have a question about the communion service. Some translations say, “This is my body, which is broken for you.” Others say, “is for you”, “betrayed for you”, or “given for you”. Psalm 34:20 and John 19:36 say, “Not one of His bones shall be broken.” How can it be correct to say His body was broken?
A. In giving instructions for preparing and eating the Passover Lamb, the Lord said, “Do not break any of the bones” (Exodus 12:46). And Psalm 34:19-20 reads, “A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all, he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.”
When Pilate ordered the legs of the three men being crucified to be broken to hasten their deaths, the soldier found Jesus already dead and pierced his heart instead. John said these verses were written about the Messiah, and the soldier’s disobedience of Pilate’s order was a fulfillment of prophecy.
Some Greek language versions of 1 Cor. 11:24 contain the word broken and others do not. But the fact is, none of His bones were broken. In breaking the bread and distributing it, Jesus was symbolizing the way every believer could have a part in the blessing that came from His death. Therefore, He was not describing the physical aspects of His crucifixion, but the spiritual ones.