31 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.
32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him.
33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.
34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.
35 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.
36 For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, "Not one of His bones shall be broken."
37 And again another Scripture says, "They shall look on Him whom they pierced."
Preparation Day (v. 31) — Friday, the day before Passover Sabbath
might be taken away (v. 31) — If a man has committed a sin deserving of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day, so that you do not defile the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance; for he who is hanged is accursed of God (Deuteronomy 21:22-23).
It often took two or three days for a crucified person to die. Christ was dead after six hours. The other two were almost certainly still alive (Mark 15:44).
break (v. 33) — shiver to pieces, probably with a mallet or heavy bar
blood and water (v. 34) — the vitals, the pericardium. If Christ hadn't already been dead, this thrust would have killed Him. (1 John 5:6) This is proof that He died as a human.
blood = justification
water = sanctification by the Word (Psalm 119:9)
his testimony is true (v. 35) — John is stating that he, with his own eyes, saw definite evidence that Jesus was dead.
No bones of the Passover lamb were broken (v. 36) — Exodus 12:46; Numbers 9:12; Psalm 34:20
With broken legs, a crucified person could not lift himself up to breath air into his collapsed lungs and would soon suffocate.
quote (v. 37) — Zechariah 12:10 — The fulfillment of the rest of the verse is still future, looking to His second coming.
whom they pierced (v. 37) — The Jews cannot escape their guilt (Acts 2:23; Revelation 1:7). They will look at Him in the future also — John does not say that this prophecy was fulfilled.