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John 19:34-35: Blood and Water

Posted by adventbiblestudy on October 1, 2011


John 19:34-35 KJV But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. (35) And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.

 

While Jesus hung on the cross, God hid the face of the sun, casting the land into darkness. Jesus gave His last breath and died. A soldier looked up and declared, “truely this man was the Son of God, ” As the Sabbath drew near a request was made by the priests to break the legs of the prisoners. The soldier came to Jesus, looked up again, and could not bring himself to carry out the gruesome task. He examined Jesus’ face, looked at His chest to see if there was any movement. There was no movement, no sign of life. He was afraid to touch Jesus, so he called over another solder to examine the body. The second soldier looked at Jesus, and a moment later thrust his spear into Jesus’ side aiming for his heart, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

Under the influence of the Holy Ghost John recorded the death of Jesus, adding details of the blood and water. John recorded this message from the Spirit, so others would believe. What does it mean to believe in the blood and water? What does the blood and water represent? Why did Jesus give blood and water as the last symbol of the cross, the first symbol of His death?

Both can represent a number of things. In relationship to Jesus and the cross, blood represents the forgiveness of sins, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” Ephesians 1:7. Jesus also tells us, “this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:28.

Is a personal relationship with Jesus possible without understanding the meaning of the blood, His sacrifice? For the life of the flesh is in the blood. And I have given it to you on the altar to make an atonement for your souls. For it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul. Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves. Whoever partakes of My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who partakes of My flesh and drinks My blood dwells in Me, and I in him. Leviticus 17:11, John 6:53-56.

When I think of Jesus’ blood, I think of it as the only blood ever shed that can forgive sins. The blood is a symbol of His death, His sacrifice, first offered on the alter of the cross, now before the judgment throne of God in the Heavenly Sanctuary as an atonement, the purchase price for our sins. Jesus’ blood is a symbol of His love, the suffering He endured for our sins, all He gave up when He left His throne in Heaven to live on earth as a man.

Water also came out of the wound in Jesus’ side. Water can represent a number of things. Water represents baptism, an outward washing, an inward renewal, the display of a commitment, and a new relationship with Jesus through the Holy Ghost. John the Baptist tells us, “I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.” Mark 1:8. John the beloved of Jesus recognized the fact not everyone will understand the meaning of baptism, or Christ’s ministry, mission on earth, or see when Jesus is near. “I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;” John 1:26.

To understand the meaning of baptism, one must also be willing to accept the Holy Ghost. When He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth. For He shall not speak of Himself, but whatever He hears, He shall speak. And He will announce to you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will receive of Mine and will announce it to you. John 16:13-14.

Water is a symbol of a growing faith where you are ready to accept things the Holy Spirit will announce, teach to you. God is a spirit, and they who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth. John 4:24. The Spirit has the power to guide me through God’s word, opening my mind and heart to His truth. To understand the Spirit I must first worship God in spirit and truth. I praise God as the Creator with more power and wisdom than I could ever imagine. God knows the beginning from the end. He has already planned my path. God knows what will happen before it occurs. Once I accept this, and worship God based on these facts, I am ready to accept God’s truth over my imagination, and what the world believes and teaches. Accepting God’s word and knowledge with an open mind is drinking deep from His wellspring of life. Ignoring, misinterpreting, or judging God’s word with my own imagination is like trying to survive without food and water. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: Amos 8:11 KJV.

The water from Jesus’ side also represents everlasting life. Jesus told this to the woman at the well. “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:14. God’s word and everlasting life have a direct connection. I have to understand God’s word to know how to ask for forgiveness, “that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” Ephesians 5:26. I have to know God’s word to know how to ask Jesus to change my life. God’s word and His Spirit also show me how to reach other people, to serve in a personal ministry for Jesus as His representative. Just like water, everlasting life is a multifaceted subject, it must be studied from many angles to gain the most basic understanding.

Searching the words blood and water in the Bible provides a verse to consider on quite a different level. The Bible also tells us about others who recognized Jesus as King, but did not really believe the evidence before their eyes.

Matthew 27:24 MKJV But when Pilate saw that it gained nothing, but rather that a tumult was made, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person. You see to it.

To learn why Pilate used water to symbolically wash the blood of Jesus from his hands, we have to look at some of the preceding texts.

Matthew 27:11 MKJV And Jesus stood before the governor. And the governor asked Him, saying, Are you the king of the Jews? And Jesus said to him, You say it.

Something made Pilate ask Jesus if he was the King of the Jews. Jesus’ simple answer some how left an impression on Pilate. As governor it was Pilate’s business to gather all the news he could about every possible threat. Since the priests viewed Jesus as a threat, they must have been Pilate’s greatest source of information. Some one as detailed and crafty as Pilate would not have put his trust in a single source. To investigate such an important matter, he most certainly would have dispatched his own spies to watch Jesus and report His every move.

Pilate most likely heard every word of Jesus’ sermons and parables from more than one source. He must have received reports of every person Jesus healed, and exact figures on the number of people who followed Him. Pilate must have had more information about Jesus than what is written in the four gospels. This illustrates an important point concerning those who have knowledge of Jesus, and question Him just as Pilate did, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

God does not hide His messages in His word, but clearly reveals them. The term, “King of the Jews is repeated three times in the book of Matthew, and five times by Mark. When we review these, we can clearly see a pattern develop.

Matthew 27:11 MKJV And Jesus stood before the governor. And the governor asked Him, saying, Are you the king of the Jews? And Jesus said to him, You say it.

Matthew 27:29 MKJV And plaiting a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!

Matthew 27:37 MKJV And they put up over His head His accusation, written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

 

Mark 15:2 MKJV And Pilate asked Him, Are you the king of the Jews? And answering He said to him, You say it.

Mark 15:9 MKJV But Pilate answered them, saying, Do you desire that I release to you the King of the Jews?

Mark 15:12 MKJV And Pilate answered and said again to them, What then do you desire that I should do to him whom you call the King of the Jews?

Mark 15:18 MKJV And they began to salute Him, Hail, King of the Jews!

Mark 15:26 MKJV And the inscription of His accusation was written over Him, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

 

Pilate and his solders recognized Jesus as King, but they still crucified Him. They made Jesus suffer more than He deserved. They stood there and watched Him die on the cross. Pilate had all the facts, but let popularity, personal gain, self satisfaction, and the strangest fact, people he knew he should not agree with influence his decision. Jesus’ answer touched Pilate’s heart, which made him declare Jesus as King, but he found a way to harden his heart. Pilate condemned Jesus.

Pilate used his own water to wash the blood of Jesus which existed only in his own imagination off his hands. He didn’t accept the facts he knew. He didn’t accept Jesus’ words, pointing back to what he had been told by witnesses. As the scriptures show, Pilate repeated the process again and again, each time declaring, “Jesus the King of the Jews.” Saying Jesus is King was not enough to change Pilate. Repeating it was not enough to make him stop condemning Jesus. Instead of looking to Jesus, Pilate tried covering his sin by placing his guilt on the Jews.

Revelation 1:5-7 MKJV even from Jesus Christ the faithful Witness, the First-born from the dead and the Ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, (6) and made us kings and priests to God and His Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (7) Behold, He comes with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, and those who pierced Him will see Him, and all the kindreds of the earth will wail because of Him. Even so, Amen.

 

 

 

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