At Christ’s crucifixion, what is the significance of both blood and water pouring from his side when Longinus pierced Him? I believe this specifically was prophesied, along with His bones not being broken, though I can’t recall where. But even then, what is the significance of the water when He was pierced?
According to Scott Hahn at the passover festival the altar would run with rivers of blood and water. Not the only relationship but one of the historical ones.
The idea is that the blood and water in the OT sacrifice during Passover was from the lambs. In the OT, this life was of the mortal human type and was centered around Hebrews’ salvation in Egypt, and the death of the Egyptians; further, it was carried out by the sign of the lamb’s blood.
In the NT, Jesus is the sacrificial lamb. But the meaning is greater.
Both blood and water are symbolic of life. The new covenant is centered on eternal life (the life of God).
Many prophecies were made of the NT sacrifice, such as in Isaiah “streams of living water”, etc… However, it was not completely understood until Jesus taught the apostles.
I also like to see the blood of the saints in this reading and the water of life through the word of God.
Well, we are “seeded” with the word of God at baptism. We are also “seeded” with the word of God at Eucharist since Jesus is the Eucharist and Jesus is the “Word Made Flesh”.
The saints’ blood was “seeded” and perfectly so. If their blood was not “seeded” they would not have been saints.
THe “seed” I refer to is the seed that fell on fertile ground which is the person who is open to it. Folks who have hardened hearts are likened to the seed that fell on rocky ground, but they still have a chance to be made anew through grace (say through the confessional).
So not all folks respond to the Word (seed) equally.
The blood symbolizes the blood of sacrifice that washes away the guilt of our sins. The water symbolizes the water of Baptism, which washes away Original Sin, and makes us the adopted children of God.
And it goes back to life. Without blood in the body there can be no life.
Jesus gave up his life (freely).
Historically, Pagans and Jews used blood in their religious rituals. Today, not so much.
This is something I’ve wondered about for a while too, because it’s kind of weird how John is so adamant that water flowed from Christ’s side. He says “He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth—that you also may believe.” Like, why would water flowing from his side help us believe? But in the homily I heard on Good Friday this year, the priest pointed out that the water flowing from Jesus’ side is meant to be seen as a fulfillment of Ezekiel’s vision of the temple in Ezekiel 47. That blew my mind! The vision showed that from the side of the temple water flowed and “when the water flows into the sea, the water will become fresh. 9 And wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish. (Ezekiel 47:8-9)
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that throughout John’s gospel, the same Gospel that tells us about the blood and water, water is used to symbolize the life of the spirit that only Christ can give us. Or that in only John’s Gospel Jesus also explicitly identifies his body as the true temple in John 2.
So when John tells us that water was seen flowing from Christ’s SIDE, he’s not just giving us some biological detail, he’s bringing to mind the vision of Ezekiel. When the life of Christ, which we receive through water in baptism, (John 3:5) flows through us, we are “made fresh” as Ezekiel says and this grace will flow into the entire world, and every one who receives it will live. .
The prophecy is fulfilled in the Church.
We are cleansed in Baptism; we receive new life in Baptism. Dirty demons are cast out, etc…
Any piercing would result in blood, but blood and water signified death. They didn’t need to break his legs to speed the crucifixion process.
Consider the Vidi Aquam sprinkling rite we used to all sing during Easter season.
I saw water flowing from the right side of the temple; alleluia.
and all to whom that water came were saved,
and they shall say, alleluia, alleluia
In further reply, the Vidi Aquam references Ezekiel 47.
Further fulfillment of the prophesies of the Old Testament when it came to Christ.
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