A Question I Was Asked:

Was There Any Significance to Water and Blood Coming out of the Side of Jesus at His Death?

The Question:

"Why did water and blood come out of the side of Jesus at his death? Is there anything symbolic, or significant in that?"

UK Apologetics Reply:

Oh yes, there most certainly is a great deal of significance in this fact!

We need to consider certain verses in John 19:

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:30).

But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: "Not one of his bones will be broken," and, as another scripture says, "They will look on the one they have pierced." (Verses 33-37).

So both verses 30 and 33 confirm that Jesus had indeed died at this point.

But there are two important points here:

1. Scripture was fulfilled in the fact that though Jesus had been scourged, none of His bones were broken (Psalm 34:20). That fulfils Bible prophecy and that is important.
But there is something else of truly great significance here:

2. As soon as the sacrifice of Christ had occurred, the door was immediately opened to the Church of God*, this fact was clearly symbolised by the water and blood pouring out of His side! Thus new believers have to accept the body and blood of Jesus during the faith-ful act of communion, showing their total allegiance to Him. Interestingly, we may recall that Eve was taken out of the side of the first Adam, now the Church would also be taken out of the very side of Christ, the second Adam! Actually a rib of Adam was used to create the first woman. We may recall that Adam had said, 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man.' (Genesis 2:23). So the human race was taken from Adam, but the New Covenant Church of God was taken out of our Lord Jesus - the Second Adam!

This is a wonderful and glorious truth for us to meditate on. Paul the Apostle also makes mention of this:

So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord, the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. (Ephesians 5:28-33, emphasis mine).

So just as wives should see themselves as being part of the very flesh of their husbands - through the uniting of their bodies with their husband's flesh through marriage - the Church should also see itself as consisting of individuals who were born of Jesus Christ, as Paul puts it, we are 'members of His body, of his flesh, and of his bones'! This perfectly depicts our regeneration, or being born again, in Christ.

So the water and blood which poured forth from an already expired Jesus at the cross symbolised His life being passed on to The Church. This effectively announced the arrival of the Church of God! Is this not a most wonderful truth?

*Church of God? - Scattered true Christians of all ages, of course, not a reference to any specific group or denomination.

Robin A. Brace. October 28th, 2010.