Lenten Reader | Day 40

Blood & Water

Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 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.”

John 19:31-37
As the season of Lent culminates with the resurrection on Easter Sunday, it is fitting that our final focus be on the final moments when Jesus was on the cross.   
The Jewish leaders asked Pilate to break the legs of those being crucified so that their deaths would come quickly and so that their bodies could be removed before the Passover. The soldiers broke the legs of the two men crucified alongside of Jesus but found that Jesus was already dead. Rather than breaking His legs, they pierced His side bringing about a flow of blood and water. These men unknowingly fulfilled what David prophesied, “Not one of his bones would be broken” (Ps. 34:20). It also fulfilled the prophecy from Zechariah 12:10: “They will look on me, the one they have pierced.”  
Blood and water are significant themes in the Bible. In the Old Testament sacrificial system, water was used to purify and cleanse. For example, Aaron and his sons were required to wash their hands and feet with water before entering the tent of meeting. In the New Testament, Jesus washes His disciples’ feet with water as an act of service and so that they may be clean. Blood is important because it represents life, so when a sin was committed an animal sacrifice was required to make atonement for the sin. In other words, blood is a means of cleansing from sin.  
As Jesus hung on the cross the soldiers pierced his side causing blood and water to flow from His side. Why is this meaningful? Because at His death Jesus became the ultimate form of cleansing for us. The blood and water that flowed from His side was the final cleansing required for us. No more need for ceremonial cleansing with water or sacrificing animals. The Old Testament set the stage for God to do the miraculous for us. It is finished! Praise God that Jesus came and cleanses us once and for all!  
Brady Miller