blood and water

John 19:34

19:34 blood and water. The gushing forth of a “fountain of blood” to wash our sins away (Revelation 1:5) is a natural metaphor drawn from this scene, but it is not clear how both blood and water could flow from such a wound. Some have suggested Jesus literally died of a broken heart, with the collapse of the ruptured heart cavity resulting in separation of the watery serum from the clotted blood in the pericardium. On the other hand, Jesus’ death was supernatural; He did not die naturally like others, but volitionally “gave up the ghost” (John 19:30; see note on Luke 23:46), so there may not be a natural explanation for this phenomenon. He had promised to provide “living water” to those who would “come unto me and drink” (John 4:10; 7:37), and the water flowing from His side would at least be symbolic of the “water of life” that would be eternally “proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Revelation 22:1). The blood and water flowing from His opened side thus would represent both the cleansing blood of the slain Lamb and the life-sustaining water from the smitten Rock (Exodus 17:6; I Corinthians 10:4); it might even speak of the opened side of the first Adam, from which God made his bride (Genesis 2:21-24). See also John’s application of the water and the blood in I John 5:6-8.

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