But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.
In today’s verse, we reach that moment when Jesus’ dead body is still hanging on the Cross. A soldier pierces His side with a spear to make sure He is dead. It is a brutal moment, and seemingly unnecessary. But immediately after Jesus’ side is pierced, blood and water come out. Please note that John does not say “bloody water” or “watery blood” but “blood AND water.” Two separate and distinct flows from our Savior’s side: one of blood, one of water.
Why blood and water, why not just blood? We know that Jesus’ shed blood is for the remission of sins. (Matthew 26:28) As the song goes, “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” But what about the water?
13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again,
14 “but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
When Jesus died on the Cross, His blood washed away the stain of our sins, making us appear just before God, imparting to us a full measure of His own righteousness. But what then? With our sins already forgiven, we are now invited to the sweetest well there is. We are told to drink of the water of life.
Yes, by all means, we should accept the gift of God’s grace that is the shed blood of the Lamb of God, allowing the precious flood to wash us white as snow in the sight of God. But let us not forget to drink in the living water that is the spirit and life of Christ. We are not just called to get washed clean by Christ’s work on the Cross, but we are called to live changed lives in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
If we partake of the water of life, we become something new. When we repent, we don’t just leave behind a life that is washed clean of all the stains of depravity, we also embrace a new life.
Brothers and sisters, two floods came from Jesus’ side: blood to wash away the filth of our sins, and water to bring us eternal life. Drink deeply from that sweet water, and be transformed in Christ.
Lord God in heaven, how majestic is Your name in all the earth! How beautiful and immeasurable is Your love! How praiseworthy is Your mercy and Your grace! Now that I KNOW I am washed clean by the blood of Your Son, let me drink the water of life He offers in the gospel of peace. Transform me, O Lord, and rain down Your justice and truth upon the world. Amen.