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. -John 19:33-34
Apparently, if the heart is under significant duress one of it's defense mechanisms is to allow fluid to build up around it so it can protect the body's most vital organ. In Kim's case the tumor in her chest had grown so large (7x4 cm) that it was irritating her heart lining - leading to this fluid-buildup. Despite the fact that it was Sunday morning, the surgical team immediately put in a window (hole incision) to drain the fluid because the pressure had become so great that it was beginning to compromise her heart's ability to function. Believe it or not they drained the equivalent of a wine bottle full of water and blood.
I remember watching this exact scene in Mel Gibson's, "The Passion of the Christ". What is forever engrained in my mind is that upon piercing Jesus' side the soldier does not move away from the blood and water spewing out on him - instead he just stands there and continues to look up - as if he welcomes it and is allowing it to wash him clean. What directorial genius.
If you recall, about 1,400 years before Jesus appears in the New Testament, Moses has just led the Israelites out of Egypt and they are in the wilderness on the verge of dying of thirst. The people complain to Moses, and Moses cries out to the Lord and God has very specific instructions for Moses.
"Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink." And Moses did so..." -Exodus 17:6They end up naming that place "Massah" because they tested God by saying, "Is the Lord among us or not?"
"Take the staff and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So you shall bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation..." -Numbers 20:8This is very easy to miss, but the first time God specifically instructs Moses to strike the rock. This time He only tells him to speak to the rock. Well, Moses (perhaps in his frustration with the people) goes down and ends up striking the rock instead of following God's instruction. For this seemingly simple no-no God levies a huge punishment on Moses. He tells him because he did this he cannot lead the people he had been tirelessly serving into the promised land but that he would die upon their arrival there. For the longest time I thought Moses got a really raw deal. I mean 40 years of leading a bunch of ingrates through a hot desert and for one little mistake he gets this? What is going on?
"They all ate the same spiritual food, and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ." -1 Corinthians 10:3-4The apostle Paul tells us what's going on. It's quite clear after Jesus enters the picture. The Rock that followed the Israelites around the desert was actually a type (a physical pattern or picture of a spiritual reality) of Jesus - it was the "Rock of Ages". Little did they know what they were saying when they grumbled, "Is the Lord among us or not?" The answer is a resounding "YES!". In effect, Jesus was there 1,400 years before he incarnates as the Son of Man. He was pouring forth life-giving water centuries before he would say with his own mouth that he is the source of "living water" which leads to "eternal life". (John 4 & 7)
This Good Friday may we remember why he was struck (for our sins). This Easter Sunday may we remember why he will return (for his own).
In His Grace,
Peter & Kim