Monday, 13 April 2009

John 19v31-37: The glory of Christ’s accomplishment

So Jesus’ humiliation continues. Jesus is treated in one final act like a slab of meat rather than the Lord of glory.

Yet even this spear in his side is deeply significant. Medically it confirms for us that Jesus died. But there is much more to blood and water in this gospel.

And their significance is again, in how they fulfil scripture: Verse 36 [READ v36-37]

The first quote is taken from the book of Exodus. It stipulates that the Passover lamb should not have its bones broken.

And so to consider Jesus’ blood. The Passover commemorated the day when Egypt was punished by God, yet his judgement passed-over the Israelites. Why? Because they killed a lamb, without breaking its bones, and painted a cross on their doorposts with its blood.

The lamb was their substitute. It died in their place. It endured the punishment they should have faced, so that they would not have to.

Do you see?

One the cross Jesus was enduring the punishment we deserve for our sin. His sufferings in all their horror - worst of all, his sense of being forsaken and abandoned by God - they provide a window into the horrors of hell itself. Yet Jesus, the perfect one experienced them, so that all who bow before him as King might not have to.

His blood was the blood of atonement. Blood that brings at-one-ment with God. Forgiveness of sins, and all that stems from it.

But what then of the water? Well the quote of verse 37, comes from Zechariah 12. There God promises to pour out his Spirit, bringing mourning and weeping at the fact that he himself has somehow been pierced.

As always in John, water symbolises the life God’s Spirit brings. The point seems to be that those for whom Jesus dies are brought to a deep, profound and sorrowful awareness of that by his Spirit.

And so to the reason for our gathering together. Today is the one day we ensure we reflect with sorrow for the cross. As one new hymn puts it:

It was my sin that held him there
until it was accomplished
His dying death has brought me life,
I know that it is finished