John 19:33-35 "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."
Whenever I read the story of Jesus' crucifixion and envision the pain and suffering he endured, I always need to be sure that instead of focusing on the gut wrenching visceral reaction I get inside of me on how he was treated, but instead turn my attention to the reasons why Jesus sacrificed himself to pay for all of mankind's sins and what that means for me today.
The symbolism in the flow of blood and water from Jesus' body after death stood out so vividly to me in this verse because it is at the core of what all believers partake of through Christ; the taking of communion and the act of being baptized. His blood for atonement and water for purification.
When we drink from the communion cup, we're told it symbolizes the blood of Christ. When Jesus was with his Disciples offering the cup, he did ask each to drink from it stating "this is my blood, which seals the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out to forgive the sins of many." Jesus died to atone for our sins.
The sudden flow of water from his body symbolizes what baptism is about, the cleansing waters that gives rebirth and renewal through the Holy Spirit. It symbolizes the believers total trust and commitment to our Lord Jesus depending on complete reliance to him.
So when reading this verse and reflecting on its meaning, a deep sense of gratitude is felt. He was pierced for our transgressions as he sacrificed himself and with his wounds, we are healed.