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Thursday, 24 March 2016

Good Friday: Water from the side of Christ

The "Blood and Water" Witness to Jesus Christ (1 John 5:6)

To understand the point being made by the use of this phrase, it will be helpful to examine the use of "water" and "blood" in the Gospel and the epistles of John. While water is mentioned in the epistles only here, several significant references to it are found in the Gospel. The Baptist baptizes with water (1:26, 31, 33), as does Jesus (3:22; 4:1-2), and the water symbolizes cleansing. Jesus changes water set aside for the Jewish rites of purification to wine (2:1-12). He speaks of the necessity to be born of "water and the Spirit" (3:5-8), where "water and Spirit" probably connotes one idea, namely, cleansing by the Holy Spirit (compare Ezek 36:25-27). Thus water also symbolizes the gift of the Spirit (4:13-14; 7:37-39) given by the risen Jesus. Together these references stress the idea of purifying, and particularly the purifying effected by the Spirit of God...  

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