Summary: In the passage, the Blood of Jesus was shed by a Roman spear... but neither John nor any other part of Scripture makes note of the importance of Christ’s blood in this story. Is there a message in the blood that flowed from Jesus side?
OPEN: About a year ago I received this e-mail:
In 2003, Mel Gibson released a film called The Passion which dramatically and bloodily captured much of the trial and crucifixion of Christ. Because of it’s graphicness, it was rated "R".
The "R", of course, is because of the violence, the gore. In movie terms R stands for restricted, but in this movie ˆ R also stands for RELEVANT and REALISTIC, for it REALLY
It happened because we were REBELLIOUS, we needed a REDEEMER, we needed to be RECONCILED, we needed to be RECOVERED, we needed to be REGENERATED.
Jesus needed to be REJECTED so that we could have a RELATIONSHIP not just a RELIGION.
The R rating is to REMIND us to REMEMBER what Jesus did to REMOVE our sin to RENDER Satan powerless, and to RESCUE us from eternity in hell.
The R rating is to show that Jesus was RESPONSIBLE for giving you REST. As a RESULT of his death Jesus RETIRED your debt.
The R rating means that some will be REPULSED, some will REFUSE to believe, some will be RELUCTANT, some will think you are RIDICULOUS in believing that death was REQUIRED.
The R rating means that the RESULT of sin has been REVERSED and now through faith in Christ your REWARD is eternity and you are now RIGHTEOUS before God because you have RECEIVED him as the RULER of your soul.
What a REVOLUTIONARY and RADICAL solution to REDEEM mankind!
Yes, it is R Rated!
APPLY: Just this year, the Passion was re-released as a “PG-13” movie. What changed? Well, I’ve been told that about 6 minutes were cut. They removed scenes that had shown excessive blood and one scene where the nails were being driven through His hands.
So, in short, what made the Passion an “R” rated movie was the blood.
By that standard… the Bible itself is an “R” rated book. Blood is practically everywhere.
In fact, Hebrews 9:18-22 tells us that “The first covenant was not put into effect without blood.
When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people.
He said, ‘This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.’
In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies.…the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”
Blood from Sacrifices was shed practically every day in Israel, especially on days like the feast of Passover. The gates of the temple would open at 9 in the morning and not close till 3 pm and sacrifice after sacrifice after sacrifice was offered up to God.
Even in the New Testament, the taint of blood is so heavy in our faith that the early Christians were condemned as cannibals because they spoke of the cup as being the blood of Christ and the bread as being His flesh.
In the movie "The Passion" blood was everywhere. In fact there was one point where Mary wiped his blood with a towel and kept it as a memento of her love for Him. In the Theatre, there were people weeping as they watched Jesus shed His blood. There was so much blood that it caused me to look away several times.
This all served to drive home: “WITHOUT the shedding of blood there was NO forgiveness”
I. Now, by contrast to all that blood… this part of the crucifixion (mentioned in John 19) is almost bloodless.
John tells us that “… the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, (so) they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. John 19:31
They DID break the legs of the prisoners on either side of Jesus. BUT, when the Roman soldier approached Christ, it was obvious Jesus was dead. But just to make sure, the soldier took his sword and pierced Jesus’ side and blood and water poured out from His side.
This is only reference to this incident in any of the Gospels. It’s never mentioned again ANYWHERE in Scripture. Even John himself doesn’t seem to pay much attention to the blood in this part of the story. Instead, John’s focus was upon the fact that the soldiers did not have to break Jesus’ legs. John noted that this was done to fulfill the prophecy that “a bone of him shall not be broken” (John 19:36) and “they shall look upon Him whom they have pierced” (John 19:37).
NO ATTENTION at all was given to the blood that poured from Jesus’ wound here. And yet, this single passage literally changed my life, and gave me an appreciation of what Jesus did for me on the cross.