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In reading What significance does John perceive in the piercing of Christ's side and the flow of blood and water?, I wondered if there is anything unusual about both blood and water flowing from the spear-wound in Jesus' side (see John 19:34). If the soldier who pierced Jesus' side had also pierced the side of one of the malefactors with whom Jesus was crucified, would blood and water also have come out of the malefactor's body?

I understand that the primary interpretation of the verse concerns the reality of Jesus' death from John's perspective as an eyewitness, which reality the soldiers bore witness to, since they refused to break Jesus' legs because He was already dead.

In the answers to Matthew Miller's question, though, one contributor's answer "spiritualized" the significance of "blood and water," suggesting that the water signified eternal life and the blood signified mortal life, both of which poured from Jesus' side.

I heard a sermon years ago that makes me wonder about this secondary (?) interpretation. In that sermon, the preacher spoke of the physiological aspect of the occurrence. He may have even involved medical science in some way, such that from a doctor's point of view something unusual had taken place after Jesus was pierced by the spear.

We know that Jesus' blood did not contain the taint of sin, since Jesus was of the seed of a woman, not a man; His blood therefore did not carry the "death" gene, as it were. Is there more to Jesus' blood, however, that can be explained by not spiritualizing the blood and water?

I do not disagree with the legitimate symbolism and significance of both blood and water in Scripture in general and in John's gospel in particular, but I cannot help but wonder if in addition to the spiritual factors involved here there is also a very human and physiological explanation.

Is there a medical or physiological explanation? Is it normal for blood and water to both flow from a body in these circumstances?

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The horrific and agonizing death by crucifixion which our dear Lord endured on our behalf is described in detail at Blue Letter Bible.

We know that after being centrifuged in a laboratory, the resulting components of blood include a clear solution of blood plasma. Blood plasma is the straw-colored/pale-yellow liquid component of blood that normally holds blood cells in suspension. By volume it contains 92 percent water.

If the pericardium of Jesus' heart, which the soldier's spear may have penetrated, was filled with plasma from the intense pressure being exerted upon the heart during crucifixion, blood from the ventricle (left or right), plasma ("water") from the pericardium, and pleural fluid from the lungs would issue from the wound, particularly with Jesus positioned, as he was, vertically; hence John's descriptors of "a sudden flow of blood and water" (NIV).

Some scriptures for additional meditation: Isaiah 52:14; 53:5,10; Psalm 22:12-21; Exodus 12:46, Numbers 9:12, and Psalm 34:20; also Zechariah 12:10.

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