Brief Description of Station 13 and the reason why the secondary images are included
Station 13 – Spear in side (Jn 19:31-37)
a. Abraham circumcising Isaac (Genesis 17:9-12, 22-23; Gen 21:1-7)
b. Moses strikes the Rock (Exodus 17:1-17)
Reason – The shedding of blood in circumcision pointed to the shedding of blood for our salvation by Jesus on the cross. That only male children were circumcised pointed to the Savior as being a man. Jesus’ blood is the blood of the covenant.
Water comes from the lifeless rock when Moses strikes it so water comes from the lifeless body of Jesus when it is struck by a spear.
Many have seen this event as pointing to Baptism (water) and Communion (blood).
The Bible is a bloody book. Death figures in its story right from the very first book of Moses to the final book written by the Apostle John. So it gives us something we might call a theology of death. Moses wrote that life is in blood (Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 17:14). So atonement needed to be made by blood (Leviticus 17:11).
Blood came to symbolize, not only life, but also atonement. This was according to God’s design. There can be no atonement without the shedding of blood. This was symbolized in the rite of circumcision. The shedding of blood represented the atonement, the atonement that was merited for us when the blood of Jesus was shed.
While Jesus hung of the cross he shed that ultimate atoning blood. After he died, a soldier took a spear and pierced his side. Out of his side came water and blood. Many have seen this as pointing to baptism and communion. Through these sacraments the atoning blood of Jesus comes to us with its forgiving powers, with its life-giving power.
Moses strikes a rock and water flows from it. So Jesus was struck and water flowed from his side. The water in the Moses story meant life for the Israelites. So the water and blood that floods from the side of Jesus means life for the new Israel, you and me.
The New Testament age is certainly beginning. The old sacrificial system is obsolete. The new system of sacraments has begun.
O Lord Jesus, you have given yourself to us in the blood of your covenant through the means of grace. Grant that we may treasure your gifts, for they are the gifts of new life. Amen.