Like every good story, the Bible carries a very accurate portrayal of its Author’s emotions. Since God is the author of the Bible through divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Bible has as much figurative meaning as it does literal. For example, Psalms 23 widely known and loved by the Christian community but very little of the Psalm has literal meaning. The Lord is not our literal shepherd because we are not actual sheep, but because He does take on this metaphorical role we “shall not want” for anything in our lives. Thus through this use of metaphors we can better know the heart of God in any situation of the Bible.
This idea of symbolism and metaphors in the Bible caught my attention this Easter when the preacher read about the crucifixion. Specifically when water and blood came from Jesus’s side after the roman soldiers had pierced it with a spear. It seemed like such an incredibly specific detail yet we continued reading though the passage without an explanation. I had heard of doctors saying this meant Jesus had died from a broken heart, something I would not deny. However, I also believe the Bible to be self-explanatory making the meaning of this something I could find elsewhere in the Bible. So I looked for how water and blood were used in other parts of the Bible.
After looking around for a bit I realized I was specifically looking for flowing blood and flowing water since this is what’s specifically described at the crucifixion. I found that flowing water represents life and the Holy Spirit much like Psalms describes a believer as a tree planted by a river. In contrast however, I found that flowing blood symbolizes death and payment in very much the same way Romans states that the “wages of sin is death”. With these two metaphors we can see just how much God was saying at the crucifixion.
We can see that the crucifixion was indeed the death of Jesus and with his death he paid the price necessary for all our sins. However, the crucifixion was also the beginning of life and the reason we are now able to be baptized in Holy Spirit. Now, I am not saying this is the only thing it can mean but is definitely one of the things it does mean. I am certain there is much more meaning God had in mind for this short description but that is the beauty of it. God will show different things to each of us and expects all of us to share what we find with each other so we can all grow in knowing the heart of God.
So this is my challenge to you, when you come across an overly descriptive detail or something that doesn’t seem to make sense, don’t just read over it. There is probably a whole lot of meaning in it that only needs some time on your part to be discovered. Take the time study it within the context of the rest of the Bible so you can “show thyself approved”. Who knows? God might show you something nobody has ever found before.