keywoodblog

The Broken Heart of Christ

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In John 19:34, we read that at the crucifixion, after Jesus breathed his last, the soldiers came and pierced His side, and “at once there came out blood and water.”  Jonathan Edwards, in his sermon titled The Excellency of Christ, gives an explanation (in the 2nd paragraph):

Christ never so eminently appeared for divine justice, and yet never suffered so much from divine Justice, as when he offered up himself a sacrifice for our sins.In Christ’s great sufferings did his infinite regard to the honor of God’s justice distinguishingly appear, for it was from regard to that that he thus humbled himself.

And yet in these sufferings, Christ was the target of the vindictive expressions of that very justice of God. Revenging justice then spent all its force upon him, on account of our guilt; which made him sweat blood, and cry out upon the cross, and probably rent his vitals–broke his heart, the fountain of blood, or some other blood vessels–and by the violent fermentation turned his blood to water. For the blood and water that issued out of his side, when pierced by the spear, seems to have been extravasated blood, and so there might be a kind of literal fulfilment of Psalm 22:14. “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax, it is melted in the midst of my bowels.”

And this was the way and means by which Christ stood up for the honor of God’s justice, namely, by thus suffering its terrible executions. For when he had undertaken for sinners, and had substituted himself in their room, divine justice could have its due honor no other way than by his suffering its revenges.  In this the diverse excellencies that met in the person of Christ appeared, namely, his infinite regard to God’s justice, and such love to those that have exposed themselves to it, as induced him thus to yield himself a sacrifice to it.

I am no doctor by any means, and if this did happen at the crucifixion, I’m not sure.  We can know, however, that on the cross, Christ’s heart broke.

By the way, this sermon is one of the best things you can ever read (not exaggerating; it will change your life).  You can read it here.

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Written by keywoodblog

September 3, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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