Water and Blood from the Rock: A Reflection on Numbers 20:11

I was recently reading John 19:34 in the Ignatius Catholic New Testament Study Bible and commenting on the verse where blood and water poured forth from the side of Christ it lists a Jewish Targum (a Jewish paraphrace/commentary) on Numbers 20:11, which sheds light on this mysterious passage in the New Testament. With a little digging I found the Targum referrenced in the Study Bible which read as follows:

“And Mosheh lifted up his hand, and with his rod struck the rock two times: at the first time it dropped blood; but at the second time there came forth a multitude of waters. And the congregation and their cattle drank.” (Targum on Numbers 20:11)

It should be noted that the water that poured forth from the rock in Numbers was used to sustain the life of the Israelites who became thirsty. The Targum also notes that at first blood came out of the rock. The story alone does not indicate why blood came forth from the rock, but reading this Targum in light of John 19:34 brings light to the Old and New Testament passages referrence above. Jesus is the rock referrence here in the Book of Numbers according to 1 Corinthians 10:4. And just as the blood and water that poured forth from the rock in the wilderness nourished the Israelites, so too the blood and water that poured forth from the side of Christ nourishes the Church, which is received by the faithful in Holy Communion where water is mixed with the presanctified wine. The sanctified water and wine then becomes the blood of Christ which is the eternal source of nourishment for the people of God!  It is fascinating to see how the New Testament sheds light on the Old Testament!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s