On John 19.31-42, 20.1-9
AFTER THE LORD JESUS, when all the things were completed that he foreknew were necessary to be completed before his death, delivered over his spirit when he wanted to, let us see from the Evangelist's narration what things followed next. "Then the Jews," he says, "because it was the parasceve, that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath (for that sabbath day was a great festival day), asked Pilate that the legs be broken and they be taken away." Not that the legs be taken away, but that these whose legs were broken for the very purpose that they might die and be removed from the wooden cross, so that they might not, by hanging on crosses, pollute the great festival day by the horror of their tortures occurring on that day.1.
2. "The soldiers therefore came, and did indeed break the legs of the first, and of the other who was crucified with him. But after they came to Jesus, when they saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one of the soldiers with a spear opened his side, and immediately there came out blood and water." The Evangelist used a wide awake word2. so that he did not say, "pierced his side" or "wounded" or anything else, but "opened," so that there, in a manner of speaking, the door of life was thrown open from which the mystical rites3. of the Church flowed, without which one does not enter into the life which is true life. That blood was shed for the remission of sins; that water provides the proper mix for the health-giving cup; it offers both bath and drink.4 There was a____________________