In Mark 10:32-34, Jesus was prophesying to His disciples about what was going to happen to Him in Jerusalem. He was going to be arrested, turned over to the Gentiles, spat upon, scourged, killed, and crucified. Then, in Mark 14:61-65, the prophecy came true. Jesus was arrested and taken to the religious leaders and scribes. They spat on Jesus and turned Him over to the Gentiles. In Mark 15:16-20, the Roman soldiers mocked Jesus, beat Him, spat upon, and crucified Him. As I meditated on the passage and asked the Lord about it, I was reminded of a couple passages that dealt with spit.
The first case of spitting was in Numbers 12:1-15. Aaron and Miriam had spoken against Moses, and the anger of the Lord burned against them. Miriam is struck with leprosy, and when Aaron sees this, he repents and asks Moses to forgive them for their foolish actions. Then, Moses cries out to God to heal Miriam. But, the Lord answers him and tells him that if a father spits in the face of his daughter, would she not bear her shame for seven days. The spit in the face signified shame.
Then, in Deuteronomy 25:5-10, we have a second example. When a man died before his wife had given him any children. The brother of the deceased man was to perform the duty of a husband and raise up a child for his dead brother. If a brother refused to do that, the wife of the deceased man would take the brother of her husband before the elders at the gate of the city, which is where legal proceedings were held, and remove his sandal and spit in his face. Then, she would declare, “Thus it is done to the man who does not build up his brother’s house.” Again, the spitting on a person signified shame.
When Jesus led His disciples in the Lord’s supper, He took the bread and said, “this is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” As we remember what the Lord did, we have to consider how He was also spat upon. Jesus healed us of our sins by His stripes. He took our sins to the cross, and forgave us of all sins. The spit in the face is also significant. Jesus did more than take our sins; He also took away our shame. For all the shameful things that I have done in my life, Jesus was spit upon in my place. God wants you and I to be free of shame. No matter what you have done in your past, God has dealt with the shame. The next time you partake of the Lord’s supper, take time to remember how He took away your shame.