Body Piercing—a Sign of Love?

by | Mar 28, 2016 | Easter, Faith, Love | 18 comments

Jacob lifted Anna, spun her around, and lightly set her down. “Oh Jacob,” his wife smiled and gently stroked his ear. “How I love you.”

The touch on his ear took Jacob back to the day the awl pierced it. Six years of serving his master and five years of loving his wife had made his decision easy. He wanted nothing more than to spend the rest of his days serving his master and loving Anna.

A Pierced Ear

In biblical times body piercing carried significance. One particular body piercing still speaks to us today.

Under Old Testament law, a Hebrew could sell himself into slavery to pay off his debts. The Mosaic Law limited his service to six years. If his master had given him a wife while he was a slave, then his wife and children still belonged to the master. Choosing freedom meant losing the family he’d gained while in servitude.

“But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’ then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life” (Exodus 2:5-6 NIV).

A slave’s pierced ear showed he’d sacrificed his freedom in order to spend the rest of his life with his wife in slavery.

The Psalmist referred to this custom to communicate his devotion to the Lord. “Opened” can be translated pierced as it is in Psalm 22:16: “they pierced my hands and my feet.” Read the Psalmist’s declaration with this custom in mind:

“‘Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
but my ears you have opened [that is, pierced with an awl]
(Ps. 40:6, 8 NIV).

A Pierced Body

When Jesus quoted this Psalm He changed one line.

“Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
‘Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
with burnt offerings and sin offerings
you were not pleased.’

“Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
I have come to do your will, my God’…

“And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all”

(Hebrews 10:5-7, 10 NIV, phrase Jesus changed is italicized).

The late Bible teacher J. Vernon McGee explained that Jesus was given a body to die on the cross. “He was pierced for our transgressions” (Is. 53:5 NIV).

Jesus’ pierced  body shows He sacrificed His life in order to spend eternity with His bride (believers) in heaven.

A Precious Symbol

The next time you’re tempted to question God’s love, remember Jesus’ pierced body. It says, “I love you!”

Click here to comment.


Debbie W. Wilson

Book Signing

I’ll be at the Barnes & Noble in Cary, NC on April 28th, 2016 at 7 p.m. Please come see me if you are in the area!

Sometimes I link up with these great sites:

#TestimonyTuesday, #IntentialTuesday, #TuesTalk, #Tell it to me Tuesdays, #A Little R & R Wednesdays #w2wwordfilledwednesday, #Wedded Wednesday, #Women with Intention,  #LivefreeThursday#Thankful Thursdays, #Grace and Truth, #Word of God Speak, #Weekend Whispers, #Reflect linkup,  #Faith ‘n Friends

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  1. Ann

    That is so beautiful Debbie and I never realized the deeper meaning of the word pierced. What a powerful picture of His love and sacrifice for us.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Ann, I found it to be quite moving to think about Jesus applying it that way. I always love hearing from you. Blessings to you.

  2. Crystal Storms

    What a thought-provoking post, Debbie. Every once in a while I see a male at a Christian concert with their ear pierced with a nail-type thing. Their desire is to proclaim they are a slave for Christ – the piercing their reminder.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Crystal, I love the meaning it had in Scripture. I didn’t realize some used it as a symbol today. Thanks for visiting.

  3. Donna @ Soul Survival

    Debbie, I loved this post. I was just explaining that principle to someone the other day and re-reading the passage in Deuteronomy about it this morning, but I really enjoyed the way you explained it! I will share and pin this. Hope your book signing goes well. Blessings!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Wow, Donna! What timing. I love how all the Bible points to Christ. Even such obscure customs as this. Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. Michele Morin

    I’m going to be thinking about this . . . I’ve never put those two concepts together before, but HOW BEAUTIFUL! Thanks for your insights!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Michele. My you are a prolific writer. I am amazed at all you accomplish in a week! I’ve read three of your posts this week. You are gifted, my friend.

  5. Beth

    I’ve never thought of the piercing of Jesus’ hands and feet in this context, Debbie. I’m familiar with the rules of slavery back in Bible times but have never made this connection. I love it! So true and beautiful to think about. I’ll never consider Christ’s nail-pierced hands and feet the same again because of this new insight, my friend!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Beth. I would have missed it if I hadn’t read J. Vernon’s thoughts. I love seeing how the OT points to Jesus.

  6. Angela Martin

    What an awesome connection! I love gems like this. Thank you! (Meeting up with you thru Holly Barrett & Testimony Tuesday.)

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Angela!

  7. Jill

    I never thought of this connection before. Thank you for sharing this!

    Doused In Pink

  8. Debbie Wilson

    Thank you, Jill.

  9. Lori

    A beautiful reminder of what Jesus has done for me. I grew up listening to Dr. McGee on the radio as a little girl; I still love to tune in when I can. Thanks for sharing with Thankful Thursdays.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Lori, I hear his voice when I read his commentaries. Thanks for visiting and for hosting the linkup!

  10. Barbie

    Thank you for sharing. So much to chew on here.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Barbie.

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