JESUS BIRTHS THE CHURCH. This 11th-century mosaic from the Church of the Dormition in Daphne, Greece, depicts the crucifixion of Jesus. Early Christians found parallels between the story of Adam and Eve and Jesus and the Church. In this scene, Jesus’ blood drips onto Adam’s skull at the foot of the cross. This symbolizes 1 Corinthians 15:21–22: “For since death came through a human being [Adam], the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being [Christ]; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ.”

Blood and water explicitly flow from the pierced side of Jesus in the direction of his mother, Mary. Early Christians believed that just as Eve was birthed from the side of Adam, so the Church was birthed from the side of Jesus. The blood represented the holy Eucharist, and the water represented baptism—two sacraments given by Jesus to the Church.