John Mark Reynolds, 2004.
The heart of Jesus Christ was pierced by a lance and from it came blood and water. Longinus is the name given to the soldier who dared touch the Lord Glory. Tradition tells us that one drop of blood from the wound converted Longinus. Augustine writes that the blood and water represent the chief elements of the two great sacraments of the Church: baptism and communion. Whatever one makes of this story, it encourages me. The terrible lance that touched the Body of Christ, became forever holy by that encounter. The cross itself where our Lord died was transformed from the ugly instrument of torture to a most precious thing. Longinus became a new man at the seeming lowest point in Christ’s story. Christ was dead, but even then traditionally rightly recognizes in this story that His blood could make the worst person clean. Clean! Forgiven! I have been touched by the Water flowing from the side of Christ. I have been cleansed by His most precious Blood. There is power in that life giving blood of the Lamb to work wonders and it has done wonders in me. It has taken a wretched sinner and made him through no work of his own holy. Shocking grace. Transforming love.
So many people must look at me, especially if they knew me as a young adult, and see only a lance, an instrument causing pain. My arrogance and ignorance caused me to do harm, intentional or unintentional. My sin could overwhelm me, if I did not remember that by His Grace, I have been touched by the King of Glory. Any good I do and anything I have become is due to that transformation where the selfish chief of sinners became new. Thank you God for the Water and the Blood.