“Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews said, ‘This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking about the temple of his body.” (Gospel reading: John 13-25)
Christianity is a peaceful religion, but it was ironically introduced to the world in a quite bloody fashion. First of all, Christ Himself said: “Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword”(Matthew 10:34). And eventually, Christ brings eternal peace to the world by being the first person to take “the sword” upon Himself. For Christ IS the New Testament, and over 2000 years ago, He suffered a most violent, bloody death in order to show that He, the Word Made Flesh– the Gospel Incarnate!– is the very sword against all evils. For when His heart was pierced, the blood and water that gushed forth from it was to save the whole world.
Indeed, through His passion and His death, Christ showed us that one must first conquer himself before he can use “the sword” of the Gospel to conquer evil. With no evil within Himself, Christ shows us the Ultimate Pure and Holy Sacrifice. Yet before dying for all sinners, even Christ Himself, 100% God but still 100% Man, falls on His face and prays: “My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39). Similarly, as His disciples, we must kill off every last bit of our self will and sin before we can bring “the sword” of the Gospel to others.
May we who are part of the “Church Militant” always remember that the Gospel is a two-edged sword; it brings peace to others, but it also brings a bitter, painful death to self. May we always remember that when we allow Christ to destroy our sin, we are saying “yes” to abiding in His peace and His love!