"THE SPEAR OF JESUS!" by
Cliff McKenzie, Editor
ZERO PLUS 1292 DAY--New York, NY, Sunday, March
Easter Morning, 2005. For one-third of the world's six billion
population who embrace Christianity, it's the apex of a Holy
season. Christ, the symbol of the rebirth of God in human form
and the issuance of a "kinder and gentler" application
of the Old Testament's more ferocious "God," rises
on this day, according to Christian dogma.
Longinus was the centurion
who pierced the side of Christ
to prove that Jesus was dead.
St. Longinus is said to have
been converted to Christianity
after noting the darkness
descending following Christ's
death, and because he was
healed of his poor eyesight by
Christ's blood flowing down his
spear. He is said to have given
up his military life and died a
martyr's death. Through his
acts at the Cross, St. Longinus
not only fulfilled Biblical
prophecy, but also gave the
world one of its most discussed
relics: The Holy Lance.
Part of the story of
The Resurrection includes a legend about the Roman guard, Longinus,
whose job it was to ensure Jesus was indeed dead on the cross
by striking the fatal "killing blow".
Crucification is a slow,
painful method of dying. Because one is hanging, hands and feet
nailed to a wooden frame, the internal organs begin to rip loose.
Gravity tends to hold them in place because when one's feet
are on the ground there is resistance shoving up to counter
the force of the viscera's weight being pulled down. Hanging
in the air, with nothing to support the feet, creates a gravitational
force upon the organs that vectors straight down. Thus, the
tissues clinging to the muscles have no support and begin to
tear. The victim's "internal self" basically kills
the body by tearing itself away.
In the legend of Jesus
on the Cross, the Roman guard stationed to keep an eye on Jesus
and the other two being crucified with him had failing eyesight.
To hasten the death of those on the Cross, the rule was to break
the knees, removing any possible source of counter pressure
that might reduce the sureness of death.
The Roman guard broke
the other two victims' knees, but elected not to break Jesus'.
To insure death before the Cross was lowered to the ground and
the bodies buried, a long spear was thrust into the heart of
the victim. If any life was lingering, this final thrust was
the seal upon death.
When the Roman guard
thrust his spear into Jesus' chest, the legend says that blood
and water flowed. Some of it splattered on the Roman guard.
He rubbed his eyes with a bloodied hand to regain his limited
vision. But, when he did, the story goes, his eyesight miraculously
The world was no longer
fuzzy and blurred.
In many ways, the Roman
guard stands a symbol of the first Christian conversion. It
was the first "miracle" following Jesus' death.
But the ultimate story
about that event revolves around the spear used to thrust deep
into Jesus' chest and what happened when it pierced Jesus' heart.
sculpture of St. Longinus (above) is in the Vatican
Over the two-thousand
years since his death, stories abound that the spear was preserved
and passed through many hands as one of the most venerated relics
of the Crucifixion.
I watched a documentary
on the Spear of Jesus on the Discovery Channel the other day.
Modern science is attempting to verify that the relic claimed
to be the Spear of Jesus is authentic. The relic being studied
is a fierce-looking weapon. In the center of the spearhead is
positioned what is claimed to be one of the nails from the Cross
upon which Jesus died.
Over the centuries, the
relic was used to symbolize Christianity's struggle. In some
cases it was used postively and in others, less kindly. One
of its possessors used it to garner tribute. Visitors to the
kingdom paid a high ransom just to view it. It became a commercial
In other cases, it was
used to bring conversions. It was held as a symbol of the "conversion"
process, reminding people that when they were killed on this
earth, or died, theirs was a "greater life" in the
Heaven Jesus proposed was waiting for all who followed the Christian
In more simplistic modern
terms, I look upon the Spear of Jesus as a Spear of Vigilance.
What we often look upon
as cruel and horrible may indeed have great value in other terms.
The death of Jesus to many was a terrible tragedy, and yet,
had it not happened, the legend of Resurrection and the ideal
of a world beyond that of pain and suffering on earth might
never have evolved.
Vigilance is the story
of overpowering Terrorism on earth.
we face countless forms of Emotional Terrorism
Daily, we face countless
forms of Emotional Terrorisms, each of them attempting to kill
some part of us by forcing us to surrender our will and faith
in the future. Fear, Intimidation and Complacency, the Triad
of Terrorism, conspire to "Nail Us To The Cross."
Each wishes to reduce us to "eternal suffering."
There are many people
who walk around thinking they are losers or failures, and that
no matter what they do life will be the same rut. There is little
difference between that attitude and hanging on Cross with your
internal organs ripping away.
But when the Spear of
Vigilance is thrust into the "heart" of such Emotional
Terrorism, the Beast of Terror flees. He is afraid.
The Spear of Vigilance
is designed to carve away the thick shells of human despair
that cloud our vision and blur our look at the world. As with
the Roman guard, we tend to see the future in dim view after
many experiences that seem to limit our potential.
about the Spear of Jesus and resurrect Vigilance
We tend to give up.
The Spear of Vigilance
awakens us. It brings us to a new and different way of thinking.
Instead of surrendering
to the Beast of Terror, we see the future as "what is right
for the Children's Children's Children." We begin to shun
our own Fear, Intimidation and Complacency and act with the
courage and conviction of someone who believes the future holds
more promise than any horror of the past or suffering that exists
in the present.
On this Easter, I urge
all readers of the Vigilance Voice to think about the Spear
of Jesus and its idea. If we are to carve out the Beast of Terror
who romps within us all, we need to act. We need to focus our
When we take the Pledge
of Vigilance daily, we are cutting away the Beast of Terror.
The Pledge is our way
of killing our Terrorism and allowing our Vigilance to Resurrect
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