Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow, Poland, presented a drop of the late Pope John II’s blood to the St. Mary Roman Catholic Church in Greeley, Colorado, last month. The Associated Press reported that this is a highly-prized relic for the church, especially in light of rumors that the Vatican will soon name the late pontiff a “saint.” Father Pawel Zborowski, of the Greeley church, said that Dziwisz “presented the drop of blood on a cloth encased in a decorated gold cross last month in Poland” (via Colorado Springs Gazette online).
The discerning Bible student will find much in the above paragraph to deconstruct, but focus for a moment on the value some have attached to the blood of a man venerated by a sizable percentage of people around the globe. They carefully encase it, preserve it, and desire to display it. They call it a “relic” (i.e., a part of a deceased holy person’s body or belongings kept as an object of reverence). It is a rarity to be prized and treasured.
My purpose is not to debate the good and bad qualities of John Paul II. He will stand before “the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1 Tim. 6:15), the same as you and me. It is amazing, though, that much ado is made over inefficacious, ordinary blood, while the vast majority reject the only blood that can save. His blood redeems (Eph. 1:7), washes away sins (Rev. 1:5-6), acquits (Rom. 5:9), makes holy (Heb. 10:29), brings near (Eph. 2:13), cleanses (1 Jn. 1:7), cancels our sin debt (Mt. 26:28), clears our conscience (Heb. 9:14), and purchased the church (Ac. 20:28). I cannot literally contact that blood. Jesus died 2,000 years ago, 8,000 miles from here. In four different ways, God ties the blood of Christ to baptism (see John 19:34 + Romans 6:3; Matthew 26:28 + Acts 2:38; Revelation 1:5 + Acts 22:16; Hebrews 13:12 + Ephesians 5:25-27). Christ’s is the only blood that matters!