‘Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ came by blood as well as by water, not only as a Fount of grace and truth - the source of spiritual light, joy, and salvation - but as a combatant with Sin and Satan, who was “consecrated through suffering”. He was, as prophecy had marked Him out, “red in His apparel, and His garments like Him that treadeth in the wine-fat;” or, in the words of the Apostle, “He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood”. It was the untold sufferings of the Eternal Word in our nature, His body dislocated and torn, His blood poured out, His soul violently separated by a painful death, which has put away from us the wrath of Him whose love sent Him for that very purpose. This only was our Atonement; no one shared in the work. He “trod the wine-press alone, and of the people there was none with Him”. When lifted up upon the cursed tree, He fought with all the hosts of evil, and conquered by suffering.
Thus, in a most mysterious way, all that is needful for this sinful world, the life of our souls, the regeneration of our nature, all that is most joyful and glorious, hope, light, peace, spiritual freedom, holy influences, religious knowledge and strength, all flow from a fount of blood. A work of blood is our salvation; and we, as we would be saved, must draw near and gaze upon it in faith, and accept it as the way to heaven. We must take Him, who thus suffered, as our guide; we must embrace His sacred feet, and follow Him. No wonder, then, should we receive on ourselves some drops of the sacred agony which bedewed His garments; no wonder, should we be sprinkled with the sorrows which He bore in expiation of our sins!’
from Bodily Suffering in Parochial and Plain Sermons, Book 3: Sermon 11
by Blessed John Henry Newman, 1801-1890
Fr Lee Kenyon
A Treasure to be Shared
The Acolyte’s Toolbox