There is a mountain range that I once got to hike in New Mexico called the Sangre de Cristo Mountains—the “Blood of Christ” Mountains. It’s an evocative name.
The phrase “blood of Christ” is a phrase that many of us Christians have become so familiar with that we sometimes lose the shock value. I knew a parishioner once who warned that when giving the Eucharist to people we should not say “This is the blood of Christ” because it might scare away newcomers. The power of those words was not lost on him, but that is precisely why the image is so important. It is good to not be desensitized to blood, and the power that it possesses.
Blood is life. The Hebrew word nefesh is translated as “blood,” but can also be translated as “life” or “soul.” Blood is the source of living.
On Good Friday, which came shortly after Jesus shared a meal with friends, calling it his body and blood, Jesus spilled his actual blood as he hung from the cross. His red blood was visible to those who stood before him.
But the pouring out of his blood is not unredeemed. His blood is a shocking vessel of grace. His willingness to suffer and die like us turns into an astounding gift to share in life with him that touches eternity. We can remember what it means every time we are offered the “blood of Christ, the cup of salvation.”
The Rev. Robert Fisher
Links to the appointed readings and prayer for today: