His blood be upon us and on our children (Matthew 27:25)
More of this divine Blood spurts out over the floor of the scourging space, under the raw strokes of the whip. St. Peter the apostle and first pope in his letter, speaks of the blood of Christ (see 1 Peter 1:19); St. Paul too, speaks of the blood of Christ, teaching that our redemption was purchased “through His blood” (see Ephesians 1:7, Romans 3:25); the letter to the Hebrews, teaches that the entire New Covenant is rooted in the Precious Blood of Jesus (see Hebrews 9:12-15); St. John the apostle from his vision, records the intermingling of the love of God and the Precious Blood when he writes: “to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood” (see Revelation 1:5) Blood is regarded as ‘life’ or ‘the seat of the soul’ (Genesis 9:4). Deuteronomy 12:23 states this clearly: ‘Only be sure that you do not eat the blood; for the blood is the life, and you shall not eat life with the flesh.’ Similarly, Leviticus 17:11, 14, and 19:26 forbids the eating of blood but highlights the power of the blood as that which makes atonement due to the life in it.
Although blood may not be a common subject of discussion, yet everyone knows it is what keeps us alive. Blood transports oxygen to our cells, removes wastes from these cells, helps us to adapt to varying temperatures and is a key part of our resistance against disease. All who have value for not only their own live, but that of others and a culture of life, will very much appreciate what God says about blood – blood is sacred. Since the human blood is sacred and the essence of human life, the book of Deuteronomy, records the Lord forbidding the Israelites from shedding innocent blood, “… lest innocent blood be shed in your land which the Lord your God gives you for an inheritance, and so the guilt of bloodshed be upon you.” (Deuteronomy 19:10).
Having said this, how can we personally manifest our appreciation for and recognition of the sacredness of blood especially in our country Nigeria where blood shed on all fronts especially in the ruthless massacre of innocent victim is a routine? How can we be a people who still have fear and shudder at the sight of blood? Is not the lame action of the government a recipe for numbing the nerves of the citizens, to the sanctity of and respect for blood? Will not be proper to conclude at this stage of our national history, that Nigeria is a land flowing with blood and sorrow? She is like one who wears an ugly look, and produces sour milk, manifested especially in the constant killings of innocent citizens and as a result has led to confusion, suspicion, agitation and sadness. Continues NEXT WEEK
• Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins is the Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos.