St. Peter gives us the revealed foundation for our devotion to the Precious Blood. “You were redeemed,” says the Apostle, “not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ as the Lamb without blemish or stain” (1 Peter 1:18-19).
The Meaning of the Precious Blood
Given this foundation of faith, we ask ourselves what exactly do we mean when we say we were redeemed by the Blood of Christ? We mean that unless Christ had shed his blood for us, we would not be redeemed.
In his infinite mercy, God chose to become man and die for our sins. But Christ, as the Incarnate Son of God, could not have died of any mortal sickness or disease. As the sinless Lamb of God, His death had to be inflicted outside of Himself. Moreover, having no sin on His soul which deserved bodily death, He had to want to be mortal. He therefore chose to bleed to death on the Cross.
Consequently the Blood of Christ is precious three times over.
It is precious because it is literally the blood of the Son of God Who, out of love for us, assumed a human nature, with a human body that had human blood coursing through its veins.
It is precious again literally, except this blood shed on Calvary, the human race would not be redeemed.
Christ’s Willing Sacrifice on the Cross
It is precious because it was shed by Christ of His own free will. We speak of Christ sacrificing Himself on the Cross. So He did. But the heart of this sacrifice was His willingness to die by allowing His Body to be drained of its life-sustaining blood.
Providentially, the Mother of Jesus was standing under the Cross on Calvary as her Son was bleeding to death for the redemption of a sinful world. The Fathers of the Church tell us that Mary was splattered with the Blood of Christ, the blood he had received from her during the nine months she carried Him in her womb.
Devotion to the Blood of Christ goes back to the early Church. Understandably, it is at the center of Christianity. Unlike the bloody sacrifices of animals in the Old Testament, the New Testament is new because Christians believe God Himself became man to shed His blood on the Cross for our salvation.
Moreover, and most importantly, we believe that Christ continues to offer His blood for us in every Sacrifice of the Mass.