‘… I rose up and am still with you.’
I saw many wonderful things on my 2008 Roman Holiday. But this, on the wall of the 4th-century church sandwiched between a pagan temple to Minvera below and the more recent Basilica of St. Clement above, has stayed with me more than most.
‘And he brought them out of darkness, and the shadow of death; and broke their bonds in sunder.’
‘In that day the root of Jesse, who stands for an ensign of the people, him the Gentiles shall beseech, and his sepulchre shall be glorious.’
Think on the very làmentable pain,
Think on the piteous cross of woeful Christ,
Think on His blood beat out at every vein,
Think on His precious heart carvèd in twain,
Think how for thy redemption all was wrought:
Let Him not lose what He so dear hath bought.
‘… he was wounded for our iniquities, he was bruised for our sins….‘
‘He was offered because it was his own will, and he opened not his mouth: he shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter, and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearer, and he shall not open his mouth.’
‘For I am ready for scourges: and my sorrow is continually before me.‘
‘And now I will show you what I will do to my vineyard. I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be wasted: I will break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down. And I will make it desolate: it shall not be pruned, and it shall not be digged: but briers and thorns shall come up….’