Of chalices they make helmet and sword and sell by the bucket the blood of the Lord. Michelangelo
What a shocking statement! When I initially read this, I was shocked by the second part, “sell by the bucket the blood of the Lord.”
The author of this famous quote is Michelangelo, the famous painter hired by pope Julius II (1503-1513) to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City. He also painted the Last Judgement. The chapel is in the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City which is the residence of the pope and where the new popes are decided.
The chapel is named after and was built by pope Sixtus IV (1471-1484). You may remember him from your study of church history as the pope who taxed the numerous brothels in Rome with a Church tax. He added to this considerable profit by charging a tax on mistresses kept by priests, though he paid no tax on his own mistresses. This revenue stream was a side “benefit” of the Vatican’s doctrine of celibacy.
The word ‘they’ in the quote refers to the pope of his day, Julius, and his passion for fighting “holy wars” to extend the papal territories. Unfortunately for those who resisted the popes and their errors, Julius was not the only pope who believed the killing of those who disagreed with them was approved by Jesus Christ. It is estimated by credible historians that approximately 50 million true Christians, Jews, even some Catholics and others died during the 605 years the Roman Catholic popes operated the Inquisition.
The shocking, second part of the quote stated, “sell by the bucket the blood of the Lord”, refers to the pope’s selling “salvation” for gold, silver, precious gems, mammon or service to whatever cause the pope was promoting. Pope Urban II in 1096, who inspired the first ungodly, unchristian crusade to retake Jerusalem, promised “salvation” to those who killed the heretics (Muslims and Jews) or died in battle. Martin Luther, himself a Catholic monk, lit the fuse of the Reformation in the 1500s because pope Leo X was selling “salvation” through indulgences in what we now know as Germany. Leo used the money to rebuild Saint Peter’s Basilica.
The apostle Peter said this about the blood of Jesus: “For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb.”
The Lord’s blood is precious to God the Father and is the ransom paid for the salvation of those who repent and believe in the good news of Jesus Christ.
Woe to those who think they can trade on it!