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Commentary from 
Rivingtons, London, 1884
The name of Passion Sunday has been given to the second Sunday before Good Friday from time immemorial, because on that day the Lord began to make open predictions of His coming sufferings.  Those sufferings also begin now to be commemorated in the Scriptures for the season.  The Epistle refers to our Lord's Passion; the Gospel narrates the beginning of it in that fearful rejection of Him by the Jews; and the first Lessons at Mattins and Evensong are clearly prophetic of the redemption wrought by the sufferings of Christ.  When the last attempt was made to alter the Prayer Book in 1688, it was proposed to substitute a Collect more in character with the day, which is as follows: "O Almighty God, Who hast sent Thy Son Jesus Christ to be an High Priest of good things to come, and by His own Blood to enter in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us; mercifully look upon Thy people, that by the same Blood of our Saviour, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot unto Thee, our consciences may be purged from dead works, to serve Thee, the living God, that we may receive the promise of eternal inheritance, through Jesus Christ our Lord." 

As the Divine Power of Christ was illustrated on the preceding Sunday by the miracle of the loaves and fishes, so on this day His Divine Nature is set forth in a conspicuous manner by the juxtaposition of the Gospel in which He used the words, "Before Abraham was, I am," with the first Lesson in which God is heard saying to Moses, "I AM THAT I AM:..thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you."  The conduct of the Jews shows that they recognized in our Lord's words an assumption of the incommunicable Name, and in that assumption a proclamation that He is God.  This open and unlimited proclamation of His Divine Nature comes in on Passion Sunday, as the several manifestations of the glory of Christ come in before Christmas, that through the humiliation of the Cross, as through that of the manger, we may behold the eternal Son of God: and see rays of Divinity shed from His crucified Body.