Thursday, 21 January 2016

The tragedy of Calvary. Part 5.

The tragedy of Calvary: or the minute details of Christ's life from Palm Sunday morning till the resurrection and ascension taken prophecy, history, revelations and ancient writings
by Meagher, Jas. L. (James Luke), 1848-1920

In the Old Testament, in hundreds of places we find the Hebrew Memra, " the Word." In the Pentateuch or the Books of Moses the word Memra is given 320 times, and it is always translated as "the Lord." The Targum Onkelos has the word 179 times. In the Jerusalem Targum it will be found 99 times, and in Pseudo-Jonathan 321 times. Hundreds of passages of the prophets have it. In these writings Memra is always God, as Wisdom revealing himself, as "Light," "Knowledge," the "Idea." But St. John, in the beginning of his Gospel first brings out the term as the Divine Logos, the Word of God. " And the Word was God." (John i. 1.) Here for the first time in the sacred writings, the Memra, the Word, is given as a Divine Person, the Son of God co-eternal with his Father.


Again we find the Hebrew word Jehovah: " The Existing One," hundreds of times in the Old Testament and in the Jewish writers. It was so holy a name, that in later times they even feared to pronounce it and they used in its place Adonai or Jah, its root, the latter being found in numerous Hebrew names of persons and places.

Everywhere we find the name, it conveys the idea of the Eternal revealing Himself in mercy. Jehovah is the " God of mercy," the " God of forgiveness," the " God of love," preparing them for the coming of the Redeemer, establishing the tabernacle, directing Moses, founding the ceremonial. When the name as Jah makes a part of their personal names, it relates to the Messiah all down their history. Josue, the name of their leader after Moses, or Jesus, its Greek form, means in Hebrew " The God of mercy will save," and four persons of the Old Testament were thus called. After the Greek conquest, the name was translated into that language as Jesus, the name given Christ before He was conceived. Thus we see His very office or mission was written in His name, as the angel said: " For he shall save his people from their sins" (Matt. i. 21.) The word Christ is the Greek for anointed, for priests, prophets and kings of Israel were all anointed; because they typified the Messiah, who was anointed by the Holy Ghost to be the Redeemer and to fulfil all they foretold. The meaning then of Jesus Christ is : " The anointed God of Mercy will save."

The word Elohim the plural of Eloi, or the Hebrew Elohai, " my God," occurs in numerous places in the Scriptures. The plural Elohim given in the beginning of Genesis, seems to show forth the Persons of God, and down through the holy writings we often find it. But everywhere the word shows God as the "God of justice," punishing sin, destroying the wicked. It is in His terrible unbending justice the word revealed Him, till the last time it was spoken, it fell from the lips of the dying Saviour on the cross, when He cried out " My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me ?" He was the Victim of the world's sins, offering himself to the justice of His Father. He repeats the first words of the Psalm xxi, written by his father David more than 1,100 years before, wherein his Passion and death are so fearfully and realistically foretold. (Matt, xxvii. 46: Mark xv. 31.)

With wonderful wisdom the Eternal had prepared the Hebrews, filling them with the Wisdom of the Memra, speaking to them through the Shekina, calling Abraham from Ur of the Chaldeans, now Mugier, to be the father of His chosen people, a type of Christ, Father of his Christians, brought forth from him in baptism. He rescued them from Egyptian slavery, the figure of the slavery of sin. Pharaoh their enemy was like the devil, enemy of all mankind. The passage of the Red Sea was symbolical of the Christian baptism. The wanderings in the desert shadowed forth this life of exile, the manna on which they fed was the Eucharist, Moses their leader was not to bring them into the Promised Land, but Jesus, named in Hebrew Josue, for he foretold the true Jesus, who brought man kind back to heaven, for the land of Palestine shadowed forth our home in heaven after the wanderings of this life. And the blessings of moneymaking given the Jews in the blessings of the patriarchs, and which still rest on them, remind us of the blessings of religion on the whole race.

For the Hebrews represented in their delivery from Egyptian slavery the whole human race saved from the bondage of sin. The prophets teaching them foretold the teachers of -the true religion. The high priest Aaron, from whom the priests by birth descend, typified the priesthood descending from Christ, the innocent animals slaughtered in the Temple pointed to the future Victim of the cross. The rivers of blood which flowed in that Temple were to tell them of the atrocious death these priests were later to bring on Him. The Passover service with its lamb and unleavened cakes were images of the crucifixion and of the Mass and the Lamb of God immolated there in mystic ceremonies. " Now these things were done in a figure of us," says St. Paul. (1 Cor . x. 6.)