Wednesday, 9 March 2016

The tragedy of Calvary. Part 46.

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
The Foundation Stone (Hebrew: אבן השתייה, translit. Even haShetiya) or Rock (Arabic: صخرة translit. SakhrahHebrew: סלעtranslit.Sela) is the name of the rock at the heart of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem
Now from the great altar he fills with burning coals the incenser in his right hand, and takes the dish of frankincense, and slowly mounts the carved marble stairs leading up to the dread Holy of Holies, where God once dwelt as the Shekina, under the form of a cloud, between the Cherubim's golden wings in Solomon's Temple. Folding back the great veil, he enters behind into the dim gold walled room, foretelling Christ our High Priest, entering heaven the day of the ascension. But in this sanctuary there was now no ark, no visible Shekina ; only a large rock called " the foundation stone " was there arid of which many legends are told by Jewish writers. He spreads the incense on the burning coals, and the smoke of incense fills the Holy of Holies, foretelling the prayers of Jesus Christ and of his Saints, which as the High Priest of mankind he now offers in that supernal sanctuary of heaven where he always makes intercession for us. Then the high priest prays :

"May it please Thee, O Lord, our God, and the God of our fathers, that neither this day, nor during this year, may any captivity come on us. Yet if captivity befall us this day, or this year, let it be to a place where the law is cultivated. May it please Thee, O Lord, our God, and the God of our fathers, that want come not on us, either this day, or if this year, let it be due to the liberality of our charitable deeds. May it please Thee, O Lord, our God, and the God of our fathers, that this year may be a year of cheapness, of fulness, of intercourse, and trade, a year of abundance, of sunshine and of dew, one in which Thy people Israel shall not require assistance one from another. And as to Thy people Israel, may no enemy exalt himself against them. May it please Thee, O Lord, our God, and the God of our fathers, that the house of the men of Saron may not become their graves."

The whole prayer was of temporal things, not for the soul's salvation, for they were a carnal people, and trade, moneymaking and worldly prosperity were the sole end of this Sadducee priesthood, and are still the characteristic of the Jew. They could not rise to the height of spiritual truths Christ preached.

Bowing down to the ground the high priest, with his face toward the sanctuary, conies out, takes the blood of the sacrificed bullock, and enters again. Seven times he sprinkles towards where was once the mercy-seat of God. Then he comes out, kills the goat selected for Jehovah, and once more he enters the Holy of Holies, and seven times he sprinkles its blood as before. Then again he takes the blood of the bullock, enters and sprinkles seven times. Then he mixes the blood of both victims typifying the two natures of Christ, and sprinkles the horns of the gold altar of incense in the Holies, seven times going around the altar. Thus he sprinkles forty-three times, to show forth Jesus in whom was the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Ghost and his one Personality. (Isaias xi. 2.) In this ministration, a rope was tied to his body, lest if he should die in the presence of Jehovah, they could remove his body, for no one could enter but he alone, once a year, when he foretold Christ opening heaven to man. For heaven was closed to all mankind because of sin, till the Saviour opened it by His death and ascension. The Temple sanctuary and sacrifices were now clean. Without this ceremony the services could not have been performed or sins forgiven.

He comes forth again, and lays his hands on the scape goat, with the prayer said over the morning and evening lamb, placing on him his sins and all the sins of the people. There stands the innocent animal bearing all their sins as Jesus Christ stood in Pilate's Pretorium with the sins of all the world on him.

Now the priests lead out the animal through the Golden Gate, and across the very bridge spanning the Cedron, over which they led Christ the night they arrested him. They deliver him over into the hands of a pagan, as they later delivered up Christ to Pilate to be crucified. All the leading men of Jewry follow the goat across the bridge, till he is handed over to the pagan, as the leading men of the nation followed Christ till he was handed over to Pilate for death.

Along the way to the desert, twelve miles to the rock called Tsuk, were ten booths, and men went from one booth to the other with the pagan leading the goat. They used to tie the red cloth to the Temple gate and it became white when the goat was killed. At the Tsuk the pagan took the cloth, tore it in two, fastened one piece to the rock, the other to the animal's horns, and pushed the animal over the deep precipice, and it fell and rolled to the bottom, torn, mangled, bloody and dead ; type of Christ's dead body on the cross.

All who took part in this sacrifice were unclean, for all who clamored for Christ's death were guilty of his murder.

All uncleanness and the purifications of the Jew can be traced back to death. God gave them laws to keep before their minds the sin of Adam and its punishment, the death of mankind, symbolizing the death of the soul by sin.

Leprosy, (Levit. xiii., xiv.) the most terrible disease known to man, was a striking symbol of sin, which could be forgiven only by the death of the " Lamb of God." The Mishna (Tract Negaim, i. 4 ; ii. 11,1, etc,) enters into the most wearisome details of the ceremonies of purification from this disease. Only a priest could pass judgment on the malady, and the examination could not take place on the Sabbath, early in the morning, " between the evenings," on a cloudy day, nor in bright sunshine, but from nine A. M. to twelve, noon, and from one to three P. M., says Rabbi Jehudah. The priest must not be blind in one eye, nor impaired in sight, nor be the judge in the case of one of his own relatives. The priest does not heal, but only declares the disease healed, for only Jesus Christ, who was to come, could forgive sins, or heal man kind from the spiritual disease of sin.

A leper was excluded from his family and friends, driven out into the country, forced to live among the tombs, to cover his face and cry out: "Unclean, unclean," when any one approached, lie was a type of the sinner driven out of heaven and doomed to hell, unless healed from his spiritual disease by the blood of Christ, the long-looked for Saviour.

In Shiloam, the Mohammedan village below Jerusalem, dwell the lepers of our day, living in caves, abandoned tombs, surrounded with wretchedness. On the rocks where the apostles slept the night Christ was arrested-, were ten or more men and women, with hands, feet and faces eaten off or frightfully disfigured with this dread disease. With plaintive cry they asked for alms as we passed by. We stopped the carriage and helped them. The Turks have provided a hospice for them, hoping by the separation of the sexes to stamp out the disease, but with the usual Oriental stubbornness they refuse to be reformed and still propagate their leprous race.