Friday, 11 March 2016
The tragedy of Calvary. Part 48.
"Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed. Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." (Psalm. L. 9.)
Beautiful and striking in their conciseness are the words of St. Paul, writing to the Hebrews, telling his people that all the ceremonial of their Temple foretold the sacrifice of the cross. After describing the Temple, its utensils and ceremonial he says:
"But Christ being present, a high priest of the good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is, not of this creation, neither by the blood of goats or of calves, but by his own blood entered once into the sanctuary, having obtained an eternal redemption.
"For if the blood of goats, and of oxen, and the ashes of a heifer being sprinkled, sanctify such as are defiled to the cleansing of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the Holy Ghost offered himself without spot to God, cleanse our conscience from dead works to serve the living God ?
"And therefore he is the Mediator of the New Testament, that by means of his death, for the redemption of those transgressions, which were under the former Testament, they who are called may receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
"For where there is a testament, the death of the testator must of necessity intervene. For a testament is of force after men are dead, otherwise it is not of force 1 while the testator liveth. Whereupon neither was the first 2 indeed dedicated without blood. . . For Jesus hath not entered into the holy place made with hands, the patterns of the true, but into heaven itself, that he may appear now in the presence of God for us." (Hebrews ix. 11-24.)
1 That is a will bequeathing property.
2 The Old Testament.