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
"And when the chief priests and the Scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the Temple and saying, "Hosanna to the son of David," they were moved with indignation, and said to him: Hearest thou* what these say ? And Jesus said to them, yea, have you never read. Out of the mouths of infants and of sucklings thou hast perfected praise," (Matt, xxi, 15-18.)
The haughty Caiphas, dressed in priestly purple robes worn by the high priest at all times in the Temple, even when not pontificating on the great Feasts of Israel, and Jesus, Prince of the house of David clothed in purple imation or talith, the elesus striped with brown, his girdle around his 'waist and binding his cassock, the priest's seamless garment, with priests and Levites crowding around—all made a striking scene. It was an incident filled with portent for the future of the priesthood, the Temple, and the Jewish nation. With hate and anger in his tones, Caiphas came forward and asked Jesus, "Why doest thou do these things? What right have you, a Galilean, to drive the sellers from the Temple ? "Jesus replied with the words of his father David. (Psalm xxxix 7-10.)
"Burnt offering and sin offering thou didst not require. Then I said, Behold I come. In the head of the book it is written of me, that I should do thy will, O my God. I have desired it, and thy law in the midst of my heart. I have declared thy justice in a church. Lo I will not restrain my lips. O Lord, thou knowest it."
This infidel priesthood living on the Temple revenues, hardly believing in the existence of a God to whom they daily offered sacrifice, saw the meaning of the Holy Ghost's words uttered more than 1,000 years before, and the reply roused them to fury. Caiphas demanded: " How is it written in the head of the book regarding thee, O Galilean?"
"Take the names of the patriarchs from Adam down to the separation of the nation's, translate these names into Aramean, and you will see how it is written of me in the First Book of Moses." The First Book of Moses, as it is called by the Jews, is Genesis.
The Jews used various materials; on which to write, but in the Temple they used only tablets, called Pinaques, formed of thin pieces of wood or Lauch, "fastened together." The Mishna mentions three kinds of tablets (Kel. xxiv. 7.) according as the wood was covered with wax, papyrus, or left plain. Black ink, made of soot, deyo, gum-arabic, qumos and vitriol, qanqanthos (Thaff. xi. 4.) composed the ink, the pen was made of a reed still used in Syria. And Caiphas took a pen and wrote on a tablet as Jesus dictated. We put the meanings, not in the Aramean, spoken then in Judea, be cause it is now a dead language, but in English.
And Jesus read them to the assembled priests and Levites as follows:
"Mankind, the reasoning being, decreed to death, Frail man lamenting fell. But God in splendor, the blessed God shall come down, descending the Teacher, a branch sent to die. His death shall send to the humble rest or consolation. His name shall be renowned even among the dark, swarthy races, carried over earth by the fair races, the white men, in heat and completeness. The race will break asunder this temple, and scatter the people of God into all nations of earth. Thus it is written in the patriarchs' names.
"Mankind, condemned to death for Adam's sin, to them God in His everlasting glories shall descend in splendor, as Teacher of the race he shall acquire. But he is sent to die to overthrow Satan's empire. His death will bring rest or consolation. His name will become renowned in all the earth. The fair white race of Japheth, given the race of progress and of change, as heat will overrun the world, even dwelling in the tents of Sem (Gen. ix. 27.) and the race, the Romans, sons of Ascenez, will come, destroy this temple and scatter the Jews into all the nations."
The tumult which followed is indescribable. If one who was unclean, or a leper who would have entered the Temple he would have lost his life. Today to speak against Mohammed in all the confines of Islam is to court sure death. It is a survival of the fanaticism which then broke out against Christ, who had quoted prophecy against the Temple and the Jewish nation.
The great gates still stood opened, as Ezechiel foretold, and with shouts, imprecations and curses, the priests and Levites rushed against him, and drove him from the sanctuary. They would have killed him, but they feared the people, who still crowded the courts and the great open squares within the arcades. " And the chief priests and the Scribes, and the rulers of the people sought to destroy him. And they found not what to do with him. For all the people were held in suspense hearing him." (Luke xix. 47, 48.)
Thus the Temple clergy whom he had come to make priests of his Church rejected and drove him from them. "He came unto his own and his own received him not." (John i. 11.) What the Jewish nation would have become if they had received him we can only conjecture. But no one denies that they are the brightest race, a most intellectual people, and that the blessings of worldly wealth given their fathers still rest on them. If the development began under David and Solomon had continued till the time of Christ, and if they had remained the priestly race preaching Christ to the whole world, with Jerusalem as the capital of the Church, no empire of earth could ever have been compared to them.
But we cannot speculate on God's Providence. The deed was done. They rejected him. The Jewish priesthood drove him from the Temple. " And leaving them he went out of the city into Bethania and remained there." (Matt. xxi. 17.)