Saturday, 16 April 2016

The tragedy of Calvary. Part 76.

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 priest on whom the "lot" had fallen for this function approaches, and, with gem-encrusted sacrificial knife, he cuts the lamb's throat, while a priest beside him catches the blood in his cos or chalice. He turns around, hands the filled chalice into the right hand of the priest standing next him, and receives in his own left hand from his left hand the empty chalice. To do this each priest must cross his arms, making with them a cross. The one who receives the filled chalice turns around and hands it to the priest next to him. Thus the gold and silver chalices pass along these two lines of priests—each alternate chalice being of gold or silver, every priest making with his arms a cross, as Jacob did when he blessed Joseph's sons. (Gen. xlviii.) With the sign of the cross, the blood of all the victims thus passed along the line of priests at every sacrifice in the Temple.

The last priest in the line receives the chalice of blood, mounts the marble steps leading up to the high altar, the Ariel, fifteen feet high, resting on the very top of Moriah, on the very spot where Abraham was about to sacrifice his son Isaac. (Gen. xxii.) He comes to the southeast bronze hollow horn, eighteen inches high, marked with its red line, and above that line he splashes the blood from be low up, and then from right to left across, marking the horn with a bloody cross. He goes to the northeast corner and does the same, then to the northwest corner, and last on the southwest, thus he marks the four bronze corners of the high altar with a bloody cross of the victim's blood foretelling the cross of Christ.

The lamb is now hung up on one of the hooks in the marble pillar, as Christ was hung up by his arms on the pillar in the Forum the next day when he was scourged. The Temple servants now take oft' the lamb's skin as the Edomites scourged the Lord. But while the victims of the Temple were skinned after death the Lord was skinned alive in his scourgings.

The entrails are taken out, with the fat salted, and placed on the great altar to be burned before the Lord. Now they roll the body of the lamb in its skin, and Jesus as leader of the band, takes it on his shoulders, and with his disciples pass out the gates as their places are taken by another band.

While these ceremonies are taking place, the five hundred Levites on the steps of the Nicanor gate sing with the people in Israel's and the Woman's Court, the Psalms called the Hallel: " Praise," beginning with the words : HalleluJah, or Alleluia: " Praise Jehovah" (Edersheim, Temple, p. 191.)

The Levites : Hallelu Jah.
The People : Hallelu Jah.
The Levites: Praise, O ye servants of Jehovah.
The People : Hallelu Jah.
The Levites : Praise the name of Jehovah.
The People : Hallelu Jah.
The Levites: When Israel went out of Egypt.
The People : When Israel went out of Egypt.
The Levites : The house of Jacob from a barbarous people.
The People : Hallelu Jah. Etc.

Thus they sang the whole of Psalm cxvii., and the other Psalms forming the Hallel. When they came to the words " The stone rejected by the builders which became the head of the corner," they did not know that there, in their midst, was Christ, the " stone " foretold by the rock struck by Moses in the desert, which opened and gave water to their father's dying of thirst. He was the stone not made with hands, which struck the images of idolatry and filled the earth. (Daniel, ii. 34.)

But when they came to the words, " O Lord, save me, O Lord, give good success." " Blessed is he who cometh in the name of the Lord," (Psalm cxvii. 25, 26.) it became a shout. In the original Hebrew, it is Anna Adonai hoscihanna, which at the time of which we write had been shortened to Hosanna, a word used like our Hurrah. The Talmud tells us this was the great Egyptian Hallel, which differed from the common Hallel, composed of Psalms cxix. to cxxxv., and that it pointed to five things: the delivery from Egypt, the passage of the Red Sea, the giving of the law on Sinai, the resurrection of the dead and the coming of the Messiah. The Mishna says the Priests' Court was always crowded on the Passover with different bands or divisions coming in and going out. Josephus writes that 256,000 lambs were counted at the procurator Cestius' request, and counting at least ten persons to each band with a lamb, women and children not being counted, not less than 2,700,000 Jews went up to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast. (Ant. of the Jews, B. xvii., C. be., n. 3.) By this we estimate the millions of people in and around the city at the trial and crucifixion of humanity's Victim.

According to custom, the Son of God takes the body of the lamb on his own shoulders, and leaves that Temple for the last time, where since his twelfth year when confirmed he had so often worshiped. He leaves that priesthood, which had rejected him, and with his disciples he comes down into the Chel, passes along where now stands the Mosque of Aska, once a Christian church, and he passes along over the great bridge Herod built spanning the Tyropoeon valley, the Cheesemongers' Street far below, then thrown across the valley separating Moriah from Sion. The bridge was fifty-one feet wide and three hundred and fifty long. Part of the eastern abutment is now called Robinson's Arch.

From Moriah he passed over to Sion, that other and higher hill mentioned one hundred and seventy times in the Old Testament. The Hebrew priesthood with their magnificent ceremonial had rejected him and sentenced him to death. But another and a perfect priesthood was to rise over the world, to sacrifice and preach him to ends of earth and time.