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 Apostles followed at a distance. The people of Ophel came out of their houses when they heard the noise, but the guards from the Temple, sent there by the priests, overawed them. The Pharisees were nervous lest an attempt might be made to rescue him. Passing through Ophel, they cross the lower section of the Tyropoeon valley, called the Cheesemongers' Street, and now they begin to mount the steep eastern sides of Sion. About fifty soldiers were around Annas' house, and when they saw the band coming up the hill, they gave a great shout, and the Apostles, who had been following at a distance to see what they would do with Jesus, ran away in different directions. These soldiers at Annas' residence were a part of the Temple guards, who had been sent lest the people of Ophel might try to rescue the Saviour. Now these soldiers run and join the band leading Jesus. The people of Ophel, " the swelling," were mostly the descendants of Canaanites whom Joshua did not destroy, and who became " hewers of wood and drawers of water," After the ascension many of them became converts, and with the disciples, they separated from the Jews and worshiped in the Cenacle, under James and Simeon as their bishops, till the city was destroyed.
Hearing the tumult, these poor simple people ran out of their homes and asked what disturbed the night. But the soldiers repulsed them, saying : " We have just arrested your false Prophet Jesus—he who deceived you so much, and the high priests are just about to judge him." Cries and lamentations rose on all sides, the women and children ran back and forth wringing their hands, telling all the benefits they had received from the Prisoner. Some of them threw themselves on their knees before him, but the soldiers repulsed them saying : " What further proof is wanted ? You see how the Galilean in cites the people to rebellion."
As they feared an insurrection among these people, they hurried our Lord through the streets as fast as they could. But his wet clothes clinging about him impeded him, and he tripped and fell. One of the soldiers moved with compassion, said: " You see the poor man is exhausted, and he cannot support himself with his fetters. If we want to get him to the high priest alive, we will have to loosen the cords of his hands so he can help himself when he falls." The crowd stopped for a little time, and they unbound his hands while another soldier brought him a drink of water from one of the neighboring houses. Christ thanked him, and spoke to him of the : " Fountain of living waters for those who would believe in him." (Isaias xii. 3.)
When the news spread that Christ was arrested, the people of Ophel came running up to the band with the torches surrounding the Lord, and many of the women fell on their knees before him, and made a great lamentation over him. But the Lord spoke not a word. Then the guard struck him with sticks to make him hurry along to the high priest's house. They went before and behind, leading, dragging and urging him along. When Melchisedech built the city, he chose Sion, because it was high and rocky, with deep valleys on three sides, making it easy to defend from Canaanite enemies. There David, Solo mon and the kings of Juda had lived, and there Annas and Caiphas had their beautiful homes. But by the lapse of ages the city has now extended to the north surrounding the Holy Sepulcher. At the present time, the southern parts of Sion are outside the walls built by the Mohammedan conquerors, on Adrian's foundations. Now fields and gardens cover the places where rose the buildings of of the wealthy Jews, when Christ lived. You will see the plow pass over places famous in history as the prophet foretold because of the tragedy we are describing. " You that build up Sion with blood and Jerusalem with iniquity. Her princes have judged for bribes, and her priests have taught for hire, and her prophets have divined for money. . . . Therefore because of you, Sion shall be ploughed as a field, and Jerusalem as a heap of stones, and the mountain of the temple as the high places of the forests." ( Micheas iii. 10-12.) Jerusalem was a heap of stones when the Romans left it, and the Temple now has not a stone upon a stone.
Seven times the Lord fell when they dragged him from Olivet to Sion, the winding distance they followed being about a mile. The news of the arrest spread quickly, and a great crowd surrounded the sad procession. The Jews and soldiers were afraid a rescue would be attempted every moment, and they hurried him along. The women who had known him, the people of Ophel whom he had healed, the idlers, the rabble, the excitable, the curious, as is customary with Orientals, followed or went before, shouting, mocking, stoning him, exulting over him. At a distance came Peter and John; Mark's mother ; Mary Magdalen; and Martha with his Virgin Mother; Salome of Cleophas and the other women who believed in him— But they were not allowed near him.
Heathen prophets foretold him. Herodotus and other ancient writers tell us of the oracles the nations consulted in all their important business. The Sibyls were famous. Legends tell us the original Sibyl was the daughter-in-law of Noe, who had preserved the traditions of Adam's religion before the flood, and that these religious truths were handed down till when writing was invented, they were spread on the pages of their sacred books.
Ten Sibyls spoke to the nations, at Delphi, Oumae, Babylon, Erithea, Tivoli, etc. The Roman Sibyl lived at Cumae and Delphi as the successor of the one who had lived at Troy before the Trojan war. Her prophecies were contained in nine books, which a Sibyl offered the Roman king for a price which he refused to pay, and she burned three books. She offered the remaining books for the same price, he refused, when she burned three more and he bought the remaining three volumes. In them, it was said, was written the future history of the Roman empire, which a committee of the senate examined before beginning any important undertaking.