Thursday, 12 May 2016

The tragedy of Calvary. Part 98.

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

During all this time they continued to abuse, insult and beat Jesus. " And the men that held him mocked him and struck him. And they blindfolded him and smote him on the face. And they asked him, saying-Prophesy who is it that struck thee ? And many other things blaspheming they said against him, fulfilling the words of the prophet. "They have opened their mouths upon me, and approaching me they have struck me on the cheek. God hath shut me up with the unjust man, and hath delivered me into the hands of the wicked." (Job. xvi. 11-12.)

They showered blows on him time and again till they became exhausted. He was wounded and bruised all over, his body being black and blue and his face swollen, at last they tired. Then they tied him more securely and shut him up in a small underground prison, where he could neither lie down or sit, two of the guards remaining on guard over him. "Am I a sea or a whale, that thou hast enclosed me in a prison,'' says the Lord, speaking by the mouth of Job. (Job. vii. 12.) Joseph, type of Christ, was put in prison till his brothers sold him to the Israelites who brought him to Egypt, where they sold him, as Judas had sold Jesus. Potiphar's wife accused him falsely, and he was imprisoned like Jesus, but when delivered, he saved the Egyptians from a famine, as Jesus saved the human race. Jeremias the prophet was jailed because he told the Hebrews the truth.

Jesus was still clothed in the filthy garments, for they did not allow him to put on his own clothes, but they kept his hands tightly bound together. All the time Jesus continued to pray for the sins of the world, and he offered all his sufferings to his heavenly Father as an offering for the wickedness of mankind.

In this little cell, the size of which you can see by the one built over its site, was a stone pillar to which they tied him. " And thou, O Son of man, behold they shall put bands upon thee, and they shall tie thee with them, and thou shalt not go forth from the midst of them. And I will make thy tongue stick fast to the roof of thy mouth, and thou shalt be dumb, and not as a man that reproveth, because they are a provoking house." (Ezech, iii. 25. 26.)

They would not let him rest for a moment; for the two guards continued to strike him, although he was ready to faint, he was so exhausted from ill treatment, wounds, the weight of his chains, and his numerous falls. His swollen feet could hardly support him. As soon as one band of the guards was tired out, another took their place, and began afresh the strokes and insults. "Thou hast said, Woe is me, wretch that I am ! for the Lord hath added sorrow to my sorrow; I am wearied with my groans, and I find no rest." (Jer. xlv. 3.)

Towards the dawn they tired of abusing him, and Jesus leaned against the pillar to rest, for he was tied in such a way that he could neither sit nor lie down. lie continued to pray for the sins of his race, and he repeated over and over the words : " I have a baptism wherewith I am to be baptized, and how am I straitened until it be accomplished." (Luke xii. 50.) He meant the scourging he was to suffer in the morning in Pilate's Forum, when he would be covered all over with his blood before his crucifixion. "Woe is me for I have become as one that gleaneth in the autumn the grapes of the vintage, my soul desired the first ripe figs. The holy man is perished out of the earth." (Mich. vii. 1. 2.)

Early in the morning, as the dawn was breaking, the Sanhedrin was called to meet again. Night assemblies of the court were forbidden, their sentences invalid. They wanted to legalize the sentence of death already given and to find a pretext for bringing him before the Roman governor, to whom alone the right of life or death had been reserved some time before Christ was tried.

Caiphas, the Prince of the Court, and Annas, the Abbeth-din: "Father of the Court of Law," or President, with the other members formulated against Christ the crime called Chillul ha Shem, " Profanation of the Divine Name." (Kid. 40 a.) They felt that it was doubtful if they would be able to sustain this charge before Pilate, and succeed in getting him executed, and they debated long and earnestly regarding the disposal of the case.

Most of the judges of the court had remained during the night in Caiphas' palace, taking part in the abuse heaped on the Prisoner. But Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea had gone home, and they returned at break of day.

"As soon as it was day, the ancients of the people and the chief priests and the Scribes came together." (Luke xxii. 66.) Some wanted to condemn and execute him at once, but others opposed this, saying that it might cause an insurrection among the people gathered for the Passover. Others wished to put off the trial before Pilate till after the Passover, which ended on the 21st of the month. They said that no prisoner could be condemned in a legal way, until the charges had been proved, and that in the case before them the witnesses had contradicted each other. The leaders of the Court who advocated this were Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea and Sirach. The high priest and most of the other judges got very angry, and accused these two of being followers of the Galilean and of his doctrines, and that they were afraid he would be condemned. At this Nicodemus and Joseph washed their hands, protesting against the whole proceeding, and they left the meeting amid the hisses and groans of the others.

Then Caiaphas ordered the guards to bring Jesus from his prison, and to get ready to bring him before Pilate, as soon as he would be condemned again by the morning meeting. The guards hurried off down to the prison, and dragging out Jesus, they untied his hands and with their usual brutality they pulled the old mantle from his shoulders, and told him to put on his own garments. Having fastened ropes around his waist, they dragged him before the Council. As he passed along between the crowds he was a pitiable sight His face was disfigured and changed because of the rough treatment, and swollen from the strokes; his garments were torn and soiled; but he only excited laughter, derision and mockery. Pity was dried up in their hearts. For men always hate the one they have injured, and the more they have injured him the more they hate him, for they always try to find an excuse in their own hearts for their action, in place of repairing the wrong.

As he was standing there before his judges, Caiaphas in haughty tones asked him: " If thou be the Christ tell us." Jesus raised his head and in calm words replied.

"And he said to them, If I shall tell you, you will not believe me: And if I shall also ask you, you will not answer me, nor let me go. But hereafter the Son of man shall be sitting on the right hand of the power of God." (Luke xxii. 67-69.)

At this reply the judges looked at each other and with a laugh of scorn they cried out: " Art thou then the Son of God ? " And he said, "You say that I am." Then they said, " What need we any further testimony. For we ourselves have heard it from his own mouth." (Luke xxii. 67-71.) This answer the prophet foresaw. " I have not hid thy justice within my heart. I have declared thy truth, and thy salvation. I have not concealed thy mercy and thy truth from a great council." (Psalm xxxix. 11.) "For evils without number have surrounded me, my iniquities have overtaken me, and I was not able to see. They are multiplied above the hairs of my head. . . Let them be confounded and ashamed together, they seek after my soul to take it away." (Ibidem, 13.) My iniquities " means all the sins of mankind, which he then bore as the real " scape-goat" of the world.