Wednesday, 6 July 2016

The tragedy of Calvary. Part 141.

The tragedy of Calvary: or the minute details of Christ's life from Palm Sunday morning till the resurrection and ascension taken from prophecy, history, revelations and ancient writings by Meagher, Jas. L. (James Luke), 1848-1920

The sacrifices of the Temple had fulfilled their end. They were now useless. Priests and Levites offered them in vain. For they had sacrificed the Victim they all foretold, and God received them from their hands no more. The night of spiritual darkness fell on the mind of all Israel that day and it has not yet lifted. Each Friday evening, when their Sabbath begins, the Jews still stand at the western wall of the Temple, and there they pray, wagging their heads, moving their bodies back and forth asking God to restore their Temple, while Christian and the Mohammedan look on and mock them. It seems sad to see them, but it also seems as though God hears them not, as he foretold.

"Hear the words of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear to the law of our God ye people of Gomorrah. To what purpose do you offer me the multitude of your victims? saith the Lord. I am full. I desire not the holocausts of rams, and the fat of fatlings, and the blood of calves and lambs and buck-goats. When you come to appear before me, who require these things at your hands, that you should walk in my courts ? Offer sacrifice no more in vain, incense is an abomination to me. The new moons, and the Sabbath and other festivals I will not abide : your assemblies are wicked. My soul hateth your new moons, and your solemnities, they are become trouble some to me. I am weary of bearing them. And when you stretch forth your hands, I will turn away my eyes from you, and when you multiply prayer, I will not hear, for your hands are full of blood." l " His blood be on us, and on our children " they cried to Pilate.

The grave gave up its dead. The bodies of the saints of the Old Testament came into the city, walked along the streets, striking terror into the hearts of the Deicide people. Some think that Adam, the patriarchs, Noe, Abraham, Melchisedech, David, Joseph, John the Baptist, and the bodies of those who had been recently buried came forth from their graves to give testimony to the Saviour. " And the graves were opened, and many bodies of the saints that had slept arose. And coming out of the tombs, after his resurrection came into the holy city and appeared to many," says St. Matthew. 2

Zachary, the high priest, killed between the porch and the altar, the second Zachary, father of John the Baptist, tortured to death by Herod, because he would not tell him where his son John had hid, the two sons of Simon the Just, one the ancestor of that aged Simeon, who took Jesus in his hands, and foretold his mission, when as a child he was presented in the Temple, the prophet Jeremy whose whole life and persecutions, till he died at Tanis, Egypt, acted out the life of Christ, David and the prophets—these, and great numbers of others, appeared in the city and Temple, and in sepulchral tones reproached

them for the crime of putting Christ to death. This the prophet had foretold. " Thy dead men shall live, my slain shall rise again. Awake and give praise, ye that dwell in the dust, for thy dew is the dew of the light, and the land of the giants thou shall pull down into ruin." Then to the dead the Lord said, " Go, my people, enter into thy chambers, shut the doors upon thee, hide thyself a little, for a moment, until the indignation pass away." Then of the entombed Christ the prophet continues: " For be hold the Lord shall come out of his place to visit the iniquity of the inhabitants of the earth against him." l

Many of the bitterest Jews became converted when they saw the wonders which took place at his death, and in the midst of the universal confusion they now returned to the Temple and added their words of condemnation to those of the dead. And when they left the Temple they found the dead walking around the streets and entering into the houses still shaking with the earthquake. Annas, the most implacable enemy of Christ, with Caiphas, in fear and trembling tried to calm the people in the Temple. Pilate, filled with superstition, wandered from room to room of the Antonia, but everywhere he turned the dead met him, accusing him of the death of the innocent Christ, while his palace shook, and the ground trembled beneath his feet. He thought the dead were the gods of the Galilean, who had come to reproach him. In an inner room, he offered incense to his gods, and called on them to save him. Herod was also terror-stricken, and shut himself up from every one.