Saturday, 9 July 2016

The tragedy of Calvary. Part 144.

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

When Casius drew forth his spear out of the wound, there came forth a great quantity of blood and water. The blood and water flowed into the officer's face, and cured his eyes of a disease which afflicted them. The waters were for him like baptism. He received the gift of faith, and the grace of salvation entered his soul. Leaping from his horse, he fell on his knees, and confessed that Christ was the Son of God. The eyes of his body were cured, and the eyes of his soul were opened. Josephus mentions many times Casius Longinus, who he says was a high officer in the Roman army in Judea at this time, and he may have been the very one, who in the designs of God proved to all men that Christ had really died. He gave up his office, did penance for long years on Calvary, where an altar called after him is still shown. He prayed, did penance, and was ordained into the Church.

The supernatural blood and water from the side of the dead Christ were foretold by the prophets : " In that day there shall be a fountain open to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for the washing of the sinner and of the unclean woman. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will destroy the names of idols out of the earth, and they shall be remembered no more, and I will take away false prophets, and the unclean spirit out of the earth." (Zacharias xiii. 1. 2)

Christianity spreading over the world from that cross where high hung the body of the Dead, the destruction of paganism is the prophet's theme in the words he gives, as Isaias said: " Behold my servant shall understand, he shall be exalted and shall, be exceedingly high. As many have been astonished at thee, so shall his visage be inglorious among men, and his form among the sons of men. He shall sprinkle many nations, kings shall shut their mouth at him, for they to whom it was not told of him have seen, and they that have heard not have be held." (Isaias lii, 13) The prophet's words relate to the preaching of the Church typified by the blood and water from his side.

God made the first man Adam to be the head of the human race. He sinned, was condemned to death, and the human race lost its head. Men are divided into nations, each with a separate government. They try to replace the rule of Adam, their emperor given them by God. But men are divided in their ideas of government, trying to replace the headship of their dead father. But they do not agree, and that is why politics are so divided and why wars afflict the world.

But with that condemnation on Adam, there came forth the decree, that there would come another Adam, who would be the head of the race—the second Adam, who would be obedient and never sin. That was Christ. But when God made Adam, he put him in a deep sleep, opened his side, took out a rib, and from it made another like himself, Eve, the mother of all the living. The sleep of Adam was a type and a figure of the sleep of death of Christ on the cross. When Longinus opened his side with the spear, the blood and water came forth. Then was created the new Eve, the Spouse of Christ, the Church, the Mother of all his children, whom she brings forth to him by the waters of baptism and feeds on his blood of redemption. Eve was another like Adam, bone of his bone, flesh of his flesh, to tell that man and wife are one, two souls in one body. She came not from his foot, to show that she was not to be trampled on, not from his head to mean that she was the head of her husband, but from his rib, the bone nearest to his heart, to tell all men that the wife is nearest to him, made from the bone against which his heart pulsates. And marriage with its blessings has passed down through all the generations of men, in all the nations with its benediction. " Increase and multiply and fill the earth, (Gen, 1, 28,) for it is the image of that ineffable union of Christ with his Church, the Holy Mother of all his children.

This creation of the Church from the side of the dead Christ was foretold by the prophets: " They shall be inebriated with the plenty of thy house, and thou shalt make them drink of the torrent of thy pleasure. For with thee is the fountain of life, and in thy light we shall see light." (Psalm xxxv. 9, 10.) " You shall draw waters with joy out of the Saviour's fountains." (Isaias xii. 3.) " A fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the torrent of thorns." (Joel iii. 18.) " In that day there shall be a fountain open to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for the washing of the sinner and of the unclean woman.' (Zach. xiii. 1.) " For I will pour out waters upon the thirsty ground, and streams upon the dry land. I will pour out my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thy stock." (Isaias xliv. 3.) When the Hebrews were perishing in the desert for want of water, Moses struck the rock with his staff, and the waters burst forth and saved the people. It was a type and a prophecy of what took place on Calvary. For Christ is the Rock. The prophet Ezechiel saw the water flowing from the Temple, which was the body of the Lord in whom the Holy Spirit then lived as in a Temple, destroyed that day and raised the third day from the dead.

All this St. John describes with Gospel simplicity. " But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers opened his side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water. And he that saw it gave testimony, and his testimony is true, that you may also believe. For these things were done that the Scripture might be fulfilled: " Ye shall not break a bone of him." And again another Scripture saith: "They shall look on him whom they have pierced." (John xix. 33-37 ; Zach. xii. 10)

Adam and Eve were of one flesh, bone and blood. They were the image of Christ in his union with this spotless Spouse, the Church, bone of his bone, blood of his blood, one with him, a part of his holy humanity which we all bear. Through her we are bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh, he the head, we the members, brought forth from him and her by our new birth in baptism. All this John, who stood by and saw, beautifully sums up: "Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God. This is he that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not in water only, but in water and blood. And it is the Spirit that testifieth that Christ is the truth. For there are three that give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one. And there are three that give testimony on earth, the Spirit, the water and the blood, and these three are one." (I, John. v. 5-8)

The debt of sin was paid. The seed of the woman had crushed the serpent's head. (Gen, iii. 15) The Jews had rejected their Messiah, and God rejected them. The Temple had fulfilled its mission, and its sacrifices were no more received. It was useless to continue sacrifices there, while the Christian Liturgies replaced them among the nations. Now let us see the history of the destruction of the Temple, given by one who saw it. (Isaias i, 8, 21-23 : xxvi, 5 : xxviii 28)