Tuesday, 2 August 2016

The tragedy of Calvary. Part 162.

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

"And a few days after, there came from Galilee to Jerusalem, three men, one of them was a priest by name Phineas, the second a Levite by name Aggai, and the third a soldier named Adas. These came to the chief priests and said to them and to the people, "Jesus whom you have crucified, we have seen in Galilee with his eleven disciples." (Gospel of Nicodemus Cap 11.)

And the chief priests made them swear on the books of the Old Testament to the truth of these things. They gave them money, and sent them into another place, that they might not spread the news in the Holy City. But the people hearing of his resurrection, that he was at that time in Galilee with his disciples, came in a great crowd into the Temple and they made a great commotion. But Annas and Caiphas said : " Do not believe, ye Jews, what the soldiers say, and do not believe that they saw an Angel coming down from heaven. For we have given money to the soldiers in order that they should not tell such tales to any one."

Then Nicodemus made a speech to the priests and people, saying that Enoch and Elias who went up into heaven were types of Christ, that they had better send soldiers into Galilee. These, after they had returned, reported they could not find the Lord, but that Joseph was in Arimathea. That they wrote a letter to Joseph, asking him to return to Jerusalem, and they would not hurt him. Seven soldiers, friends of Joseph, brought him this letter, he returned with them and gave an account of how Jesus had delivered him from prison.

Forty days had now elapsed since the crucifixion. He had appeared nine times to Apostles and holy followers, and now the time came for him to return to heaven to the glory he had with the Father, there to remain till he comes again to judge the world. He had redeemed mankind. He had laid down the foundations of his everlasting kingdom—in Peter the Papacy, in the Apostles the bishops and dioceses, in the seventy-two disciples the parishes and the priests. The Church could be stripped of all other organizations and still live, but to take away any of these would destroy her.

He met them in Jerusalem, and led them out along the western slopes of Olivet. He told James to take charge of the converts of the sacred city as they were going up the hill. That was the first appointment of a bishop to a fixed place. The last farewell was said in the Grotto whore with them he had hid before the crucifixion, He told them to remain in Jerusalem till the coming of the promised Holy Spirit.

Still higher they mount the little hill. About five hundred persons went with them. He gave the last instructions to his Apostles. About three hundred feet above they come to a level place, where you have a beautiful view of Jerusalem on one side, and on the other the deep valley of the Jordan, the Dead Sea, the mountains of Moab, bordering the vast desert plains of Arabia.

He lifted up his hands over them and gave them his last blessing. Then he rose in the air, ascended on high, and the Shekina received him out of their sight. While looking at him thus ascending, two Angels appeared before them, told them that in the same way he would come again to judge the world.

At the spot from where he ascended, St. Helena built a great church, of which to-day but the abutments of the walls and bases of the pillars remain. A little eight-sided stone building, about twenty feet in diameter, now stands on the site. In the rock just in the center of the building, the Moslem guardians show you marks which they say is the imprint of his feet. A little to the northeast rises the minaret of the Mohammedan mosque, from the top of which you get a magnificent view of all the country around for about forty miles on all sides.