Saturday, 2 April 2016

The tragedy of Calvary. Part 65.

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

"We confess that thou art the Lord our God, and the God of our fathers forever and ever. Thou art the Rock of our life, the Shield of our salvation from generation to generation. Blessing and praise be to thy great and holy name for the life, which thou hast given us, for our souls which thou doth sustain, for the daily miracles which thou doth work in our behalf, for the wonderful loving-kindness with which thou dost surround us at all times—in the morning, at midday, and in the evening. O God of all goodness, Thy mercy is infinite. Thy faithfulness fails not. We hope in thee forever. For all these, thy benefits, let thy name be praised forever and ever. Let all that live praise thee. Selah. Let them praise thy name in sincerity. Praised be Thou, O Lord. Thy name alone is good, and thou alone art worthy to be praised.

"O, our Father, let peace and prosperity, thy blessing, thy favor, thy grace and mercy be on us, and on all thy people Israel. Bless us with the light of thy face, for it is by this light, O Lord our God, that thou hast given us an eternal Law, the love of justice and uprightness, blessing, mercy, life, peace. May it please thee to bless thy people Israel at all times, and in all places, and to give them peace. Praised be Thou, O Lord, who giveth peace to thy people Israel."

At the beginning and end of each petition they bent the knee as is done at the end of the Gospel in our churches. (Mishna, Ber. iii. 3.) The word Selah, which is found only in the poetical books and prayers of the Hebrews, is a contraction of Hebrew words meaning "forever and ever." The Fathers of the Church give different explanations of it, but all agree that it was a sign for the singers to stop, or change the melody. For in the Temple the prayers were sung as in our churches. Gesenius derives it from the Hebrew selah, to suspend. (Thes. s. v.) Ewald holds that it means " music strike up," when it occurs in the middle of a psalm or prayer, and at the end it is a sign for the music to cease.

The oft-repeated words, "O our King," show that these prayers were composed before the days of Saul, David, etc, when God himself was the only King of Israel.

Moses placed the Torah, "the Law," or the first five books of the Old Testament, in the side of the ark. In the time of Christ the Ark of the Covenant was not in the Temple. But the Law was placed in a kind of ark in the Temple closed with ornamental doors. This ark stood in the sanctuary near the Holy Place. Now twelve priests with the celebrant go up to the ark and kiss the place where the scrolls of the Law rest, as the celebrant kisses the altar beginning Mass. With reverence the priests take out the scrolls of the Law, the five books of Moses, while reciting the following:

"And it came to pass when the ark set forward, that Moses said: Rise up, O Lord, and thine enemies shall be scattered, and they that hate thee shall flee before thee. For out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." (Numbers x. 35 ; Isaias ii. 3.)

While unrolling the sacred Scrolls, the priest appointed to read the Scripture says: " Blessed be he, who in his holiness gave the Law to his people Israel." Then turning to the great assembly, from a raised place like a pulpit, he reads Numbers xxviii. 1-8, the laws relating to the morning and evening sacrifices. On Mondays and Thursdays they also read two other passages. Then follow other beautiful prayers which we will not stop to give, for we have given enough to show the beauties of the stately Temple services. The Liturgy continues.

Priests : Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.

Levites: " One is our God, great is our Lord, holy is His name.

Priests: " Magnify the Lord with me, and let us exult in his name together.

Caiphas: " Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and on earth is thine. Thine, O Lord, is the kingdom, and the supremacy, as head over all. Exalt ye the Lord our God and worship at his footstool. Holy is he. Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship at his holy Mount, for the Lord our God is holy.

"Be thou blessed, O our Rock, our King, and Redeemer. Creator of heavenly beings, praised be thy name forever. O our King, Creator of ministering spirits, all of whom stand in the heights of the universe, and proclaim with awe and in unison aloud the words of the living God and everlasting King. All of them are beloved, pure and mighty; all of them in dread and awe do the will of their Master; and all of them open their mouths in holiness and purity, with song and a Psalm, while they bless, and praise, glorify and reverence, sanctify and ascribe thee sovereignty. And the Ophanim, and the holy Chayoth, with a noise of great rushing, upraising themselves toward the Seraphim, thus over against them, they offer praise saying:

"Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory. (Isaias. vi. 3.) Blessed be the glory of the Lord from his place."

Every time they pronounce the word "Holy" the priests and people move their bodies in unison up and down. (Vitringa, p. 1, 100, etc.) All this was but the preparation for the sacrifice of the lamb typifying the sacrifice of " The Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world, "who was standing there and taking part in the grand ceremonial conducted by the priests and Levites, while thousands of people from all the nations assisted.

The lamb had been selected four days before he was immolated, and like Him was called the Lamb of God. The paschal lamb was always chosen on this day, the tenth day before the Passover, for Christ was condemned to die this Monday, four days before the crucifixion. The priests allotted to that part now bring the lamb from the chamber of the Beth-ha-Moked, others bring the gold and silver vessels and utensils, of which the Rabbis enumerate ninety-three. Leading the innocent victim, typical of Christ, to the north side of the great altar, they tie his feet with a cord from the right fore-foot to the left hind-foot, and in the same way the other feet, so the cords are crossed to make the image of a cross." (Mairaonides, Yad Ha Chas., Daily Sacrifices, C. I. 9)

Now they wash the lamb with scented water, and the perfume tills the air, as the perfume of good works and miracles went forth from Jesus Christ unto the healing of diseases and the preaching of truth. Then they gave it water to drink, as they gave vinegar and gall to Jesus. Caiphas, vested in all his priestly garments, with his twelve assisting priests and Annas beside him, all approach and laying their hands on the victim with palms down, thumbs crossed, all together they say :

"Ah, Jehovah, they have committed iniquity—they have transgressed; they have sinned—Thy people, the house of Israel. Oh, then, Jehovah, cover over, I entreat thee, their iniquities, their transgressions, and their sins, which they have wickedly committed, transgressed, and sinned before thee—Thy people, the house of Israel, as it is written in the law of Moses, thy servant, saying, " For on that day it shall be covered over for you, to make you clean from all your sins, before Jehovah ye shall be cleansed."