Monday, 4 April 2016

The tragedy of Calvary. Part 66.

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
Samaritan Passover is very close to the ritual prescribed in the Torah and may be very similar to that practiced by the ancient Israelites.
As Caiphas says the last words, he turns towards the east and faces the vast congregation filling the courts.

They all put their hands under the lamb, and raise him up as high as their heads, and offer him to the Lord. Then lowering him, they " wave" him to the north, south, east and west, making with him a cross, for Christ was raised up on his cross the victim of the world's sins. The Jews thought it meant that the sacrifices were offered this way for all the nations of the four quarters of the world. This was the way every sacrifice in the Temple was offered to foretell the sacrifice of the cross.

At the north of the great altar every victim was killed. The Jews taught that the north with its dark coldness typified the powers of hell and the dark coldness of unbelief. They fastened the lamb to a ring high up on a marble pillar, to foretell Christ hanging dead on the cross. The animal faced the west, for so faced Christ when crucified.

Now the priests blow three blasts on their great silver trumpets, announcing to the city, that the sacrifice was about to take place. A priest draws forth the windpipe and gullet and with a jewel-handled sacrificial knife he cuts the throat upwards.

Two long lines of vested priests stand in a row, reaching from the north of the altar to the south side where was the marble staircase leading up to the altar. Each priest of one line had a gold chalice, called a Cos, with no foot on it, so he could not put it down, and let the blood coagulate. The members of the other line had silver chalices of the same size and shape. The priest nearest the victim catches the blood in his chalice in his right hand, turns round, and passes it to the right hand of the next priest, and takes his empty chalice. To do this he had to make a cross with his arms, as -well as the priest who received it, and gave him the empty chalice. Thus the blood passed from one to another, each making with his arms the sign of the cross, as Jacob did when he blessed Joseph's two boys, his grandsons. (Gen. xlviii.) Thus with the sign of the cross passed the blood of the slain sinless victim to typify the future sacrifice of the cross.

Now the priest drawn by the "lot," takes the filled chalices, mounts the stairs and throws the blood on the southeast corner or." horn" of the altar from below up— then another splash across in the form of the Hebrew letter Tau, forming with the blood a cross. He walks to the northeast corner, along the narrow passage-way about ten feet above the floor of the Temple, and does the same; then on the northwest corner and on the south west corner, marking each horn of the great altar with a bloody cross. The rest of the blood he pours at the foot of the altar.

In the meantime the lamb had been hung up on one of the hooks in a stone pillar; its skin removed, as Jesus Christ was hung up to hooks in the stone pillar when he was scourged and his skin torn off. The lamb was skinned when dead, but the Lamb of God was skinned alive in his flagellation.

At the north of the great altar the lamb's body, now sprinkled with salt, is cut up according to strict rules, and the pieces are handed to six priests, who carry them up to the altar. At the same time three priests carry up the daily meat-offerings, the drink-offerings, and the sacrifice of the high priest.

While the priests are sacrificing the lamb, other priests, Levites, and the vast congregation sing and recite the Psalms and prayers, and the beautiful building resounds with the worship of Jehovah. The choir of priests intone one verse, and the Levites respond with the next, the people taking part in congregational singing.

First Choir: " Praise ye the Lord and call upon his name."

Second Choir: " Make known his doings among the nations."

First Choir: " Sing to him ; yea, sing praises to him.

Second Choir : " And relate all his wondrous works." (1. Paralip. xvi. 8-36.)

Thus they sung the rest of the Canticle David composed for Asaph, chief of the Temple choirs in his time. They ended with this anthem :

" Gather us together, and deliver us from all nations, that we may give glory to Thy holy name, and may rejoice in singing Thy praises. Blessed be the God of Israel from eternity to eternity, and let all the people say, Amen and a hymn to God."

Now began the preparations for offering incense. The priest chosen for this function could never again perform this service. It was while fulfilling this duty, that the Angel appeared to Zachary, and told him that John the Baptist would be born. (Luke i.) While the preparation takes place the choirs sing the Psalms xcix, xviii, xxxiii, and xxxix.

The priest chosen selects his two assistant ministers, and they go up the steps to the high altar. One fills a gold dish with burning coals, the officiating priest takes the gold censer in his right hand, the other priest the vessel of incense, and the celebrant with his two priests on each side like the deacon and subdeacon at a high Mass, all clothed in magnificent vestments, embroidered in gold decked with priceless gems, they mount the marble steps leading up to the Holies. With awe and trembling they pass behind the veil into the Holies. It is next to that awful Holy of Holies.

Now the Levites strike the cymbals as a sign for the choirs to continue the Psalms and Prayers. The people who had brought animals and gifts for special sacrifices are led by the " Stationary men " in ranks to the Nicanor Gate. The two priests who had dressed and lighted the seven-branched candlestick, with their assistants, ascend the steps of the Holies. The two priests remove the vessels they had left behind when they had entered before, and worshiping with faces towards the ground, they with draw. One of the assistants spreads the burning coals on the golden altar, in the Holies, the other arranges the incense, and both withdraw leaving the priest alone within the Holies, standing in the dim religious light before the dread presence of Jehovah, and the Holy Ghost who dwells beyond the veils under the form of the Shekina.