Saturday, 7 May 2016

The tragedy of Calvary. Part 94.

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

"Now the chief priests, and the whole council sought false witnesses against Jesus, that they might put him to death. And they found not, though many false witnesses had come in." (Matt, xxvi, 59, 60) They were determined to put him to death. For in the two former meetings they had condemned him without hearing a word in his defense, and there he stood before them silent as his royal forefather had foretold. " My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue hath cleaved to my jaws, and thou hast brought me down into the dust of death. For many dogs have encompassed me, the council of the malignant hath besieged me." (Psalm xxi, 16-17.)

Now Caiphas turns to the Scribes and Pharisees, and he calls the Rabbis, and the Temple priests, to give testimony. In our courts witnesses are heard, one at a time, and they are sworn to tell " the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." But it was not so then. The leading men of the nation standing around, all began to speak at once. At first they tried to give their testimony in a calm tone, while their voices and faces showed the hate and malignity of their hearts. But they soon got excited, and they repeated over and over again what they had said.

"He cured the sick and cast out devils with the help of demons." " He profaned the Sabbath." "He incited the people to rebel." "He called the Pharisees a race of vipers." "He said they were adulterers." "He foretold the destruction of the Temple." "He associated with publicans and sinners." "He gathered the people and tried to make himself a king." "He says he is a prophet," "He says he is the Son of God." "He is always talking about his kingdom," "He calls himself the bread of life." "He forbids divorces." "He said that any one who did not eat his flesh and drink his blood would not have everlasting life etc." (Psalm iii, 3; Isaias lix)

Thus did they distort his teachings. But as soon as one said anything against him, another contradicted him, and a great tumult broke out. When one said, " He calls himself a king," another contradicted him by saying "No, he does not say that. He only allows others to call him a king." Another cried out, " No, as soon as they wanted to proclaim him a king he fled away." When one said, " He said he was the Son of God," another cried out, " No, he only calls himself the Son of God, because he does the will of his Father." Some said that he had cured them, but as another disease had broken out they said he did it by magic. Others accused these of falling into the same sins, which brought on the disease, and they began to dispute about the cases. A young man of Nazareth, whom he had refused to be one of his disciples, accused him of it. But others silenced him by telling about his bad life. The witnesses began to dispute one with another, and the confusion became general. " A false speaker riseth up against my face. He hath gathered together his fury against me, and threatening me, he hath gnashed with his teeth upon me; my enemy hath beheld me with terrible eyes. They have opened their mouths upon me, and approaching me they have struck me on the cheek." (Job, xvi, 9,10,11; xxx, 0-23; Psalm xxvi. 15)

The court found that it was impossible to prove a single thing against the accused, for the witnesses were turning against themselves, and now they came forward for the sole purpose of insulting Jesus. While the uproar continued Christ stood silent, saying not a single word. When the disorder had subsided, Caiphas and some of the judges began to question Jesus, saying:

"What kind of a king art thou ? Give proofs of thy power Call the legions of angels we heard you spoke of in the Garden. What hast thou done with the money the widows and foolish people whom thou seduced with thy teaching gave thee ? Reply at once. Speak up. Art thou dumb? What is the matter with thee ? "To each of these and many other questions like them the rabble struck Jesus in the face, and on the body, using the vilest language the Syro-Chaldaic tongue they used would permit. " I will say to God, Thou art my support. Why has thou forgotten me ? and why do I go mourning whilst my enemy afflicteth me. Whilst my bones are broken, my enemies who trouble me have reproached me. Whilst they say to me day by day, Where is thy God ? " ( Psalm xii. 10-11.) "A tongue that beareth witness bringeth death." (Eccl, xxviii, 13) "For unjust witnesses have risen up against me, and iniquity hath lied to itself." (Psalm xxvi. 12)

It was found impossible to prove a single charge against Jesus, for as soon as one spoke against him another contradicted him. Some said that he was an illegitimate son, but the old priests of the Temple contradicted that, saying that his Mother was a pious Virgin, who passed her youth in the Temple, and that they saw her betrothed to her cousin called Joseph the carpenter. Others shouted that Jesus and his Apostles did not offer sacrifice in the Temple, while the people replied that it was not so. Priests who saw them worshiping there testified to that effect, stating also that the Essenes seldom brought victims or offerings, yet they were held in respect. Some tried to prove that Christ and his followers did not celebrate the Passover, but witnesses who were in the Cenacle and had helped prepare the day before denied this. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea were called on as they sat there with the other judges, and they testified that Jesus had celebrated the feast in the Cenacle that night. One man came forward and said :

"This man said: ' I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another not made with hands.' But another contradicted him saying: " No. He did not say that. He said he would build a new temple. But he ate the Passover in an unusual place, because he wanted to build a new temple where the Passover could be eaten." Thus the disputes went on for a long time. " Unjust witnesses rising up have asked me things I know not. They repaid me evil for good, to the depriving of my soul." (Psalm xxxiv, ii.) "They were separated and repented not, they tempted me, they scoffed at me with scorn, they gnashed at me with their teeth. Scourges were gathered upon me. (Ibidem, 15-16)