Friday, 3 June 2016

The tragedy of Calvary. Part 114.

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

Ctesiphon's relative, the blind man whose sight Christ had restored, came into the Forum at that moment. When he saw the awful sight, how they were treating the Lord who had cured him, he rushed into the crowd crying. " Stop! Stop! scourge not this innocent man to death." The drunken wretches stopped, one of the men cut the cords with his knife and the Victim, a bleeding, quivering, livid, crimson mass of flesh fell almost unconscious to the ground. (Isaias i. 6) Behold now the true " Lamb of God " skinned alive, ready for his cross, the real Passover Lamb foretold by the animals skinned when sacrificed from the foundations of the world.

For a time Jesus remained at the foot of the pillar. Some girls came and looked at him through curiosity, and Jesus raised his bloodshot eyes and looked at them. Soldiers mocked the girls, for they were bad immoral women of the town. Some Saints say by his scourging he expiated the sins of impurity.

The Edumeans retired to their companions, who were drinking wine. The archers returned, kicked him, beat him with sticks, and told him to get up and follow them. With great difficulty Jesus rose, and he was hardly able to stand, for his nerves and muscles were so torn they re fused to respond. They did not give him time to put on his own clothes, but throwing the old cloak over his shoulders, they led him to the guardhouse, where he wiped the blood trickling down from his face with the corner of his robe.

Going to the guardhouse, he passed where Annas and Caiphas were sitting on benches at one side of the Foram, and they cried out, " Put him to death," " Crucify him," and then walked away.

By this time the excitement and the clamors of the vast multitude of people, who seemed to have become intoxicated with the sight of blood, frightened Pilate and he sent to the Antonia for another division of 1,000 of the soldiers of the Roman legion stationed there, and these he detailed round the guardhouse, the Forum and the palace. These were well disciplined soldiers, all men on whom he could depend in case of an uprising of the people. Pilate gave orders that they were not to break ranks, and to be ready for any orders he might give. During the scourging Pilate lectured the vast crowd of Jews filling the Forum, trying to turn them from their purpose, but his words were useless. There is a species of insanity in religious rebellion, all human religions tend to fanaticism, the cruelty of the mob is terrible, the sight of human blood and sufferings of the one men hate fascinates them. They cried out to Pilate: " He shall be executed even if we die for it;" and as they led Jesus towards the guardhouse, they shouted : " Crucify him," " Crucify him."

There was silence for a time. Pilate was greatly troubled. He gave orders to bring refreshments for the soldiers, and then he went into his palace to offer incense to his gods, and to consult them as to what he was to do regarding the difficulty in which he found himself.

They led Jesus now into the guardhouse, within and around which were stationed one thousand Roman soldiers, with helmets, cuirasses, breastplates, spears and terrible short swords, ready to put down any revolt with ruthless vigor. They were under the Roman discipline, such as the world perhaps never saw before or since. Around the second story of the guardhouse, in the inside, ran a gallery filled with a motley crowd of slaves, servants and flunkies of the palace. In the middle of the guard house court rose the summit of the rock Baris, which they covered with sharp stones and broken earthenware.

Amid the shouting, mocking rabble, they led Jesus up to this seat, tore off his garment, which had stuck to his wounds, and then they throw over his shoulders an old worn-out purple garment reaching to his knees. Generals of the Roman army wore this garment, called the sagum, on their right shoulder when off duty. They had another robe called the plaudamentum, of several shades of red, purple, etc., and the Aramean word St. Matthew used in his Gospel tells us that this was the scarlet garment of mockery they put on Jesus. (Matt, xxvii. 28.)