Tuesday, 7 June 2016

The tragedy of Calvary. Part 116.

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

Jesus came towards him, staggering, trembling; his limbs hardly bearing him; his form bending like an old man, shaking as with the palsy; his face covered with blood, his eyes bloodshot, his hair matted with dried gore. His whole body was one mass of wounds, not a particle of white skin appeared, his muscles and very sinews were laid bare. He looked like the Paschal lamb when he was skinned, but redder.

The poet, the novelist, may try to tell the tale, but the finest word-painting will not reach the reality. God the Father had said, " For the wickedness of my people have I struck him." (Isaias liii 8) Jesus staggered up the marble steps leading to the wide piazza of the palace. Pilate came for ward filled with horror and astonishment at the sight. The trumpet sounded to notify them that the procurator -was about to make an announcement. Silence fell on the' vast assembly of the Jews.

Pilate did not see the scourging. He did not know it was so terrible. He was not aware that the leaders of the Jewish people had given money to the drunken Edumeans to inflict such tortures, nor that they had crowned him with thorns. But when he saw him in that state, he thought that the sight of him would melt the stony Jewish hearts, and that they would now let him go.

Standing on the raised platform, at the top of the marble stairs, the world's Victim turned around to the vast multitude standing outside the white line, beyond which they did not come lest they might be defiled. When Jesus turned around, he raised his head crowned with thorns and looked at that sea of faces thirsting for his blood, and deep silence fell on the multitude. Pilate came forward and said:

" Behold the man." l Raising his hand towards the fearful sight, Pilate pointed to him as the most awful, the most terrible example of horrors he had ever seen.

Jesus, with Pilate at his side, stood at the top of the marble stairs leading from the Forum up to Pilate's apartments. The staircase is formed of twenty-eight steps, each step being twenty inches wide and ten inches high, but the outer edges are two inches lower than the inner part of the steps. The lower eight steps are fourteen feet long, and the upper twenty are only ten feet long. The marble steps are stained in the following places. Ascending the steps a drop of blood fell, it is said, on the tenth step, two drops on the twentieth and another on the top step. The marble steps are colored at these places, and holes are cut in the wood covering them to show the discolorations. Whether they are Jesus' blood or no, we do not know.

This staircase was brought by St. Helena to Rome in the year 310, after she visited the Holy Land, and it now rests in a spacious edifice built for it and other relics of the Passion near St. John Lateran. At the head of the stairs is shown the lintel and door-jambs of Pilate's Pretorium through which Christ passed back and forth that day, when he went in and and out during the trial. The writer was startled to find this large imposing doorway to be of the very identical stone found only in and around Jerusalem. The one who visits the Holy Land and care fully examines the peculiar stone there, and then sees this doorway will have no doubt but that it came from Judea.