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INSCRIPTION ON THE STONE FROM
THE ONE REMAINING STONE. The prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem was
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DEPIBOÃOYOLAANAH stone was left upon
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OEINOANATON od built.
Indeed, there is but one stone of which it is certain that it belonged to that temple. That is a block of carved marble from the screen that separated the inner courts from the Court of the Gentiles. It was discovered a few years ago by Mr. Clermont Ganneau, and is now in the Royal Museum at Constantinople. It warns Gentiles to go no farther on penalty of death. The last word, “thanaton,” the Greek word for death, will be recognized easily by English readers. Near by this stone, or one of its fellows similarly inscribed, in the Gentile Court, the Greeks waited to see Jesus. Our Lord said that if his disciples were to hold their peace the very stones would cry out. It noves the reverent student to reflect that the one stone certainly identified as belonging to that edifice is one that marked the separation of peoples now made one in Christ, with whom there is neither Jew nor Greek, but a new creature.
THE DESTRUCTION OF THE TEMPLE The temple was destroyed in 70 A. D., by Titus, the Ro
general, who soon afterward became the emperor. Few tragedies in the world's history have been more terrible. The slaughter was appalling and in the search for hidden treasure the temple was razed to its foundations. Of its sacred furniture we have knowledge of the representations of the ark and tables and seven-branched candlestick, on the arch erected in Rome in honor of Titus, which arch is still standing.
The Story of Wednesday
APRIL 5, 30 A. D.
There is no record of the events of this day. It is generally agreed, however, that it was spent in the Bethany home, either in prayer alone or in loving fellowship with the mother, with Lazarus, Mary and Martha, and with the inner circle of his disciples.
It was the habit of Jesus, previous to any crisis in his ministry, or in preparation for any severe ordeal, to commune with his Father on some mountain or other place of retirement. That Bethany at this time was his hallowed place of prayer there can be little doubt.
It was also his habit, previous to some new chapter in his experience, to gather about him his immediate friends, for the purpose of making them ready, as well also as to enjoy the fellowship of his own calm faith.
We shall, therefore, think of our Lord on this day, in the Bethany home, spending some time conversing with his loved ones, and also for a season withdrawing into retirement, and filling his soul with the strength of God, for what awaited him on the morrow,
Tbe Story of Thursday
APRIL 6, 30 A. D.
In the afternoon Jesus sent two of the disciples to Jerusalem, to secure a room where he and the twelve might celebrate the passover. At evening time they are all gathered in the “Upper Room.” A disturbing strife over pre-eminence arose among the disciples. In gentle but effective correction Jesus proceeded to wash their feet, thus revealing the greatness and preeminence of service. Judas was afterward pointed out as the traitor, and he left the table to go on his errand of betrayal.
During the evening, probably toward the close, Jesus instituted the “Lord's Supper." Following this he engaged in conversation with the disciples in which he sought to prepare their hearts for the swift-coming events.
The conversation is noteworthy for the tenderness and patience shown to his disciples, for his confident faith in God, and also for the promise of the Holy Spirit, sent for the guidance of the disciples after his departure.
Just before midnight while they were all standing, Jesus led them in prayer. It was a prayer that they might be kept from the evil cf the world, be made holy, preserving their piety through him and the Father, and share with their Master eternal life.
Afterwards they sang a hymn and went out into the night toward the Mount of Olives.
Thursday is thus the day of farewells and of the institution of the “Lord's Supper."
MAUNDY THURSDAY. The origin of the name is in doubt. It is sometimes said to be derived from the Latin dies mandata, the day of our Lord's mandate, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another.” On this day the Pope is accustomed to wash the feet of a number of mendicants, a custom followed in some countries by kings. Certain alms, also, are given, in commemoration of Christ's humility.
THE UPPER Room. If the Upper Room could certainly be identified it would be one of the holiest places in Christendom. There the Lord ate the last supper with the disciples and talked to them of the most exalted themes. There he appeared to them on Easter evening, and again a week later. There the disciples assembled after the Ascension and until Pentecost. There the Church was born in the descent of the Spirit. In the midst of the group of buildings known as The Tomb of David is a room which probably escaped the destruction of Jerusalem under Titus, and is by many regarded as the real Conaculum, or chamber of the last supper.
The PASSOVER. The Jewish Passover, or Feast of Unleavened Bread, took place at about the same time of the year as our Easter, and was determined in much the same way. In the earlier days its determination was much less exact than it became later, owing to the absence of a fixed calendar. It came at the time of harvest at the beginning of the Jewish year. From time to time, as the condition of the crops demanded, a thirteenth month was added to the year in order to make these two dates coincide. The need of this correction is easily