Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

his band, as it is told us that his companions were bound with him, probably awaiting execution on that day.

THE LEGAL ASPECTS OF THE TRIAL OF JESUS. Jesus was accused of blasphemy, which the Jews recognized as a crime, but wħich was not a penal offense against Roman law, by which alone he could be put to death. For this reason the charge preferred against him before Pilate was made sedition, which the Jewish leaders did not regard as a crime.

At first the Jews endeavored to compel Pilate to sentence Jesus without their formulating a charge (John 18: 29, 30). Failing in this they charged him with treason in three forms: (1) perverting the Jewish nation, that is, making it disloyal to Rome; (2) forbidding the people to pay tribute to Cæsar; (3) making himself a king. The first and second were absolutely false; the third was true in a sense, but as Jesus showed Pilate to the satisfaction of that cynical judge, not true in the Roman sense. A distinguished jurist has recently published an article reviewing the trial from the standpoint of the laws then in force. He quotes the words of Pilate: “Having examined him before you, I find no fault in this man

no, nor yet Herod

behold, nothing worthy of death hath been done by him,” and says: “This was a final judgment of the Roman judge, and being an acquittal, could not, as we have seen in our reading of the Roman law, be reversed. It was res adjudicata, and binding for all time. And all the proceedings subsequent to this were void, and the final conviction and execution were but steps in a judicial murder."

THE RENT VAIL. The vail that was rent was the curtain that separated the Holy place from the Holy of holies. The rending

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

was symbolic of the fact that “the old mystery surrounding Israel's God had vanished; the age of types had passed; the Holy of holies was opened to every believer.

GABBATHA OR PAVEMENT. An elevated platform or pavement of many-colored marble on which the bema or judgment-seat was placed.

GOLGOTHA. Golgotha, or in Latin form Calvary, “a skull.” The name may have been given because it was a wellknown place of execution; or possibly the place was a rounded, skull-like elevation. The Gospels inerely call it “a place” and do not speak of it as a hill, though it probably was a somewhat conspicuous elevation. All we know of Golgotha is that it was a place outside the city gates, and at some point not far remote from the city and near the roads.

THE SEVEN WORDS. The seven recorded utterances of Jesus on the Cross have always been treasured by the Church. They are:

1. “FATHER, FORGIVE THEM: FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO." Luke 23:24.

This was a prayer for the soldiers; and was uttered as they were nailing him to the Cross.

2. VERILY, I SAY UNTO THEE, TO-DAY SHALT THOU BE WITH ME IN PARADISE.Luke 23:43.

This was addressed to the penitent robber.

3. “WOMAN, BEHOLD THY SON!" “BEHOLD THY MOTHER." John 19:26, 27.

These words were addressed to his mother and to the apostle John.

ME?''

ܙܙ

THY

MY

4. "My God! MY GOD! WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN

Matt 27:46; Mark 15:34. This cry, a quotation from Psalm 22:1, was uttered in the midst of his agony, “at the ninth hour.” 5. I THIRST.”

John 19:28. 6. “IT IS FINISHED.” John 19:30. 7. “FATHER, INTO

HANDS I COMMEND SPIRIT.Luke 23:46.

Via DOLOROSA. The Sorrowful Way begins near St. Stephen's Gate, and runs westward along the main thoroughfare of that gate from the Turkish barracks that occupy the site of the Castle of Antonia, and ends near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It makes one sharp angle southward where the street from St. Stephen's Gate meets the diagonal way from the Damascus Gate, and then continues westward again to the Church. Along this way, according to tradition, Jesus bore his cross. If, however, Calvary was located outside the present walls, it is probable that the turn should be made toward, and not away from, the Damascus Gate. Along the Way are tablets marking the Fourteen Stations of the Cross.

STATIONS OF THE CROSS. The fourteen stations of the cross are marked with tablets along the Via Dolorosa. They attempt to locate the several places where in succession Jesus met his sufferings. The first three are located in the Turkish barracks which occupy the supposed site of Pilate's Judgment Hall, and the last five are in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The places they attempt to identify are:

1. Where Christ stood before Pilate. 2. Where the cross was laid on Jesus.

3. The Ecce Homo Arch.
4. Where Jesus met his mother.
5. Where Jesus fell, and Simon the Cyrenian took

the cross. 6. House of Veronica. 7. Porta Judiciaria, or gate where Jesus left the city. 8. Where Jesus addressed the women of Jerusalem. 9. Where Jesus fell a second time. 10. Where Jesus was disrobed. 11. Where Jesus was nailed to the cross. 12. Where the cross wa's elevated. 13. Scene of Descent from the cross. 14. The Holy Sepulchre.

Pictures of these incidents are hung on the walls of many Roman Catholic Churches, and religious pilgrimages from one to another constitute among them ɔne form of celebrating the Lord's passion.

[blocks in formation]

Considered by the Christian, the cross has two mcanings, that of its use as an instrument of torture, the cross of history, and that of its use as an emblem, the cross of Christian art.

As an instrument of torture, the cross was of several patterns. First and simplest was the simple crux, a mere stake upon which the criminal was either nailed or impaled. To this upright stake a transverse beam was sometimes added, running straight across the top like a letter T, called from its resemblance to that letter in the Greek the Tau cross. This cross-piece was sometimes nailed to two uprights, and the whole was named from the cross-piece, the patibulum. When the crosspiece was fastened at right angles and below the top of the upright, it was called the crux imissa. When the four arms were of equal length and joined in the middle, making the Greek Cross, or Cross of St. Anthony, it was called the crux commissa. And when the two arms crossed obliquely, making a letter X, it was called the crux decussata. There was also the Y cross, which was simply the fork of a tree.

[ocr errors]

LATIN CROSS.

GREEK
CROSS.

ST. ANDREW's

CROSS.

CELTIC
CROSS.

The CROSS AS AN EMBLEM. Most of the forms of the cross used in punishment, and many others, are used in art. The crux imissa is the common Latin cross, on which it is commonly believed Christ was crucified, with the tablet or inscription in three languages above his head. The crux coinmissa is the Greek cross, or the cross of Saint Anthony. The crux decussata is known to us as the cross of St. Andrew. The Y cross also has sometimes been used, and curiously, as a tree; and there are middle age pictures of Christ crucified upon the Tree of Life.

For some time after the Reformation there was a pronounced tendency among Protestants to abandon the use of the cross as an emblem. This was a not unnatural reaction, but the time for it is now generally

« AnteriorContinuar »