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THE NEW CALVARY. Just north of Jerusalem is a green hill, exposing toward the city a rocky front with deep caverns, and somewhat resembling a skull. By many Christians it seems to supply the essential conditions for a reproduction of the scenes of the Crucifixion, and there are not a few scholars who believe it to have been the actual site of Calvary. Upon this spot a number of notable services have been held by American and other tourists, and several prominent American ministers have preached there. The place is sometimes called “Gordon's Calvary" from the firm belief of General Gordon that this was the actual site of Calvary. The place should not bear the name of any man; it is Christ's Calvary, or no man's. The foremost living defender of the authenticity of this spot is Selah Merrill, U. S. Consul at Jerusalem. It is this place which enables the reverent visitor to make real in his imagination the tragedy of the Gospels, and to say with a feeling of verisimilitude,
“There is a green hill far away
Without a city wall,
Who died to save us all." Below this hill is a garden, and in the garden a rockhewn tomb. While there is no direct evidence establishing the authenticity of this tomb, it gives to the visitor a startling suggestion of reality.
JEWISH BURIAL. Coffins were unknown among the Jews. The dead were prepared for burial by washing the body, anointing it with aromatic ointments and wrapping it in linen cloths with spices. The hands and feet were bound with grave cloths, and the face with a napkin.
The graves were of various descriptions. Sometimes, as with us, they were dug in the earth, and this is the present custom of the Eastern Jews. Caves were often used for this purpose. And the most desirable sepulchres were hewn out in the rock and provided with shelves upon which the bodies would be laid. A family might use such a tomb for many generations. Such artificial caves are to be found all over Palestine. A stone would be used to close the opening, often rolling in a groove prepared for it, in order to protect the tomb from robbers or wild beasts.
The Jews were most punctilious in the matter of the burial of the dead, and, while the Romans were willing to leave their crucified slaves to be devoured as carrion, the Jews would give to even the meanest some sepulture.
THE DAYS OF THE PASSION IN ART. The Passion was not a favorite theme in the earliest Christian art. The Council of Constantinople, 691, may be regarded as the beginning of legitimate attempts to render the Passion in art. There followed ages in which the artists found it their favorite theme. Durer, and others after him, made two separate series, called “The Little Passion” and “The Larger Passion.” The subject is too large for treatment here. A satisfactory history, with list of the most noted paintings, will be found in “The Life of our Lord in Art,'' by Miss Estelle M. Hurll.
Tbe Story of Saturday
APRIL 8, 30 A. D. Only one evangelist records one incident upon the sad day after the crucifixion. Matthew notes that the chief priests and the Pharisees, fearing an attempt to steal the body of Jesus, obtained Pilate's permission to place a guard over the sepulchre.
There was little need of such precaution. The disciples had doubtless gathered together after their first panic and probably spent the gloomy Sabbath in that same upper room where the Passover had been eaten. They would have little to say to on another, only the repeated words of grief that no one heeds. They had no plans for the future. What could they plan, when all the hopes of eager months were dead? It is an un recorded day, for no evangelist could chronicle dull gloom and sadness.
It is not difficult to realize how the women spent that day. It was Sabbath, and work could not be done. But there were still last offices of love to be rendered to the body of him whom they had loved and lost. The preparation for sepulture had been hurried, owing to the rapid coming of the Sabbath on the Friday evening. There were spices and ointments for embalming to be carried to the tomb as soon as Sabbath should be past. And so they waited. And no chronicle has told us of the hopeless and eventless waiting of the women on that day.
And no word is told us of Jesus on that Saturday. His body lay in the niche in Joseph's tomb where they had laid him. And that is all we know.
The Story of Easter Sunday
APRIL 9, 30 A. D. We do not need a harmony of the resurrection appearances of Jesus. There was no reporter with a primary chronologic interest on that first Easter day. It is to be expected that from disciples, whose sadness was changed so wondrously into exultant joy, there should come a series of impressions rather than careful complementary narratives. The first incident recorded is the great earthquake and the descent of the angel, who rolled away the stone from before the sepulchre, while the soldiers were stricken with deadly fear. Mary Magdalene and the other women are mentioned as going together to the tomb to embalm the body of the Lord. But it seems clear that Mary first found the tomb empty and informed Peter and John, who hastened to verify her tidings. And it was to Mary that Jesus first appeared. Next he seems to have appeared to the women.
There is reference to an appearance of the Lord to Peter, but no account of that first meeting since the denial in the High Priest's palace has been given to us. In the afternoon, to the two disciples walking to Emmaus, Jesus appeared, but was not recognized until, accepting their hospitality, he himself took the place of host and blessed the bread and broke it. They returned immediately to Jerusalem and found the disciples earnestly discussing the wondrous
And while they added their testimony to Peter's, Jesus appeared among them, speaking peace, assuring them of his reality, and imparting to them the Holy Spirit.
THE JOURNEY TO EMMAUS. Emmaus was 60 stadia from Jerusalem, a distance of 6 miles (Luke 24:13). The name is found in the village
of Amwas, the main road to Jaf
KUBEBEH fa, known in the middle ages as Ni. copolis, but
KOLONTA this is 196 stadia from
JERUSALEM Jerusalem. A mw as, however, on account of name,
TOMB identified with
BETHLEHEM Emmaus as early as the time of Eusebius and Jerome, both of whom believed this to have been the place of our Lord's twilight visit. Kolonia, which is commonly visited as Emmaus by tourists in Jerusalem, is only 34 stadia distant. Kubebeh is 64 stadia, but the tradition in its favor goes back only to the 15th century. Comparatively late research has found the name, and at the distance given by Luke, in Khamasa, which lies south-west of Jerusalem, nearly west from Bethlehem. A number of recent scholars are inclined to agree upon this as the site most nearly in accord with the condi