Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub
[graphic][merged small]

15 | And so Pilate, willing to content | a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing the people, released Barabbas unto them, their knees worshipped him. and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged 20 And when they had mocked him, they him, to be crucified.

took off the purple from him, and put his 16 And the soldiers led him away into the own clothes on him, and led him out to cruhall, called Prætorium ; and they call toge- cify him. ther the whole band.

21 'And they compel one Simon a Cyre17 And they clothed him with purple, nian, who passed by, coming out of the and platted a crown of thorns, and put it country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, about his head,

to bear his cross. 18 And began to salute him, Hail, King 22 And they bring him unto the place of the Jews !

Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The 19 And they smote him on the head with place of a scull.

8 Matt. 27. 32

cross.

23 And they gave him to drink wine 36 And one ran and filled a spunge

full mingled with myrrh: but he received it of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave not.

him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see 24 And when they had crucified him, whether Elias will come to take him down. they parted his garments, casting lots upon

37 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, them, what every man should take.

and gave up the ghost. 25 And it was the third hour, and they 38 And the veil of the temple was rent in crucified him.

twain from the top to the bottom. 26 And the superscription of his accusa- 39 | And when the centurion, which stood tion was written over, THE KING OF over against him, saw that he so cried out, THE JEWS.

and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this 27 And with him they crucify two thieves; man was the Son of God. the one on his right hand, and the other on 40 There were also women looking on his left.

afar off: among whom was Mary Magda28 And the Scripture was fulfilled, which lene, and Mary the mother of James the less saith, “And he was numbered with the trans- and of Joses, and Salome; gressors.

41 (Who also, when he was in Galilee, 29 And they that passed by railed on 'followed him, and ministered unto him :) him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, and many other women which came up with thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest him unto Jerusalem. it in three days,

42 q And now when the even was come. 30 Save thyself, and come down from the because it was the preparation, that is, the

day before the sabbath, 31 Likewise also the Chief Priests mock- 43 Joseph of Arimathæa, an honourable ing said among themselves with the Scribes, counsellor, which also waited for the kingHe saved others; himself he cannot save. dom of God, came, and went in boldly unto

32 Let Christ the King of Israel descend Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. now from the cross, that we may see and 41 And Pilate marvelled if he were already believe. And they that were crucified with dead: and calling unto him the centurion. him reviled him.

he asked him whether he had been any while 33 And when the sixth hour was come, dead. there was darkness over the whole land until 45 And when he knew it of the centurion, the ninth hour.

he gave the body to Joseph. 31 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with 46 And he bought fine linen, and took a loud voice, saying, 'Eloi, Eloi, lama sa- him down, and wrapped him in the linen, bachthani ? which is, being interpreted, My and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn God, my God, why hast thou forsaken out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the me ?

door of the sepulchre. 35 And some of them that stood by, when 47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias. mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.

> Matt. 27. 46.

7 Matt. 27.57. Verse 6. Al that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whom soever they desired.”—This was not a law but a custom ; and even as a custom there is no other trace of it, than that which this occasion offers, in the Scripture, or in any of the old Jewish writings. It was probably a custom introduced by some Roman governor (perhaps Pilate himself to gain the popular favour ; and, from being repeated in several successive years, came to be regarded by the people as a right, and claimed as such. Thus the privilege appears to have been founded on concession, and established by prescription. Pilate is called upon “ to do as he had ever done unto them” (verse 8).

21. “ Simon a Cyrenian.”— One who had been born or brought up in the important city of Cyrene, in Libya, on the Aft can coast. This city was of Greek origin, and chiefly occupied by persons of Greek descent. It appears from Josephus that Jewish settlers had long been established at Cyrene, in such numbers as to be formidable to the other inhabitants with whom they had frequent quarrels. Ptolemy, son of Lagus, was the king of Egypt, by whom a colony of Jers was originally settled at Cyrene. The Cyrenian Jews had a synagogue at Jerusalem; and some of them were amoer the earliest converts to the faith of Christ. (Compare Acts ii: 10; vi. 9 ; xi. 19, 20.) It is uncertain whether Simu had come to Jerusalem at the celebration of the passover, or was at this time a resident in the city. Probably the latter. Simon may have been selected on this occasion, because being a foreign Jew, the less offence was likely to be given tu the native citizens; or it may be that Simon was known as one favourably disposed towards Jesus, and perhaps a dis ciple. This is the more likely, as his sons are supposed to be the Álexander of Acts xix. 33; and the Rufus of Rom. xvi. 13. This is probable, as suggesting a reason for their being mentioned in this place, as, if the same, they were men of note among the Christians, at the time when Mark wrote, and, as friends of St. Paul, were probably personally known to him. Perhaps he had heard them tell how their father had borne the cross of their crucified Lord.

To bear his cross.”—John says (xix. 17) that Jesus “ went forth, bearing his cross." It seems therefore that the soldiers finding that Jesus, exhausted by his sufferings, was no longer able to bear the cross, laid hold of Simoa,

• Isa, 53. 12.

8 Luke 8. 3.

who happened to be passing, and compelled to bear it for him. or with him-for the expression used does not render it. certain whether Simon took the cross and bore it entirely himself, or merely carried one end of it, to relieve the Saviour from a part of the burden.

The opinion, which painters have rendered current, that our Saviour bore the entire cross on which he suffered, does not appear very probable-or indleed scarcely possible--when we consider its size, and its great weight, from being made of the hardest and heaviest woods--very generally of oak. Even the painters have been practically sensible of this; for he who paints Christ as bearing his cross, gives a cross different, shorter, and more portable, than that which he will exhibit in his painting of the Crucifixion. Lipsius (De Supplicio Crucis) explains that the heaviest part of the cross-the slipes or perpendicular beam, was either fixed in the ground before, or was made ready to be set up when the condemned person arrived: and contends that the part which the prisoner carried was the large cross-beam to which the arms of the crucified were fastened. The opinion of Lipsius claims great respect; but it appears to us that there are some objections to this as well as to the other. We think we can collect, that the object of this part of the punishment was not merely, if at all, to burthen the prisoner, but to suggest to the people in the streets through which he was conducted, the kind of punishment to which he was destined. This could hardly be done by a beam of wood such as this. That which the condemned man bore was called furca; and Lipsius may be right in saying this was the name of the transverse beam, from the appearance it gave to the perpendicular beam when applied to it. But it seems more probable that it derived this name from its independent form ; suggesting that either the transverse beam was furnished with a shaft for the occasion, less ponderous than that of the real cross, or that the whole was rather an entirely different cross, portable, though heavy, and had no part belonging to the cross of actual crucifixion. We seem constrained to some such view, by finding that this furca sometimes served as a kind of gibbet to the person condemned to the cross: that is, his head and hands were fastened to the transverse part, and he was, at least sometimes, hauled along by the shaft. As the person condemned to be crucified was thus conducted to his death, we are told that the people took delight in insulting and inflicting extemporaneous tortures on those whose offences moved their indig

nation.

43. “ Joseph of Arimathæa ... craved the body of Jesus."— In the accounts of onr Lord's crucifixion, there are several circumstances which exhibit differences from the customary practice of the Romans, and which were in fact so many points of accommodation to the peculiar notions of the Jews; and which operated rather favourably for the condemned persons.

In the first place, the Romans usually left the crucified ones to linger on in their tortures till life became extinct; and this commonly did not happen till the third or fourth day, and some even lingered until the seventh. Soldiers were stationed, to prevent interference or relief from friends, till they were dead; and a guard was even afterwards maintained, that the bodies might not be stolen away and buried. For the Romans left the bodies to consume on the crosses, as formerly on gibbets in this country, by the natural progress of decay, or from the ravenings of birds or if the cross were low) beasts of prey. But as such lingering deaths, as well as the continued exposure of the body, were most wisely and mercifully forbidden by the letter and spirit of the law of Moses, which directed that criminals “hanged on a tree” should be taken down before sunset, the Roman soldiers in Judea were instructed to extinguish, on the approach of sunset, what remained of life in those upon the cross. We see that the two thieves were thus despatched by their legs being broken ; and the body of Christ would doubtless have been thus treated: but it had been foretold that not a bone of him should be broken ; and he expired before this became necessary. The spear-thrust which was given him by the soldier was doubtless to ascertain whether he were really dead or only in a swoon; and the resulting evidence that life had departed from him, rendered further measures unnecessary; indeed the wound then inflicted being in the left side, piercing the pericardium-as evinced by the outflow of blood and lymph-would have been sufficient, and was no doubt intended, to produce death, if Jesus had not been dead already. (See Johu xix.) Piercing the side, is said to have been one of the common methods of accelerating the death of crucified persons, as well as the breaking of their bones. It is said that, on such occasions, a fire was sometimes kindled under the cross, to suffocate the crucified with the smoke; or even, in the case of very atrocious offenders, that wild beasts were let loose upon them.

Even among the Romans, perinission was sometimes granted to the friends of the crucified person to take down and inter the body'; the power of granting which was vested in the judge or supreme magistrate. And sometimes, on great festivals, such as the emperor's birth-day, bodies were removed and interred, even without the solicitation of friends. The Jews, as instructed by their Law, buried all executed criminals, but honourable graves were not allowed to them. There was a place in which all such were buried, and where they were classed according to the form of their execution, which, in a general way, indicated the nature of the crime for which they suffered. Here they lay till their flesh was consumed ; when, but not before, the friends might, if they pleased, collect their bones and lay them in the sepulchres of their fathers. It is clear, therefore, that the object of Joseph's application was to prevent this treatment of his Lord's remains, by obtaining from Pilate, who alone could grant that favour, the disposal of the body. It was necessary that this application should be prompt and decided, or else the corpse when taken down would have been hurried away for interment in the public burial-ground for crucified criminals.

CHAPTER XVI.

2 'And very early in the morning the | An angel declareth the resurrection of Christ to

first day of the week, they came unto the three women. 9 Christ himself appeareth to Mary scpulchre at the rising of the sun. Magdalene : 12 to two going into the country : 3 And they said among themselves, Who 14 then to the apostles, 15 whom he sendeth forth

shall roll us away the stone from the door to preach the Gospel : 19 and ascendeth into heaven.

of the sepulchre ?

4 And when they looked, they saw that And when the sabbath was past, Mary Mag the stone was rolled away: for it was very dalene, and Mary the mother of James, and great. Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they 5 ’And entering into the sepulchre, they might come and anoint him.

saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they 13 And they went and told it unto the were affrighted.

1 Luke 24. 1. John 90. 1.

2 John 20.11.

residue: neither believed they them. 6 And he saith unto them, Be not af- 14 I 'Afterward he appeared unto the frighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which eleven as they sat ‘at meat, and upbraided was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: them with their unbelief and hardness of behold the place where they laid him. heart, because they believed not them which

7 But go your way, tell his disciples and had seen him after he was risen. Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: 15 'And he said unto them, Go ye

into there shall ye see him, Ras he said unto all the world, and preach the Gospel to every you.

creature. 8 And they went out quickly, and fled 16 He that believeth and is baptized from the sepulchre ; for they trembled and shall be saved; but he that believeth not were amazed: neither said they any thing shall be damned. to any man; for they were afraid.

17 And these signs shall follow them that 9 | Now when Jesus was risen early the believe ; "In my name shall they cast out first day of the week, the appeared first to devils ; 'they shall speak with new tongues ; Mary Magdalene, 'out of whoin he had cast 18 13They shall take up serpents; and if seven devils.

they drink any deadly thing, it shall not 10 And she went and told them that hurt them; "they shall lay hands on the had been with him, as they mourned and sick, and they shall recover. wept.

19 | So then after the Lord had spoken il And they, when they had heard that unto them, he was "received up into heaven, he was alive, and had been seen of her, be- and sat on the right hand of God. lieved not.

20 And they went forth, and preached 12 After that he appeared in another every where, the Lord working with them, forin ounto two of them, as they walked, and and confirming the word with signs folwent into the country.

lowing. Amen.

8 Or, together. • Matt. 28, 19.

8 Matt. 26. 32. • John 20. 14. 5 Luke 8.2. & Luke 24. 13. 7 Luke 24. 36. John 20. 19.

10 Juha 12. 48. n Acts 16. 18. 19 Acts 2. 4. 13 Acts 28. 5. 14 Acts 28. 8. 13 Luke 24.51.

19 Heb. 2. 4.

Verse 2. “ The sepulchre."-We introduce in the opposite page an engraving of the Holy Sepulchre, contained in the church of the same name, at Jerusalem; and shall take the opportunity of giving a short account of the church and its contents. That the church really does include the site of Calvary and of the sepulchre, is an opinion strongly disputed by Dr. Clarke and others. We shall not at present investigate this question, which more properly connects itself with our inquiry concerning the site of Calvary, which we reserve for another place. It may suffice for the present to observe that from the age of Constantine until the present, the Christians of the East and West have never on any occasion questioned that the tomb of Christ existed on this spot; and this was the very tomb to deliver which from the infidels streams of blood were shed by the Crusaders—the tomb which, for at least fifteen centuries, pilgrims, heedless of suffering and toil, have constantly been travelling from far countries to look upon; and within whose sanctuary rivers of tears, of penitence and strong emotion, have been shed by men of many languages and climes.

The foundation of the church of the Holy Sepulchre dates at least as far back as the age of Constantine. Eusebius has preserved a letter, in which that emperor directs Macarius, bishop of Jerusalem, to erect a church on this spot; and then gives a description of the church which the bishop erected under this order, and the dedication of which occupied eight days. About 300 years after, the church was ravaged by Khosroes II., king of Persia ; but it was rebuilt by Modestus, bishop of Jerusalem. About the year 1009, the spot was desolated by Hakem, caliph of Egypt; and it is disputed whether it was rebuilt by that prince's mother, who was a Christian, or that the Christians were allowed to enclose the venerated spot with a new structure, at the instance of Hakem's son, at the solicitations of the Greek emperor Argyropilus. “ But,” says Chateaubriand, " as the Christians of Hakem's time possessed neither the resourses nor the skill requisite for the erection of the edifice which now covers Calvary; and as we find no indication that the Crusaders ever built any church for the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem, it is probable that the church founded ! by Constantine has always subsisted in its present form. The mere inspection of the architecture of this building would suffice to demonstrate the truth of what I advance.” About thirty years ago, very soon after Chateaubriand left Palestine, this church, which had been preserved amid a thousand revolutions, was destroyed by fire.

Clarke, who does not question the antiquity of the then existing church, describes it as “a goodly structure, whose external appearance resembles that of any common Roman Catholic Church." Deshayes and Chateaubriand are more precise, informing us that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was very irregular, owing to the nature and situation of the objects it was designed to comprehend. It was nearly in the form of a cross, and measured 100 paces in length, by 70 in breadth. Properly speaking, it consisted of three churches; the situation of which must be understood with reference to the supposed Mount Calvary. Thus, the proper Church of the Holy Sepulchre stands on the level ground, so that its eastern part adjoins the mount; and here occur two flights of steps, one of which conducts upward, to the Church of Calvary, upon the eminence, and the other down to the Church of the Discovery of the Cross below. The principal edifice was thus the Church of the Sepulchre, with which two other churches were connected by walls and vaulted staircases. The architecture of the church was evidently of the age of Constantine; the Corinthian order prevailed throughout. The columns were badly proportioned, although some double ones, which supported the friete of the choir, were in very good style. The interior was lofty and spacious; but as the arches which separated the nave from the choir were stopped up about ninety years ago, a view of the whole of the vaulted roof could not be obtained. The church had no vestíbule, nor any other entrance than two side-doors, only one of which was in use

[graphic][merged small]

Thus the structure appears never to have had external decorations, unless we may so call an ancient bas-relief over the door, representing the entry of Christ into Jerusalem. It was also concealed by shabby buildings, and by the Greek convents, erected close to its walls. As already intimated, the fire destroyed a great portion of the church, and although lestored, the architecture and decorations are said to be much inferior to those of the original edifice. The general plan of the whole building, and the arrangement of the, so called, holy stations which it contains, are however so exactly preserved, that the descriptions of the earliest visiters apply as correctly to its present as to its former state. Mr. Buckingham, however, informs us that "the Corinthian columns of fine marble, which formerly adorned the interior, being destroyed by the late fire, the dome is now supported by tall and slender square pillars of masonry, plastered on the outside, and placed so thickly together as to produce the worst effect.

After this general notice we may exclusively attend to the proper Church of the Sepulchre, which is thus described by Chateaubriand :-“This church is in the form of a cross; the chapel of the Holy Sepulchre constituting, in fact, the nave of the edifice. It is circular, like the Pantheon at Rome, and is lighted only by a dome, beneath which is the sepulchre. Sixteen marble columns adorn the circumference of this rotunda, and they are connected by seventeen arches, and support an upper gallery, likewise composed of sixteen columns and seventeen arches, of smaller dimensions than those of the lower range. Niches, corresponding with the arches, appear above the frieze of the second gallery, and the dome springs from the arch of these niches. The latter were formerly decorated with mosaics, representing the emperor Constantine, Helena his mother, and three other portraits unknown. These details will be understood by the help of the engraving, which exhibits, with the sepulchre itself, enough of the rotunda to show its arrangement and appearance. The sepulchre stands in the centre, immediately under the dome. This monument, as it stood before the fire, is mentioned by Dr. Clarke, as “a dusty fabric, like a huge pepper-box.” Later travellers describe it as “a superb mausoleum” (Jolliffe); so we may infer that this part, at least, has gained by the restoration which the fire rendered necessary. The reader can however judge from the engraving, which renders a written description of the exterior superfluous.

Upon the raised platform of white marble, with a parapet of the same, is a block of polished marble, about a foot and a half square, on which the angel is supposed to have sat when he spoke to the two Marys. The entrance from

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »