Thursday, 18 December 2014
How Christ said the first mass, By Rev. James L. Meagher, D.D. Part 4.
They led the animals into the Temple, to the north of the great sacrificial altar. 1 The Jew saw in the cold dark north a figure of Lucifer, who had deceived Adam, and plunged the nations into unbelief and paganism. They sacrificed the victims towards the north as against the demon and sin resting on the world. At Mass, when the altar is in the eastern end of the church, the Gospel is read towards the north as against the demon of infidelity.
They washed the animal to foretell the Passover bath taken by Christ and his Apostles. They poured perfume over it to typify the odor of good works, words and miracles of the God-man. With a rope they fastened the right forefoot to the left hind-foot, and the left forefoot to the right hind-foot, the cord making a cross, emblematic of Christ fastened to his cross.
The bread and wine of the Mass is first raised up, offered the Eternal Father, lowered, moved to form a cross, and then laid on the altar. This comes from the Temple, and from the Last Supper. To foretell the Crucified they raised up every Sacrifice in the Temple, offered it to God, holding it as high as their heads, the action being called the Teruma. Then they lowered it, and " waved " it to the north, south, east and west, this being the Tenupha, foretelling Christ raised up in the air on his cross, and his dead body taken down for burial. The Rabbis write that the actions meant that the sacrifices were offered for the nations living in the four quarters of the world. 2
Ten classes of sacrifices thus formed a cross before being killed in the Temple. The bread and wine at the Passover were offered with the identical ceremony as the bread and wine of the Mass in our day. The animals to be sacrificed were offered with a cross, the bread and wine were not offered in the Temple with the same ceremonial, for the animals foretold his sufferings, and the bread and wine then typified the Mass, where he is not immolated in a cruel bloody manner but in mystic meaning in memory of the crucifixion. Sin sacrifices were sacrificed with a cross, but were not offered to God in the Temple, for God did not receive sin with the sacrificed victims. The following the Jews called the Menachot will explain our meaning.
The high priest with his assistant, the Sagan, at his right, and the twelve priests, all vested in magnificent priestly robes of cloth of gold, embroidered in the four colors of the sanctuary, spread out their hands between the animals horns, 3 thumbs crossed, palms down and placed their sins and the sins of all the people on the animal, as the sins of the whole world were placed on Christ, and said a prayer we will give when we describe the ceremony when Christ and his Apostles offered the Passover lamb the day before his death. 4
Two long lines of vested priests stand between the victim, one line having gold, the other silver chalices in their hands ready to receive the blood. The victim's throat is cut, the blood caught in the chalices, and passed along each line with arms crossed in form of a cross and splashed on the four horns of the altar, marking each with a bloody cross. 5 A choir of 500 priests and another of the same number of Levites, one surrounding the great altar, the other standing on the steps of the Nicanor Gate, sing the psalms. The Temple worship offered at nine in the morning and three in the afternoon was a striking image of a pontifical High Mass. We will describe it more in detail later when we come to the ceremony of offering the Passover lamb Christ brought to the Temple.
Down the ages from Solomon's day millions of people worshiped the God of their fathers in their Temple Courts, their backs turned to the east, for the pagans worshiped the rising sun, moon and stars facing the east. As a protest against idolatry, the Israelites faced the west towards the altar and the Holy of Holies. 6 They put their sins on the victims with outspread hands, sacrificing them as images of the future Victim they prayed for to come and fulfil these types. A line drawn through the center of the Temple, passing through the center of the altar and the Holy of Holies, towards which they faced, looking for the future Victim, and continued about 1,000 feet, passed through the center of Calvary. Thus every ceremony and victim faced the cross with its agonizing dying Sufferer.
They did not understand the reason God chose this place for the sanctuary. Rabbi Moses says it was lest Gentiles might there build a pagan shrine, destroy the sanctuary, or lest each Hebrew tribe might have its own place of worship. Therefore they had no Temple till a king was chosen, who could settle disputes about the place of divine worship.
Jewish writers say there was no forgiveness without blood, that the offerer, putting his hands on the victim's head, showed that he put his sins on the animal; that the beast bore the sins of the offerer and the people; that those who touched it, touched sin; this, Maimonides says, was why they were unclean. The sins were not forgiven, but " covered up" till the Messiah came. Let us give some of the words of Hebrew writers.7
" Properly speaking the blood of the sinner should have been shed, and his body burned as those of the sacrifices. But the Holy One, blessed be He, accepted our sacrifices, for us as a redemption and an atonement. Behold the full grace which Jehovah, blessed be He, has shown to man. In his compassion and in the fulness of his grace, he accepted the life of the animal instead of man's soul."
" While the altar and the sanctuary were still in their place, we were atoned for by the goats designated by lot. But now for our guilt, if Jehovah be pleased to destroy us, he takes from our hand neither burnt offerings nor sacrifices." " Bring us back in jubilee to Sion, thy city, in joy, as of old, to Jerusalem, the house of thy holiness. Then shall we bring before thy face the sacrifices that are due."
Alas for the ^children of Israel! The spiritual deep blindness which fell on them the night they sentenced their Messiah to death has not yet lifted. All their sacrifices are now centered in the Mass.
The prophets and Old Testament say, that these sacrifices were in themselves worthless, if separated from Christ the Antitype to whom they pointed, who at a future time was to die to fulfil their shadowy meanings. The Passover lamb, the bread and wine, filled up, combined in one the vast details of the Temple. The burning words of Hebrew prophets all down Old Testament history, find expression in these words of Messianic Passover prayer.
Haste, my Beloved, come, ere ends the vision's day.
Make haste Thyself, and chase the shadows all away
"Despised " is He, but yet " extolled " and " high " shall be.
"Deal prudently, *' sprinkle nations," and " Judge" shall He."
While establishing the ceremonial of sacrifices foretelling the crucifixion, Moses wrote the Five First Books of the Old Testament. He gathered up the traditions of the patriarchs, which had been handed down from father to son, from Noe to Sem and to Abraham, relating to creation, the fall of man, the flood, the separation of the seventy-two families, which developed into the tribes, and which became the great nations of antiquity. We will give a rapid glance over the Hebrew Scriptures, and give some of the names in which God revealed the future. These are lost in translations of the Bible.
God's first name given in the beginning of Genesis as the Creator is Elohim, who made heaven, earth, and formed Adam, " man," " the reasoning being." Elohim is God in justice, author of nature, unbending as the physical forces, rigorous in righteousness, punishing Adam for his sin, destroying the wicked down the pages of the Old Testament. The word was spoken for the last time by the dying Son of God on the cross atoning the justice of his Father for the sins of all men, when he quoted the Psalm using the word Eloi Eloi, etc., " My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ? " 8
When man because of sin was doomed to hell like the demons, Elohim-Jehovah appears to Adam, curses the serpent, and promises that the Seed of the woman would conquer. Here was first revealed a new name of the Deity, Jehovah, " The Existing One." But the name has another meaning: " The God of Mercy." Jehovah the Divine Son, had mercy, took pity on fallen man, and promised to redeem the race. While Elohim treated man with the rigors of his justice, destroying the world with the flood, burning Sodom and Gomorrah, killing the wicked, in dealing with the Hebrews, the justice of Eloi, the eternal Father, is tempered with the mercy of Jehovah, " God of mercy," the Son, foretold as the Redeemer. "I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob by the name of God Almighty, but by my name Jehovah, I was not known to them." 9
Down Hebrew history Elohim the Father is justice, Jehovah the Son is mercy. Acting with the Holy Spirit, called the Shekina—these three Persons of the Trinity carry on the preparation for the Incarnation, the Church, the Mass. They are often called in the original Hebrew Adon or Adonai, " Lord " or " Lords."
Filled with religion, animated with devotion, feeling the aurora of coming Christianity, the Hebrews called objects, places, and their children by names bearing the roots of these names of God to show forth his power and attributes. Elohim was shortened to El, Jehovah to Ja, Jo, or Je, while Adonai is often found unchanged. If the reader will examine the Bible words with these roots, he will find almost enough names with them to fill this book. Each is a revelation of God, of his attributes, or a prophecy of the coming Christ.
Let us take the words Jesus Christ as an example. Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew Josue, or Joshua, meaning " Jah Saves," " Jehovah Saves," or " The God of Mercy Saves." The name was first borne by Josue, that leader who succeeded Moses, and led the Hebrews into the Promised Palestine. Moses only saw it from afar, led them in sight of it, did not enter, and died on Nebo, for the law of Moses brought the Hebrews only in sight of the Church. Jesus or Josue led them into Palestine, as the one he foretold, Jesus Christ led mankind into the Church. Christ is the Greek for Messiah " The Anointed." Therefore Jesus Christ means, "The Anointed God of Mercy Will Save." How appropriate then the angel's words to the Virgin: " And thou shalt bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus. For he shall save his people from their sins." 10
But a visible sign of the Almighty Guide was necessary during the existence of the Hebrew religion, to win them from the striking pagan rites of Egypt, to keep them from the paganism of surrounding nations, to foretell the Holy Spirit guiding the future Church. For that reason God appeared, to them in visible form, spoke first to Adam, to patriarchs, to Moses on Sinai, in the tabernacle, taught their leaders, gave the revelations to their prophets, and appeared to holy men in the days of Christ. This visible appearance of God the Jewish writers call the Shekina. Let us see what they say, that the reader may better understand the meanings of the Temple.
In the original language of the Old Testament and later Hebrew writings, in hundreds of texts and passages, we find the word Shekina, from the Hebrew word : " to appear," "to dwell," meaning the "Majesty of God," " The Divine Presence." It was a cloud by day and a fire by night. Hebrew writers represent it as a visible appearance of the Deity, God the Holy Ghost accommodating himself to man's eyes, so that he might see the invisible. Eternal Spirit. 11
First before the fall, under this form of the Shekina, God walked with Adam in Paradise, blessed marriage, 12 gave them the world with its plants and animals for food, and the law regarding the tree of good and evil, for society cannot exist without laws. 13 Under this form of a cloud, or fire, God spoke to Adam after the fall, condemned him and his race for eating the forbidden fruit and promised the Redeemer. 14
To the patriarchs, the Shekina appeared, revealed the future and blessed them and their race. He told Noe how to build the ark, called Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldeans into Palestine, blessed him and his race—in hundreds of these passages of Scripture where the word God or Lord in the translation is given, in the Hebrew it is the Shekina.
For nearly four hundred years it spoke not till it appeared to Moses in the burning bush. " And the Lord appeared to Moses in a flame of fire out of the midst of the bush." That "bush" was the Rhamnus, from which was made Christ's crown of thorns. 15
The Shekina directed Moses how to deliver the Hebrews from Egypt, went before them as their guide, opened the Red Sea, and led them for forty years ihrough the Arab-Ian deserts. It was a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire at night. When it moved, the hosts of Israel followed ; when it rested, they camped; and when the fierce desert sun burned them, it spread over the whole camp, tempering the heat. It covered Sinai as a great cloud which Moses alone penetrated amid thunders and lightnings : it gave the law and commandments, told Moses to form the priesthood, the ceremonial, and build the tabernacle. " And they shall make me a sanctuary, and (I will shekina) I will dwell in the midst of them." 16
In this visible form of fiery cloud, the Holy Spirit rested in the tabernacle, on the mercy-seat, over the ark of the covenant, between the gold wings of the cherubim. He spoke face to face with Moses, Josue, the Judges, Samuel, Kathan, David, Solomon and all the prophets. Through 'them He revealed to mankind all the prophecies of the Old Testament. God the Shekina was the King of the Hebrews; their government was a Theocracy: " God-ruled." The synagogue prayers coming down from this time have everywhere the words: " O Lord our King." " We have no King but Thee," etc.
They tired of God's government, asked for a king similar to the rulers of the nations round them. Samuel, filled with sorrow, consulted the Shekina. "And the Lord said to Samuel. . . They have not rejected thee, but me, that I should not reign over them." 17 God warned them of the troubles a king would bring on them. The people persisted, and the Shekina told Samuel to anoint Saul, who, rejected for his sins, David was chosen in his place.
His son Solomon built his famous Temple. The day of Its dedication the Shekina filled its sanctuary so the priests could not minister. 18 On the Mount of Offence Solomon built temples for his wives' gods; 19 as a punishment 20 ten tribes rebelled and only the Jews and Benjamites remained faithful to David's family. Wicked kings led the Jews into idolatry, in the very Temple of Jehovah idols were adored, 21 and as a punishment the Babylonians destroyed the city, burned the Temple and carried the people away into captivity.
God told Jeremias to hide the ark of the covenant in a cave on Nebo where Moses died. 22 The covenant or contract with God was broken, the Shekina spoke no more, prophets ceased to teach; Rabbis, Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees misled the people. For many centuries the Jews were left without a Divine oracle, and the narrow peculiar teachings and practices of Judaism, of Scribes and Pharisees, rose, which ended in the crucifixion of their Messiah.
But it was revealed that when the Messiah would come, the Shekina would appear and speak to them again. In far-off Persia, three high priests of Zoroaster's religion, coming down from Elam " The Youth", Sem's eldest son, saw the Shekina under the form of a star which led them to the manger of the infant Saviour. 23 The night Christ was born He appeared as a bright cloud to the shepherds on Bethlehem's hills, while angels sang the hymn of "Glory be to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will. 24
1 Edersheim, Temple, 84, 85.
2 See Edersheim, Temple, passim.
3 Edersheim, Temple, p. 87.
4 Numb, xxviii. 18-28 ; Levit. iv. 15, 16-21; II. Par. xxix. 23, etc.
5 Edersheim Temple, p. 90.
6 Edersheim, Temple, 127.
7 Edersheim, Temple, 92.
8 Mark xv. 34, Psalm xxi. 1.
9 Exod. vi. 3.
10 Luke i. 31, Matt. i. 21.
11 See Geikie, Life of Christ, ii., 612, etc.; Edersheim, Life of Christ, i. 166,168.
12 Gen. i. 28.
13 Gen. ii. 17.
14 Gen. iii. 15.
15 Exod. iii. 2.
16 Exod. xxv. 8.
17 I. Kings viii. 7.
18 III. Kings viii. 11.
19 III. Kings xi.
20 III. Kings xii.
21 Ezech. viii.
22 II. Mach. ii.
23 Matt. ii. 1.
24 Luke ii. 14.