Friday, 30 January 2015

How Christ said the first mass, By Rev. James L. Meagher, D.D. Part 20.


"The paschal sacrifice was not slaughtered unless there were three divisions of thirty men each. Why? Because it is written: "The whole assembly of the congregation of Israel —thus "assembly" means ten men, "congregation" ten men, and "Israel" also ten men. It was doubtful however whether the thirty men had to be taken together, or whether ten men only at a time had to be present. So it was ordered that thirty men should enter, and as soon as ten were ready, they went out, and ten others took their place; the next ten then left, and another ten entered; finally the last thirty went out together—thus each division numbered fifty men, or all three divisions one hundred and fifty men. 1
"Agrippa the king once wanted to know how many male Israelites there were. So he told the high priest to keep an account of the paschal lambs. The high priest then ordered that one kidney of each paschal lamb be preserved, and it was found that six hundred thousand pairs of kidneys were preserved, and this was twice the number of the Israelites who went out of Egypt. Naturally this was exclusive of all Israelites who were unclean, and could not offer the sacrifice, and all those who lived at a great distance from Jerusalem and were not in duty bound to be present. There was not a paschal lamb that did not represent at least more than ten persons." 1
Josephus 2 tells the same story of the kidneys counted, and we learn that 12,000,000 persons offered the Passover sacrifice that year, which was known as the "large Passover." We can then imagine the vast crowds, who clamored for the death of Christ and what a multitude saw him die. The strangers used to camp around Jerusalem, filling the country for miles in all directions. They followed the rules Moses laid down to regulate their desert encampments. Olivet was covered with the tents of Juda and Benjamin; to the south, toward Bethlehem, rose the tents of Issachar and Zebulon mingling with sons of Simon, Gad and Ruben; to the west were Ephraim, Manasses, while in the level plain to the north camped Dan, Asher and Nephthalim.
The Talmud says the gold chalices were worth 200 and the silver 100 denars; the denars equalling about 17 cents, each chalice was worth respectfully $34 and $17. The denar, in Latin denarius, was so called from the letter X, meaning ten.
"Mishna: How should the paschal lamb be roasted? A spit, made of wood of the pomegranate tree, should be taken, put in at the mouth and brought out at the vent thereof. The paschal sacrifice most not be roasted on an iron roasting spit or on a gridiron. 3
"Mishna: If any part of the roasted lamb touched the earthenware oven on which it was roasted, that part must be pared off.


If the fat dripping from the lamb had fallen on the oven, and then again had fallen on the lamb, that part of the lamb must be cut out. If the dripping however fell on fine flour, a handful of that flour must be taken and burned. If the paschal lamb had been anointed, or basted with the consecrated oil of the heave-offering, and the company appointed to partake thereof consists of priests, they are allowed to eat it. But if the company consists of Israelites, they must wash it off if the lamb be yet raw." 4
The pomegranate, "grained apple," called in Hebrew rimmon, was extensively grown in the Jordan valley and around Jerusalem at the time of Christ. The stick was extended so that its lower end passed through the tendons of the hind feet, and the cross-piece of the same kind of wood passed through the tendons of the fore feet. The operation was called "crucifying the lamb." The lamb rested entirely on and was roasted on its cross, and foretold the dead Christ hanging from his cross. Seeing this crucified paschal lamb, a striking image of the Crucified, the Rabbis of the Talmud left out the details of the sticks passing through the tendons of the feet. But other writers (Justin Martyr and the early Fathers) describe the lamb thus roasted on his cross, emblem of the crucifixion coming down from the days of the Hebrew kings.
"Mishna: Five kinds of sacrifices may be brought, even if those who offer them should be in a state of ritual uncleanness, but they should not be eaten by them while in that condition. They are the Omer "Sheaf offering," the two loaves of Pentecost, the showbreads of the Sabbath, the peace-offerings of the congregation, and the he-goats offered on the feast of the New Moon. The teaching may be in accord with the sages, but in that event, it treats of the whole community, and not of an individual, and we have learned that a community may sacrifice the paschal offering, even if all the members thereof were defiled." 5
The whole community of the Jews sacrificed the real Lamb of God foretold by the paschal sacrifice when they cried out "Crucify him," "Let him be crucified," etc., in Pilate's hall, and this was foretold by the passage we have quoted.


"Mishna: If the whole, or the greater part of the congregation had become defiled, or the priests were in a state of defilement, but the congregation was undefiled, the sacrifice may be brought in this state of defilement, But if the minority only of the congregation had become defiled, the majority that are clean, shall sacrifice the paschal offering at its proper time, and the unclean shall sacrifice a second paschal offering on the 14th of the following month." 6
The Apostles, disciples, Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus the holy women, Christ's followers, did not demand his death, and these were represented by those called undefiled in the Mishna we have given. To foretell how the Lord was crucified at Jerusalem, the following was the revealed law:
"Thou mayest not immolate the phase in any of thy cities, which the Lord thy God shall give thee. But in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose." 7 "Even if one tribe were unclean, and the remaining eleven tribes of Israel were clean, the members of the unclean tribe must bring a separate sacrifice, because he holds that each tribe constitutes a congregation." 8
"Mishna: The bones, sinews, and other remaining parts must be burned on the sixteenth, and should that day fall on the Sabbath, they must be burned on the seventeenth, because the burning of these does not supersede the laws of the Sabbath, or those of the festival. The bones of a paschal offering, however, which remain whole, could have been broken and the marrow extracted from them only after becoming "a remainder," and for-that reason they must be burnt. "Neither shall there remain anything of it till morning. If there be anything left you shall burn it with fire." 9
This disposal of the remains of the lamb, was a prophecy in Moses' day, that the body of Christ would be buried the day he died. But the following prophesied that while they broke the legs of the two thieves, they did not break Christ's limbs.


"Mishna: Whosoever breaks any bones of the clean paschal lamb incurs the penalty of forty stripes. 'Neither shall you break a bone thereof' 10 'In one house shall it be eaten, neither shall you carry forth of the flesh thereof out of the house, neither shall you break a bone thereof,' 10 and hence we must say that only if a bone was broken of a lamb, which must be eaten, but not of a lamb which must not be eaten, is the penalty of stripes incurred. They differ, however, concerning a man who breaks the tail of the lamb, which must not be eaten but offered up on the altar. 11
"The attic of the Holy of Holies was even more holy than the Holy of Holies itself, for while the latter was entered once every year, the former was entered only once in seven years, according to others twice in seven years, and according to others only once in fifty years, and then only to see whether any repairs were necessary. 12
"Concerning the Temple it is written: 'Then gave David to Solomon his son, a description of the porch and of the temple and of the treasures, and of the upper floor, and of the inner chambers and of the house for the mercy-seat, etc. . . All these things he said came to me written by the hand of the Lord,' etc. 13
"When two companies eat their paschal sacrifice in the same house, or room, each turning their faces in a different direction while eating thereof, and the warming pot containing the water to be mixed with the wine is in the center, the waiter, or servant, must close his mouth, that is not eat, while he waits on the other company to, pour out the wine for them. Then he must turn his face towards the company he eats with, and he must not eat till he joins his own company." 14
Was it because the servants thus came between the tables and poured out the wine that the acolytes, deacon, subdeacon or altar-boys pour the water and wine into the chalice during Mass? The Greek and Oriental Rites prescribe warm water mixed with the wine at Mass.
"Mishna: If her husband slaughtered for his wife a paschal sacrifice, and her father also slaughtered one, she must eat that of her husband.


If she came to pass the first festival after her marriage at her father's house, and her father and husband have each slaughtered a paschal sacrifice for her, she may eat it at whatever place she prefers. If several guardians of an orphan have slaughtered paschal sacrifices for him, the orphan may go and eat it at the house he prefers. 15
"Mishna: If a man say to his sons: 'I slaughter the paschal sacrifice for whichever one of you shall first arrive in Jerusalem,' then the first of them, whose head and greater part of whose body first appears in the city gate, thereby acquires a right to his own share, and acquires the same for his brothers."
The following pages explain and define rules relating to the benefits or graces acquired by those for whom the lamb was sacrificed. This shows that they offered sacrifices for particular persons and families. Thus we have a custom, coming down from the Apostles, of offering Masses for persons, families or particular intentions.
"Mishna; If a person, having a running issue, had observed such issue twice on the same day, and the seventh day after his disease had subsided fall on the fourteenth of Nisan, when he is no longer defiled, he may have the paschal sacrifice slaughtered for him that day. But if he observed the issue three times in one day, it may be slaughtered for him only if the eighth day, when he again becomes clean, should fall on the fourteenth of Nisan.' 16
"Mishna: For a mourner, who has lost a relative for whom he is obliged to mourn on the fourteenth of Nisan, for a person digging out of a heap of fallen ruins persons buried among them, for a prisoner who has assurance of a release in time to eat the paschal sacrifice, and for the aged and sick persons, it is lawful to slaughter the paschal sacrifice, while they are able to partake thereof a quantity at least the size of an olive." 17
The reader will here see the origin of the custom of giving Communion to those who cannot come to church. The following shows that only Christ and his Apostles formed the "band" to eat the Passover. Only men could sit at the table when free from defilement, and all were circumcised to foretell the baptized. The unbaptized are incapable of the other sacraments. For these reasons Christ ordained only men.


"But we have learned in our Mishna, that a company-must not be formed of women, slaves or minors, that is of any of three. And Rabha replied, 'Nay, it means that a company must not be formed of the three together.'
"Mishna: A mourner may eat of the paschal sacrifice at eve, after having taken his legal bath, but he must not eat of other holy sacrifices."
This shows that all who celebrated the Passover were obliged to take "a legal bath," similar to that of the priests who went on service in the Temple. Washing the body was a type of baptism, and Christ raised it to the dignity of this sacrament, which wipes out all sins and gives the three virtues of faith, hope, and charity.
The Talmud here gives many rules and regulations relating to the "second Passover," held on the fourteenth of the following month, which all observed if they could not celebrate the first. If a Jew did not celebrate either one or the other, he became guilty of Kareth "Excommunication." He was driven from the synagogue and excluded from communications with all Israel, as the Law of Moses says: "But if any one is clean, and was not on a journey, and did not make the Phase, that soul shall be cut off from among his people." 18 "He that shall eat leaven bread, his soul shall perish out of the assembly of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land." 19
"The following persons were obliged to observe a second Passover: Men and women afflicted with a running issue, with running sores, women suffering from their menstruation, and such as had sexual intercourse with them during that time, women lying in (women in childbirth), those that neglected the observance of the first Passover, either through error or compulsion, those that neglected it intentionally, and those who were on a distant journey. And the Lord spoke to Moses saying: 'Say to the children of Israel. The man that shall be unclean by occasion of one that is dead, or shall be on a journey afar off in your nation, let him make the Phase to the Lord in the second month, on the fourteenth day of the month, in the evening they shall eat it, with unleavened bread and wild lettuce.' 20


"Kareth is the penalty for the non-observance of the first, as well as of the second. Thus the conclusion is as follows. If a man had intentionally neglected the first and second Passover, all agree that he incurs the penalty of Kareth. If he had inadvertently neglected both, all agree that he is not guilty.
"But the person that eateth of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace-offering that pertaineth to the Lord, having his uncleanness on him, even that person shall be cut off from his people. Whence we infer that if an unclean person eat of the flesh, which may be eaten only by clean persons, he incurs the penalty of Kareth, but if he ate the flesh, which was not fit for a clean person, i. e. unclean flesh, he is not guilty. We might assume that if persons having a running issue had intruded into the sanctuary, in a state of defilement, while the sacrifice was being offered, they thereby incur the penalty of Kareth, to that end it is written, 'Command the children of Israel that they cast out of the camp every leper, and whosoever hath an issue of seed, or is defiled by the dead. Whether it be a man or a woman, cast ye them out of the camp, lest they defile it, when I shall dwell with you.' " 21 This Kareth, "cutting off" or excommunication from the Jewish church, is in Hebrew, Anathema, Maranatha, "Get behind when the Lord cometh." 22 This Christ said to Peter. 23
If a person cannot make his Easter duty during holy week or at Easter, the Church extends the time within which the obligation can be satisfied till Saturday before Trinity, the end of the Paschal season. If a Christian does not make his Easter confession and Communion during that time, he is supposed to become a Kareth, "cut off," "excommunicated." The Church in making this law had the example and sanction of God himself, who laid down the same penalty for the Hebrews.
"What must be considered a 'distant' journey?


According to R. Aqiba it is from Moodayim and beyond, and from ail places around Jerusalem situated at the same distance. Any distance beyond the threshold of the Temple-court should be considered as coming under that term." 24
"Said Ula: 'From Moodayim to Jerusalem is a distance of fifteen miles.' What is the distance that a man can travel in one day? Ten Parsaoth."
Moodayim, translated Modin, 25 was the city and mount where was born Mathathias father of the Machabees. 26 It contained their family tombs, which Simon had built there 27 setting up seven pyramids of polished stone, one each for his father, mother, himself and his four brothers. "Parsaoth" is the plural of Parsah, "a measure of four miles" called in Hebrew "Milin."
"When eating the first paschal offering the 'Hallel' should be recited, but not while eating the second, from the, passage. 'You shall have a song as in the night of the sanctified solemnity, and joy of heart as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the Lord to the mighty One of Israel. And the Lord shall make the glory of his voice to be heard." 28 Hence on the night which ushers in a festival 'Hallel' should be recited, but on the night of the second Passover, when no festival follows, the recital of the 'Hallel' is not necessary. Both the first and second Passover require that the man who offers up the paschal lamb remains in Jerusalem overnight. 29
"What is the difference between the Passover as celebrated by the Israelites in Egypt, and that observed by later generations? The Egyptian Passover-sacrifice was specially ordered to be purchased on the 10th of Nisan, and its blood sprinkled with a bunch of hyssop on the lintel, and on the two side posts of the door, also that it be eaten with unleaven bread on the first night of Passover, in a hasty manner, while in later generations the law of the Passover applies to the whole seven days of the festival. Yows and voluntary offerings must not be sacrificed on a festival.


"Those who heard the Kiddush pronounced in the synagogue, need not recite it at their homes, but should merely pronounce the customary benediction over the wine. Why should a man recite the Kiddush at home? In order to give the household an opportunity to hear it. Why should the Kiddush be recited in the synagogue? In order to afford the guests, who eat, drink and sleep in the synagogues, an opportunity to hear it. If a person hears the Kiddush recited in one house, he should not eat in another, but it makes no difference as to rooms in one house."
The Kiddush was the synagogue prayers said before they sat down at the passover table. They were said either in the synagogue or in the house. As the Cenacle was a synagogue, Christ and his Apostles began the synagogue services of Thursday at the Bema before the supper as we will explain later.
"R. Huna thinks that the Kiddush must be recited only in the place where the meal is taken. Abayi said: ' When I was at Master's house, while he recited the Kiddush, he would say to the guests, 'Partake of something before you go to your houses, for should you go home and find the candles gone out, ye will not be able to recite the Kiddush in your homes, and thus you will not acquit yourselves of the duty unless you eat something where the Kiddush was recited.'"
They were forbidden to eat the lamb except candles burned. No religious services were ever carried out in Israel without lighted candles. From this the Church derived the custom of lighting candles at every service.
"Two benedictions must not be made over one cup. When one enters his house at the close of Sabbath, he pronounces a benediction over wine, light, incense, and then the benediction of Habdalah. The Habdalah was the blessing pronounced at the close of the Sabbath services over one cup, and if he has not another of wine in his house, he may leave that cup until he has had his evening meal, and then recite the benediction after the meal over the same cup of wine. Rabh mentions all these benedictions, but omits that of the season, it must be presumed that he refers to the seventh day of Passover as the festival, because that day the benediction of the season is not said, and at that time it is possible that a man has only one cup of wine. "When is this possible?


On the first day of a festival, when a man surely has more wine; still Abyi said over one cup the benediction of wine, the Kiddush of the season of light, and the Habdalah, and finally of the season, etc.
"When the time for the Habdalah prayer arrived, the servant of Rabha lit several candles, and joined them into one flame. R. Jacob said to him 'Why dost thou light so many candles?' and Rabha replied. 'The servant did this of his own accord.'
"We have learned in a Boraitha: That one who is accustomed to incorporate many benedictions in the Habdalah prayer he may embody as many as he chooses.
"How is the order of the Habdalah to be observed? As follows: 'Who hath made a distinction between sanctified and ordinary, between light and darkness, between Israel and other nations, between the seventh day and working days, between clean and unclean, between sea and dry land, between waters above and beneath, between priests, Levites and Israelites,' and he concluded with: 'Blessed be He who hath arranged the order of creation.' "
The following relate to the seven benedictions and prayers which will be found later in the Passover Seder. 30
"It is not lawful to begin eating before the prayers. No interruption is allowed during the service. If the Sabbath, which began at sundown, was ushered in while they were at the Passover table, they stopped eating and said the Habdalah of the Sabbath, and after citing laws and customs the following eight things follow.
"First: One who included the Habdalah in his evening prayer, must recite it nevertheless again over a cup. Second: The benediction after a meal must be made over the cup of wine. Third: The cup used at the benediction must be of a prescribed capacity, i.e. a quarter of a log, for were this not so, it could not be divided, and part used for the Habdalah, and another part for the benediction. Fourth: One who pronounces the benediction over the cup of wine, must taste some.

1 Passover, 121.

2 Antiq. xvii. 9,3; Wars, v, 9, 3.

3 Passover, cap, vii.; First. Mishna. p. 143.

4 Passover, cap. vii. 146.

5 Passover, 148.

6 Passover, vii. p. 154.

7 Deut. xvi. 5.

8 Passover, vii. 155.

9 Exod. xii. 10; Passover, vii. p. 162.

10 Exod. xii. 46.

11 Passover, vii., 165,167, etc.

12 Passover, vii., p. 169.

13 I. Paralip., xxviii. 11-20.

14 Passover, vii., p. 170.

15 Passover, viii., First Mishna, p. 173.

16 Passover, viii., p. 185.

17 Passover xiii., p. 187.

18 Numb. ix. 13.

19 Exod. xii. 19.

20 Numb. ix. 10-11.

21 Numb. v. 2, 3.

22 See Edersheim Temple, 43; Jewish Cyclopedia, etc.

23 Mark viii. 33.

24 Passover ix. 194.

25 I. Mach. xiii. 27.

26 i. Mach. ii. 9, 13, 16. II. Mach. xiii. 14.

27 I. Mach. xiii. 27-30; Smith's Dict., v. 3, word "Modin."; Josephus, Antiq., xiii. 6, 6.

28 Isaias xxx. 29.

29 Passover, ix., p. 200.

30 In Chap.XII of this work.