The Tragedy of Calvary
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THE sufferings and death of Christ transcend all events of human history. The Tragedy of Calvary has reformed the world. The God-Man's blood changed mankind in the past, still works its miracles in men's hearts, and will continue its wonders till it draws all eyes to that Victim hanging as the Standard of the Nations. With rapid pens, and simplest style, Gospel writers tell the story without going into details. But we would like to know the most minute events which happened when he died. But his history was written before he came. In the Old Testament, he rises from almost every page. He is found in names of men and places, in Temple ceremonies, in feasts of Israel, and in Hebrew customs: while Patriarch, Prophet, Seer, Sage and King foretold his kingdom, his coming, his life, his sufferings, his death, resurrection and ascension, but in such a way that no one studying him before his birth, could have t<>ld to whom these wonderful prophecies pointed, for if they knew they would not have put their Messiah to death. In the Gospels, in histories of the time when he walked the earth, in writings of the early Church, and among the Orientals, we find a wealth of details relating to Him. But never before were all these completely given in one work. To combine all know about Christ in one complete story, we read the Lives of Christ in different languages, Jewish literature, histories of his time, revelations of the Saints, prophets of Jew and Gentile, searched the great libraries of this country, British and Vatican Museums, and visited the Holy Land, seeking information of the Victim of the world's sins. Taking the facts thus gleaned, we searched the Old Testament, examined Temple services, types, figures and symbols, and with astonishment we find that hundreds of years before he came his life in all its details has been foretold as the world's Redeemer. To the Jew we say: Search your sacred Books. Study your prophets, dig deep in tabernacle ceremony, study your ancient feasts, fasts, and the religion Moses, your deliverer, gave your fathers: look beyond and behind your synagogue worship, and there you will see the Messiah in whom your fathers hoped, but not knowing killed. To the unbeliever we say: See the Jew in every city, think of his providential preservation down the ages, read his history, study the story of that peculiar people: religion is to him as the breath of his nostrils and he clings to it through life and death. Could the Bible Books have . been written by other, or by later men than the authors given? Could that whole Jewish nation have been deceived? Look at the almost countless generations which believed in Christ, in every country where the Gospel has been preached. Go through the Catacombs where millions lived converts of the apostles, and while the damp cold penetrates your very bones, as you see their remains lying along the dark passages, ask yourself: Were these millions deceived who Iived and died as martyrs, to the number of 5,000,000 at Rome alone, because they believed in and worshiped Him? Then look at the rest of the known world at that time, and you will find the same in every place of the vast Roman world. Were all these people deceived, deluded, mistaken in that age, when they heard his story from men who had lived with Him and saw Him die? The awful details, the frightful sufferings, the inhuman cruelty, the terrible Tragedy, seem almost beyond belief. But we have given them as we found them. In the words of an ancient writer: 'I got the stones and wood from others: but ours is the whole form and construction of the building. I am the architect, but the materials I found in many and various places.' The statements given here must not be taken as equal in authority to the inspired Gospels, although the writer thinks them true. They are side-lights of Christ's history.