Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
Vol 2

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The Feast of Purim


 words. They did this as often as the name of Aman was pronounced.

There were also great banquets. Jesus was present at that given to the priests in the grand public hall. The adornments of this feast were similar to those of the Feast of Tabernacles. There were numbers of wreaths, roses as large as one's head, pyramids made up entirely of flowers, and quantities of fruit. A whole lamb was on the table, and I gazed in wonder at the magnificence of the plates, glasses, and dishes. There was one kind of dish many-colored and transparent, like precious stones. They looked as if formed of inter­woven threads of colored glass. There was today a great exchange of gifts, consisting principally of jew­els and handsome articles of apparel, such as robes, maniples, veils for the head, and sashes trimmed with tassels. Jesus, too, was presented with a holiday robe trimmed in like manner. But He would not keep it; He passed it to another. Many others likewise bestowed their presents on the poor, who were very bountifully remembered that day.

After the banquet, Jesus and His disciples walked with the priests to the pleasure gardens, and the beautifully adorned teaching places near Nazareth. They had with them three rolls of writings, and I saw again the Book of Esther, out of which they read in turn. Crowds of youths and maidens followed them, but the latter listened to the discourse only at a dis­tance. I saw also on that day men going around and taking up a tax.

From Nazareth Jesus and His disciples went to Apheca about four hours distant, but returned to Nazareth for the following Sabbath and visited the dying Eliud. The priests of Nazareth could not com­prehend where Jesus, in so short an absence, had come by so much knowledge. They could find noth­ing reprehensible in His teaching, though many were secretly envious of Him. They escorted Him part of the way when He left Nazareth with His disciples.


Life of Jesus Christ

14. Jesus at Lazarus' Estate Near Thirza and at His Home in Bethania

Jesus, taking the road travelled by the Holy Fam­ily on the occasion of their flight into Egypt, arrived with His disciples at the little place not far from Legio where the Holy Family had put up and where lived a set of despised people like slaves. Jesus bought some bread here, and as He divided it, it was mul­tiplied in His hands; but the miracle created no excite­ment, since He did not tarry long and performed it, as it were, in passing.

Proceeding on His journey, He was met by Lazarus, John Marc, and Obed, who had come for that pur­pose. With them Jesus went on to Lazarus' villa near Thirza, about five hours distant. They arrived unno­ticed and by night, and found all things ready for their reception. The villa was on a mountain toward Samaria, not far from Jacob's field. A very old Jew, who went barefoot and girt, was the steward, an office he had held even when Mary and Joseph stopped here on their journey to Bethlehem. It was at this same villa that Martha and Magdalen, in Jesus' last year when He was teaching in Samaria, showed Him hospitality and implored Him to come to their brother Lazarus who was sick.

Near that estate of Lazarus was the then small city of Thirza, situated in a lovely region about seven hours' journey from Samaria. The morning sun, to which Thirza was exposed, rendered it extremely fruit­ful in grain, wine, and orchard fruits. The inhabi­tants were engaged chiefly in agriculture, the products of which they carried to a distance for sale. The city was once large and handsome and the residence of kings, but the palace had been consumed by fire and the city ruined by war. One king, Amri, had made that property of Lazarus his home until the build­ing of Samaria, whither he then removed. The peo­ple of Thirza were in Jesus' time very pious and lived

Jesus and Lazarus


 very retired in their little, isolated city. I think there are some remains of it even in our own day. The inhabitants were very reserved in their intercourse with the Samaritans. (3 Kgs. 16:24). Jesus taught in the synagogue of Thirza, but performed no cures.

On the Sabbath began the Feast of the Dedication of the Temple of Zorobabel. It was not so solemn as the dedication feast of the Machabees, though in the houses, in the streets, out in the fields among the shepherds, and in the synagogue there were num­bers of lights and fires. Jesus spent the greater part of the day in the synagogue with all the disciples. His meals were taken at Lazarus', but He ate spar­ingly. The greatest portion of the food was distrib­uted to the poor of Thirza, of whom there were large numbers. Such distributions were constantly made during His stay. The city still possessed, in ancient walls and towers, some remains of its former great­ness. It is probable that the house of Lazarus, which was now fifteen minutes from the city, was formerly comprised within its limits, for the gardens were interspersed with all kinds of ruined walls and foun­dations. Lazarus inherited this property from his father. Here as elsewhere, he was held in great honor and esteem as a very wealthy and pious, yes, a very enlightened man. His deportment rendered him very distinguished from other men. He was remarkably grave and spoke very little, but that little with great mildness and to the point.

When the feast was over, Jesus left Thirza with Lazarus and the disciples, and proceeded on His jour­ney to Judea. The direction was that taken by Mary and Joseph when going to Bethlehem, though the road was not exactly the same, but it ran through the same region, through the mountains near Samaria. I saw them climbing a high mountain on a night that was lovely, mild and clear, a beneficent dew bathing the whole region. There were about eigh­teen companions with Jesus, and they walked two


Life of Jesus Christ

 and two, some before Him, some behind Him, and some at His side. When the breadth of the road per­mitted, Jesus often stood still to instruct them and to pray. A great part of the night was spent on this journey. Toward morning they rested and took a light repast, after which carefully shunning the cities and towns, they continued their way over a mountain on which the air blew keen and cold.

Not far from Samaria, I saw Jesus going along with about six of His disciples. A young man from the city cast himself down on the road before Him, saying: "Saviour of men, Thou that art to free Judea and restore to her her former glory," etc. Thinking that Christ was about to found an earthly kingdom, he begged to be received into the number of His fol­lowers in the hope of being appointed to some post of distinction. He was an orphan, but had inherited large possessions from his father, and he held some kind of an office in Samaria. Jesus treated him very graciously. He told him that on his return He would say whether He would receive him or not, that He was pleased with his good will and humility, and that He had nothing to say against what he alleged, etc. But I saw that Jesus knew how greatly the young man was attached to his riches and that, wishing to give him a lesson, He would not vouchsafe him an answer until after He had chosen the Apostles. The young man came once more to Jesus and that sec­ond visit is recorded in the Gospel.

In the evening before the Sabbath began, I saw them arrive at the shepherd inn between the two deserts, about four or five hours from Bethania. Mary and the holy women stayed there overnight when they went to Bethania, to see Jesus before the Bap­tism. The shepherds from the country around gath­ered together bringing gifts and other necessaries. The inn was transformed into an oratory, a lamp was lighted, and there they remained. Jesus taught here and celebrated the Sabbath. While travelling on this

First Paschal Celebration


 mountainous and lonely road, He stopped likewise at the place where Mary on her journey to Beth­lehem had suffered so from the cold and where after­ward she had been miraculously warmed.

Jesus and His disciples spent the whole of the Sab­bath among these shepherds, who were so happy to have Him and so deeply moved by His presence. Even Jesus Himself appeared brighter among these sim­ple, innocent people. After the Sabbath He went on to Bethania four hours distant.

15. Jesus' First Paschal Celebration In Jerusalem

While at Bethania, Jesus occupied the same room at Lazarus' as formerly. It was the family oratory and was fitted up like a synagogue. In the center stood the usual desk with the prayer rolls and Scrip­tures. Jesus' sleeping chamber was a little room adjoining.

The morning after His arrival, Martha went to Jerusalem to notify Mary Marcus and the other women that Jesus was coming with her brother to the house of the former. Jesus and Lazarus arrived toward midday. There were present at the dinner besides Veronica, Johanna Chusa, and Susanna, the disciples of Jesus and of John belonging to Jerusalem, John Marc, Simeon's sons, Veronica's son, and Joseph of Arimathea's nephews, about nine men in all. Nicodemus and Joseph were not there. Jesus spoke of the nearness of the Kingdom of God, of His dis­ciples' call, of their following Him, and even hinted at His own Passion.

John Marc's house was beyond the city, on the eastern side and opposite the Mount of Olives. Jesus did not have to enter the city in order to reach it. That evening He returned with Lazarus to Betha­nia. Here and there in Jerusalem it was noised about that the new Prophet of Nazareth was in Bethania,


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 and many rejoiced at the news, though there were others whom it displeased. In the gardens and on the roads of the Mount of Olives there were loiter­ing here and there people, among them some Phar­isees, to see Jesus as He passed. They may have heard accidentally or found out in Bethania that He was to return to the city. But no one accosted Him. Some hid timidly behind the hedges and peeped out after Him. They said to one another: "There is the Prophet of Nazareth, Joseph the carpenter's Son!"

On account of the approaching feast, numbers were at work in the gardens and on the hedges. All was being arranged and ornamented, the paths cleared, the hedges clipped and tied up. From all sides poor Jews and laboring people with asses laden with bag­gage were wending their way to Jerusalem. During the feast they hired by the day in the city and gar­dens. Simon, who later on was forced to help Jesus carry His Cross, was one of these people.

The next day Jesus was again in Jerusalem. He was at a house near the Temple, that of Obed, the son of Simeon, also at another opposite the Temple, one in which old Simeon's family had once dwelt. There He partook of a repast that had been pre­pared and sent by Martha and the other women. The disciples belonging to Jerusalem, about nine in number, and some other devout men were present, but not Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea. Jesus spoke very lovingly and earnestly of the near corn­ing of the Kingdom of God. He had not yet gone to the Temple.

He went fearlessly about the city, clad in a long, white robe of woven material such as Prophets usu­ally wore. Sometimes there was nothing remarkable in His appearance, and He passed along without attracting attention, but at others He looked quite extraordinary, His countenance shining with a super­natural light. When in the evening He returned to Bethania, some of John's disciples came to Him,

Simon the Pharisee


 among them Saturnin. They saluted Him and told Him on the part of John that very few now came to him for baptism, but that Herod still continued to harass him. That same evening Nicodemus went to Bethania and heard at Lazarus' the instruction given by Jesus.

On the following morning Jesus went to Simon the Pharisee's, an inn or public house in Bethania. He gave an entertainment at which Nicodemus, Lazarus, John's disciples, and the disciples from Jerusalem met. Martha also and the women of Jerusalem were present. Nicodemus scarcely said a word in Jesus' presence. He behaved with reserve and listened in astonishment to His words. But Joseph of Arimathea was more open-hearted, and sometimes even put ques­tions to Jesus. Simon the Pharisee was not a bad man, though as yet very wavering. He held to Jesus' party on account of his friendship for Lazarus, but at the same time he desired to stand well with the Pharisees.

During the meal Jesus made many allusions to the Prophets and the fulfilling of their Prophecies. He spoke of the wonders attending the conception of John the Baptist, of God's protecting him from Herod's massacre of the children, and of his now being engaged preparing the ways. He drew their atten­tion to man's indifference respecting the completion of the time marked by the Prophets. "It was fulfilled thirty years ago, and yet who thinks of it excepting a few devout, simple-minded people? Who now recalls the fact that three Kings, like an army from the East, followed a star with childlike faith seeking a newborn King of the Jews, whom they found in a poor child of poor parents? Three days did they spend with these poor people! Had their coming been to the child of a distinguished prince, it would not have been so easily forgotten!" Jesus, however, did not say that He Himself was that Child.

Accompanied by Lazarus and Saturnin, He visited


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 the homes of several poor, pious sick people of the working class in Bethania, and cured about six of them. Some were lame, some dropsical, and others afflicted with melancholy. Jesus commanded those that He cured to go outdoors and sit in the sun. Up to this time there was very little excitement about Jesus in Bethania, and even these cures produced none. The presence of Lazarus, for whom they felt great reverence, kept the enthusiasm of the people in check.

That evening, upon which began the first day of the month Nisan, there was a feast celebrated in the synagogue. It appeared to be the Feast of the New Moon, for there was a kind of illumination in the synagogue. There was a disc like the moon which, during the recitation of prayers, shone with ever increasing brilliancy, owing to the lights lit one after another by a man behind it.

The next day Jesus was present at divine service in the Temple with Lazarus, Saturnin, Obed, and other disciples. A ram was sacrificed. The appear­ance of Jesus in the Temple produced a peculiar excite­ment among the Jews. The strangest part of it was that each concealed the impression made upon him; no one mentioned to his neighbor the wonderful effect of Jesus' presence upon him. This was a divine dis­pensation, in order to allow the Saviour to fulfill His mission. Had they imparted their thoughts to one another, it would have given rise to open anger; but as it was, hatred and rage struggled with gentler emotions in the hearts of many, while others felt within them an almost imperceptible desire to know Jesus better, and took steps to do so through the mediation of others. This was a fast day in memory of the death of Aaron's children.

The disciples and many other devout persons were gathered together at Lazarus'. Jesus taught in a large hall in which was a teacher's chair. He con­tinued the discourse begun in the house of Simon

Jesus in the Temple


 the Pharisee in which He had spoken of the Three Kings, and He drew the attention of His hearers to other facts of the past. He said: "It is now about eighteen years ago since a little bachir" (by which Jesus must have meant a young scholar) "argued most wonderfully with the Doctors of the Law who, in consequence, were filled with wrath against the Child." And then He related to them the teachings of the little bachir.

Jesus with Obed, who served in the Temple, and the other disciples of Jerusalem, went again to the Temple for the celebration of the Sabbath. They stood two by two among the young Israelites. Jesus wore a white, woven robe with a girdle, and a white mantle like those used by the Essenians, but there was something very distinguished about Him. His clothing looked remarkably fresh and elegant, prob­ably because He wore it. He chanted and prayed from the parchment rolls in turn with the others. There were some prayer leaders present. The peo­ple were again struck at the sight of Jesus. They were astonished, they wondered at Him, though without having said a word to Him. Even among themselves they did not speak openly of Him, but I saw the wonderful impression made on many. There were three instructions or discourses delivered: one on the children of Israel, another on their depar­ture from Egypt, and a third on the Paschal lamb. On one of the altars was a sacrifice of incense. The priest could not be seen, though the fumes and the fire were visible. The fire could be seen through a kind of grating upon which there was something like a Paschal lamb surrounded by rays and orna­ments through which sparkled the fire. This altar stood near the Holy of Holies, its horns apparently entering it. I saw Pharisees praying, some of them wearing wrapped around one arm a long, narrow band that had perhaps once been used as a veil.

About two in the afternoon, Jesus went with His


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 companions into an apartment in the court of Israel, where a repast of fruit and rolls had been prepared. The rolls were twisted like cues, or plaited hair. A steward had been engaged to see to everything. All necessaries could be bought or ordered in the precincts of the Temple itself, and strangers had the right to avail themselves of the privilege. The Temple was so large that it seemed like a little city, and in it one could procure everything. During this repast, Jesus gave an instruction. When the men had finished, the women took some refreshment.

I learned on that day what before I had not known; viz., that Lazarus held a position in the Temple, as amongst us a burgomaster may also be a church war­den. He went around with a box and took up a col­lection. Jesus and His followers remained the whole afternoon in the Temple. I did not see Him back in Bethania before about nine o'clock that night. There were innumerable lamps and lights in the Temple on this Sabbath.

Mary and the other holy women had now left Capharnaum to go to Jerusalem. Their route lay toward Nazareth and passed Thabor, from which dis­trict other women came to join them, and then off through Samaria. They were preceded by the disci­ples from Galilee and followed by servants with the baggage. Among the disciples were Peter, Andrew, and their half-brother Jonathan, the sons of Zebedee, the sons of Mary Cleophas, Nathanael Chased, and Nathanael the bridegroom.

On the fourth of Nisan, Jesus spent the whole morning in the Temple with about twenty disciples, after which He taught at Mary Marcus' and took a luncheon. He afterward returned to Bethania and went with Lazarus to Simon the Pharisee's. Already many of the lambs brought to the Temple had been rejected by the priests.

Jesus was again in the Temple and in the after­noon taught at Joseph of Arimathea's not far from

The Fourth Day of Nisan


 the home of John Marcus, and near a stonecutter's yard. It was a retired quarter of the city and little frequented by Pharisees. At this period no one feared to be seen in company with Jesus, for hatred against Him had not yet been manifested.

Jesus continued to show Himself still more freely and boldly throughout Jerusalem and in the Temple. He went in with Obed even to the place between the altar of sacrifice and the Temple, where an instruc­tion was being delivered to the priests relative to the Pasch and its ceremonies. The disciples remained back in the court of Israel. The Pharisees were greatly annoyed at seeing Him present at that instruction. Jesus also addressed the people on the streets.

The crowds flowing into Jerusalem kept continu­ally increasing, especially workmen, day laborers, servants, and dealers in the necessaries of life. Around the city and on the open places, crowds of huts and tents had been erected for the accommo­dation of the multitudes flocking for the Pasch. Many lambs and other cattle had been brought into the city, from the former of which selections had already begun. Numbers of heathens also came to Jerusalem for the feast.

Jesus taught and cured openly in Bethania, even sick strangers were brought to Him. Some relatives of Zachary from the country of Hebron came to invite Him to thither.

He went up again to the Temple. When the priests left after the services, on the place where He was standing among His disciples, Jesus taught them and other good people upon the nearness of the Kingdom of God, the Paschal solemnity, the approaching ful­fillment of all the Prophecies and symbols, yes, even of the Paschal lamb itself. His words were earnest and severe, and several priests who were still going here and there in the Temple, were troubled at His discourse and secretly annoyed. Jesus then went back to Bethania, and that night, accompanied by some


Life of Jesus Christ

 of the disciples, left with the envoys for Hebron, about four hours to the south.

Preparations for the feast were actively going on in the Temple, and many changes were being made in the interior. Halls and corridors were opened, stands and partitions were removed. The altar could now be approached from many sides, and everything presented quite a different appearance.

Jesus, with the disciples and Zachary's relatives, proceeded to Hebron by the route running between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. It was at most a journey of five hours. Passing through Juttah, Jesus entered the neighboring city, Hebron, where He taught and quietly cured many sick. He returned to Bethania for the Sabbath. His way led high over mountains, whose exposure to the sun made it very hot. The dis­ciples that had come from John to Jesus in Betha­nia, now went back to the former.

Jesus went to the Temple on the Sabbath and with Obed penetrated into the court containing the teacher's chair, from which later on He also taught. Priests and Levites were sitting on the circular seats around the chair, from which a discourse on the Paschal festival was being delivered. The entrance of Jesus threw the assembly into consternation, espe­cially when He started objections and asked ques­tions to which not one of them could answer. Among other things, He told them that the time was approaching when the symbolical Paschal lamb would give place to the reality, then would the Temple and its services come to an end. The language of Jesus was figurative, and yet so clear that my thoughts instantly reverted to the words of the Pange lingua, “et antiquum documentum novo cedat ritui.” When they questioned Him as to how He knew that, He answered that His Father had told Him, but He did not say who that Father was.

The Pharisees were highly displeased, though at the same time full of astonishment. They did not

Mary the Silent


 venture to contradict Him. Access to that part of the Temple was not permitted to all, but Jesus had entered in quality of Prophet. In His last year He even taught therein.

After the Sabbath, Jesus went to Bethania. I had not as yet seen Him conversing with Mary the Silent. Her end, I think, was near, for she appeared greatly changed. She was lying on the ground on a gray car­pet, supported in the arms of her maids, and she was in a kind of swoon. She appeared to me to have drawn nearer to this world of ours, as if she had ever been absent in spirit, but now she appeared to have been brought back again to life. She was now to know that this Jesus here in Bethania, who lived in her own time and in her own vicinity, was He who had to suffer so cruelly. She was still alive in order to experience through compassion, in her own person, the sufferings of Jesus, after which she was soon to die.

On the night of Saturday, Jesus visited her and conversed long with her. Part of the time she sat up on her couch, and part of the time walked around her chamber. She had now the perfect use of her senses. She distinguished between the present and the future, she recognized in Jesus the Saviour and the Paschal Lamb, and she knew that He was to suf­fer frightfully. All this made her inexpressibly sor­rowful. The world appeared to her gloomy and an insupportable weight. But most of all was she grieved at man's ingratitude, which she foresaw. Jesus spoke long with her of the approach of the Kingdom of God and His own Passion, after which He gave her His blessing and left her. She was soon to die. She was tall and extraordinarily beautiful, white as snow and shining with light. Her hands were like ivory, her fingers long and tapering.

Next morning, Jesus cured openly in Bethania many that had been brought to Him, among them some strangers that had come up for the feast. Some


Life of Jesus Christ

 were lame, some were blind. There came to Him also several men connected with the Temple who called Him to account for His actions and conduct. Who, they asked, had authorized Him on the preceding day to take part in the conference held in the Tem­ple? Jesus answered them very gravely, and again spoke of His Father. The Pharisees dared not enter the lists against Him. They felt a certain terror in His presence; they did not know what to make of Him. But next day, Jesus taught again in the Tem­ple. All the Galilean disciples that had been at the marriage feast in Cana had now come to Jesus. Mary and the holy women were stopping with Mary Mar­cus. Lazarus bought many of the lambs that had been rejected as not fit for the feast and had them slaughtered and divided among the poor day labor­ers and other workmen.

16. Jesus Turns the Vendors Out of the Courts of the Temple. The Paschal Supper. Death of Mary the Silent.

When Jesus, with all His disciples, went to the Temple, He found there, ranged around the court of the suppliants, dealers in green herbs, birds, and all kinds of eatables. In a kindly and friendly manner, He accosted them and bade them retire with their goods to the court of the Gentiles. He admonished them gently of the impropriety of taking up a posi­tion where the bleating of the lambs, and the noise of the other cattle would disturb the recollection of the worshippers. With the help of the disciples, He assisted the dealers to remove their tables to the places that He pointed out to them.

On this day, Jesus cured many sick strangers in Jerusalem, chiefly poor, lame working people who dwelt in the neighborhood of the Cenacle on Mount Zion. There was an astonishingly great multitude

Jesus in the Temple


 gathered in Jerusalem. The city was surrounded by a perfect encampment of huts and tents. On the large, open places ran building after building, forming long streets wherein all things could be had in large quan­tities, such as tents, everything necessary for their erection, and whatever was needed for the eating of the Paschal lamb. There were other stores, also, in which such things could be bought or hired. Crowds of day laborers and poor people from all parts of Israel were busied carrying the above mentioned arti­cles here and there, and putting them up. These peo­ple had been at work a long time in Jerusalem, clearing away whatever might block up the streets, clipping the hedges, opening the roads, leveling and measuring off the grounds for encampments, and putting up booths and stalls. In the same way for weeks before, the roads and bad crossing places in the country around were being repaired and made ready for travel. All these preparations referred to the Paschal lamb, just as the Baptist's preparing of the ways referred to the true Lamb of God.

When Jesus again went up to the Temple with His disciples, He admonished the dealers a second time to withdraw. Since all the passages were open on account of the immolation of the Paschal lamb soon to take place, many had again crowded up to the court of the suppliants. Jesus bade them withdraw, and shoved their tables away. He acted with more vehemence than on the last occasion. The disciples opened a way for Him through the crowd. Some of the dealers became furious. With violent gesticula­tions of head and hands they resisted Him, and then it was that Jesus, stretching out His hand, pushed back one of the tables. They were powerless against Him, the place was soon emptied, and all things car­ried to the exterior court. Then Jesus addressed to them words of warning. He said that twice He had admonished them to remove their goods, and that if He found them there again, He would treat them


Life of Jesus Christ

 still more severely. The most insolent insulted Him with: "What will the Galilean, the Scholar of Nazareth, dare to do? We are not afraid of Him." These taunts began at the moment of their removal. Many were standing around looking at Jesus in amazement. The devout Jews approved His action and praised Him in His absence. They also cried out: "The Prophet of Nazareth!" The Pharisees, who were ashamed and angry at what had occurred, had for days past pri­vately warned the people to refrain from attaching themselves to the stranger during the feast, not to run after Him, nor even to speak much about Him. But the people had become more and more inter­ested in Jesus, for there were already many among them who had heard His teaching or had been cured by Him.

As Jesus left the Temple, He passed a cripple in one of the courts. The man cried after Him. Jesus cured him, and he who had been lame going into the Temple joyfully proclaimed Jesus as his benefactor. Upon this, great excitement arose.

John the Baptist did not come to the feast. He was not a Jew under the Law, nor was he at all like other men. He was, as it were, a voice clothed with flesh. He had at this time a fresh concourse of aspirants to baptism on account of the multitudes going to Jerusalem.

All was very quiet in Jerusalem that evening. The people were busy in their own homes with cleansing out the leaven and preparing the unleavened bread. All the cooking utensils were covered and hung away. This was done also at Lazarus' on Mount Sion, where Jesus and His followers were to eat the Paschal lamb. Jesus Himself was present at these preparations, He gave instructions upon them, and all was done by His direction; but the minutiae were not so punctil­iously observed as among the other Jews. Jesus explained of what it all was a figure, and how it should be practiced, showing them at the same time

Preparations for the Pasch


 what the Pharisees, through want of understanding, had added.

Jesus did not appear in the Temple the next day. He remained in Bethania. I thought, as so many ven­dors had again crowded into the Temple, something would surely have happened to them had He been there. That afternoon the Paschal lambs were slaugh­tered in the Temple, and that with indescribable order and celerity. Everyone brought his Paschal lamb on his shoulder, and took his place in order, for there was room enough for all. There were three courts around the altar in which they could stand, but the space between it and the Temple was not open to the people. They that did the slaughtering were behind railings, a table with all that was necessary for their work before them; but they were placed so close to one another that the blood of one lamb sprin­kled the neighboring butcher. Their clothes were full of blood. The priests were ranged in several rows up to the altar, passing basins from hand to hand, some full of blood, others empty. Before disemboweling a lamb, the Israelites pressed and kneaded it in a cer­tain way. Then the butcher standing next in order held the animal, while his neighbor with a light grasp easily tore out the intestines.

The flaying was done very expeditiously. They loos­ened a little piece of skin and fastened it to a round stick provided for the purpose. Then they hung the lamb around their neck, with both hands twisted the stick around, and the skin rolled up on it. Toward evening the slaughter was over. The evening sky was blood-red.

Lazarus, Obed, and Saturnin slaughtered the three lambs that Jesus and His friends were to eat. The meal was taken at Lazarus' on Mount Sion. It was a large building with two wings. The oven for roast­ing was in the dining hall, but it was very different from the hearth in the cenacle. It was higher, like the fireplace in Anna and Mary's house, also like


Life of Jesus Christ

 that at Cana. In the thick, perpendicular wall that formed it, were holes wherein the lamb was fastened. It was stretched out and pinned in place with wooden skewers, just as if crucified. The hall was beautifully ornamented and the table, at which they ate in three groups, was exactly like a horizontal cross. At the upper and shorter end of the cross, upon which were many dishes of bitter herbs, Lazarus sat. The Paschal lambs were placed one on each of the arms of the cruciform table and one toward the middle of the lower beam. Jesus, Peter, Saturnin, and Obed sat as follows: Jesus and Peter opposite each other at the left arm of the table, Obed at the right arm, and Sat­urnin at the lower beam. Around Jesus stood His relatives and the disciples from Galilee, around Obed and Lazarus those from Jerusalem, while John's dis­ciples gathered around Saturnin. There were pre­sent, in all, over thirty.

The Paschal supper was very different from Jesus' last Paschal supper, more strictly Judaical. Each here held a staff in his hand, was girded as for a jour­ney, and all ate in haste. Jesus had two staves placed crosswise before Him. They chanted Psalms and, standing, quickly consumed the Paschal lambs. Later on they placed themselves at table in a recumbent position. This supper was different also from that customary among the other Jews at this feast. Jesus explained all to the guests, but omitted the cere­monies that had been added by the Pharisees. He carved the three lambs Himself and served at table, saying that He did it as their servant. They remained together far into the night, singing and praying.

Jerusalem was so still and solemn during that whole day. The Jews not engaged in the slaughter­ing of the lambs remained shut up in their houses, which were ornamented with dark green foliage. The immense multitude of people were, after the slaugh­tering, so busy in the interior of their homes, and all was so still that it produced upon me quite a

The Paschal Supper


 melancholy impression.

I saw on that day also where all the Paschal lambs for the numerous strangers, of whom many were encamped before the gates, were roasted. Both out­side and inside the city, there were built on certain places long, low walls, but so broad that one could walk on them. In these walls were furnace after fur­nace, and at certain distances lived men who attended to them, and received a small remuneration for their services. At these furnaces, travelers and strangers could, at the different feasts, or at any other time, roast their meat and cook any kind of food. The con­suming of the fat of the Paschal lambs went on in the Temple far into the night. After the first watch, the altar was purified, and the doors thrown open at a very early hour the next morning.

Jesus and His disciples spent the night in prayer and with but little sleep at Lazarus' on Mount Sion. The disciples from Galilee slept in the wings of the building. At daybreak they went up to the Temple, which was lighted by numerous lamps, and to which the people were already flocking from all parts with their offerings. Jesus took His stand in one of the courts with His disciples, and there taught. A crowd of vendors had again pressed into the court of the suppliants and even into that of the women. They were scarcely two steps from the worshippers. As they still came crowding in, Jesus bade the new­comers to keep back, and those that had already taken their position to withdraw. But they resisted, and called upon the guard nearby for help. The lat­ter, not venturing to act of themselves, reported what was taking place to the Sanhedrim. Jesus, meantime, persisted in His command to the vendors to with­draw. When they boldly refused, He drew from the folds of His robe a cord of twisted reeds or slender willow branches and pushed up the ring that held the ends confined, whereupon one half of it opened out into numerous threads like a discipline. With


Life of Jesus Christ

 this He rushed upon the vendors, overthrew their tables, and drove back those that resisted, while the disciples, pressing on right and left, shoved His oppo­nents away. And now came a crowd of priests from the Sanhedrim and summoned Jesus to say who had authorized Him to behave so in that place. Jesus answered that, although the Holy Mystery had been taken away from the Temple, yet it had not ceased to be a sacred place and one to which the prayer of so many just was directed. It was not a place for usury, fraud, and for low and noisy traffic. Jesus hav­ing alleged the commands of His Father, they asked Him who was His Father. He answered that He had no time then to explain that point to men and even if He did they would not understand, saying which He turned away from them and continued His chase of the vendors.

Two companies of soldiers now arrived on the spot, but the priests did not dare to take action against Jesus. They themselves were ashamed of having tol­erated such an abuse. The crowd gathered around declared Jesus in the right, and the soldiers even lent a hand to remove the vendors' stands and to clear away the overturned tables and wares. Jesus and the disciples drove the vendors to the exterior court, but those that were modestly selling doves, little rolls, and other needful refreshments in the recesses of the wall around the inner court, He did not molest. After that He and His followers went to the court of Israel. It may have been between seven and eight in the morning when all this took place.

On the evening of this day, a kind of procession went out along the valley of Cedron, to cut the first fruits of the harvest.

Jesus on one of the succeeding days cured in the court of the Temple about ten persons, some lame, some mute, and it gave rise to great excitement, for the cured filled the whole place with their acclama­tions of joy. Again He was summoned to answer for

Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
Vol 2

This document is: ACE_2_0101

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