Prison of Christ

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Descending to Christ’s prison was one of the most gut wrenching experiences at our pilgrimage. Matched only with The Horrendous Golgotha (John 19, 17). Here we descended, there we ascended up to the place, called “The Place of the Skull” which in Hebrew is called “Golgotha” , where the mystery of divine economy was accomplished and where the New Testament was sealed with the blood of the Theanthropos (Godman) which cleansed humanity from the evils of sin and death.

 

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Holy Monastery of Praetorion

It is near the Monastery of the lentils and it served as a court at the time of Christ, the Roman Headquarters and the Roman governor Pilatus’ house.  In the courtyard of the Praetorium the ultimate sentence of Christ was passed by Pilate the Roman governor. According to the Holy Gospels, Christ was transferred here after he had been seen by Anna and Caiaphas to be judged (Matt. 27:1-31; John 18:28-40). Here began his martyrdom with the scourging, the scarlet robe, the reed, the mocking and the crown made of thorns (Matthew 27). In the Greek monastery there are ancient caves, one of which is believed to have been used as Christ’s temporary prison. The second one, which is underground, is believed to have been used as prison for Barabbas, the robber. There is also the pool of St. Helen where every Great Friday they have the service of the Great Hours. The present Praetorium was built during the 18th century and belongs to the Greek Orthodox. (The Patriarchate of Jerusalem)

 

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I always visualised Christ as a prisoner like this, and a bit ‘abstract’:

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But no! He must have been like this: 

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Look again, carefully at these two holes, where they must have placed His legs, and the icon above:

Jesus Christ Prison

I was stunned! Suddenly it all be too real! Such violence and injustice and hubris! And those ancient rocks were so full of Life, exuding the fragrance of Holiness and Sanctity!

Glory to Thy Forbearance, O Lord!

Lord Jesus Christ forgive us the sinners.

 

The Pearl

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O Lord, Almighty, aid me! Grains of sand

Their way inside me ceaselessly find

Afflictions provoke my widow heart

Harass me, vex me, pester and grind.

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May your beautiful veil over

My soul drape, Thy Love wrap.

Forgive, hapless soul,

Pardon, evade the trap.

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O, may resentment and anguish desert,

O, may my wounds be moulded to pearls.

Thy Grace, Redeemer, my soul of thorn

Heal, pray, aid me, suffer Thy nails.

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Like Your Glory Resplendent on Cross,

Assist me, Redeemer, to die with Thee.

O, bless, sweet Jesus, restrain, impede

Prevent me an oyster barren to be!

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THE PEARL: SEVEN HYMNS ON THE FAITH

By St. Ephraim of Syria — Translated by J.B. Morris

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/pearl.html

” …Shadowed forth in thy beauty is the beauty of the Son,
Who clothed Himself with suffering when the nails passed through Him.
The awl passed in thee since they handled thee roughly,
As they did His hands;
And because He suffered He reigned,
As by they sufferings thy beauty increased … “

(c) University of Exeter, Fine Art Collection; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation