Friday, May 28, 2010

Captured, Bound and Cast into prison.

“Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him”…
John 18: 12
This photo was taken of a bronze sculpture of Christ with his hands bound that I saw in the House of Joseph Caiaphas, who was the High Priest of the Jews. Captured in the Garden of Gethsemane, Christ was bound, brought before Annas, then Caiaphus. He was interrogated, falsely accused, ordered to be beaten, cast into prison, and condemned to die for sedition under Roman rule. (It was also at this location in the hall of judgement that Peter denied Christ 3 times.)

Interesting to note that it was here that the prisoners were lowered by rope through a hole into the prison cell located in the basement of Caiaphas’ home. This underground, ‘tear-drop’ shaped, stone cell was virtually escape proof.. The location of Caiaphus’ home is on the Southern part of the city of Jerusalem and overlooks/close to the Gehenna Valley. This “scenic” valley was the site of infant (innocent sacrifice) and were the corpses and ashes of animals and people, as well as wastes and garbage were cast and, according to legend, consumed by a constant fire. Gehenna is cited in the New Testament and in early Christian writing to represent the final place where the wicked will be punished or destroyed after resurrection. Basically this is the Jewish version of Hell.

Definitions of words:
Bound: Confined, Restrained, destined, obliged by moral ties.
Rope: a large line composed of several strands twisted together.

It was difficult to see this image of the Savior tightly bound and treated as a slave and prisoner. But then the insight hit me. Christ sees and feels the same about me. How difficult it must be for the Savior to see each of us tightly bound with the cords of sin. Without the Atonement, we would be eternally bound and captive. We read in the Book of Mormon that Satan binds us first with thin flaxen cords. which over time those cords become rope making it difficult to escape. Because of His love for us… He unloosed the bands of sin and death that hold each of us captive. We read in Acts 2:24, but it was not possible that he should be holden of it.. but would loose the bands for all.

On the flipside.. instead of being bound by Satan by sin.. we can be bound to the Lord through our repentance and our covenants we make. The positive connotation/scriptural references to the words bind/bound : (To seal, to make covenants, to fasten to the sure place.. When we make covenants we bind ourselves to Christ)


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