Saint Cyril of Jerusalem**:
“....and was crucified for our sake during the time of Pontius
Pilate, and suffered and was buried....”
But let us now return to the subject of prophetic proofs that you asked
for. The Lord was crucified - you have heard all the testimonies. You
have seen the location of Golgotha hill. You agree with the information
and applaud it as praiseworthy and you glorify it. But take care lest
there come a time during a period of persecution that you renounce Him.
Do not delight in the Cross only
during a period of peace, but
preserve the same
faith also during a period of persecution. Do not be a friend of Jesus
in a time of peace, and in a time of war become an enemy. (…)
So, Christ was crucified for our sake: He,
who had been judged during an icy-cold night – which is why there was a
coal burning fire nearby:
“Now the slaves and servants who had made a fire of coals stood there,
for it was cold, and they warmed themselves. And Peter was with them and
Christ was crucified at the third hour:
Mark 15:25: “Now it was the
third hour, and they crucified Him”...
(The “third hour” means it was 3 hours after sunrise, that is, at 9 in
the morning when they crucified Him)
Matthew 27:45: “Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was
darkness over all the land.”
darkness covered the entire land, until 3 in the afternoon).
Could these same details have been written by the Old Testament Prophets
also? Let us check it out:
The prophet Zacharias said:
Zacharias 14:7: “On that
day there shall be no light; it will be cold and icy for one day – and
that day is known to the Lord – and it is not day and not night, and at
evening time there shall be light.”
(During that one day, there will be no sunlight, so it will be a cold,
icy day – hence Peter warming himself at a coal fire outside).
”So? Didn't the Lord know about
the other days? Indeed, days are
many, but this was the day of the Lord's patience, a day “which the Lord
had created” (Psalm 117:24).
He likewise knew the day that was “not day and not night”
What was the meaning of this enigma mentioned by the Prophet: “...and
that day is known to the Lord – and it is not day and not night”?
What was that day? What should we call it?
The Gospel interprets this, as it narrates the events:
It was not “day”, because the sun did not shine while moving from
east to west; instead, from the 6th hour (12 noon) until the 9th (3
afternoon), complete darkness prevailed (as above, Matthew 27:45),
the middle of the day! Hence, darkness suddenly prevailed in the middle
of the day – which darkness God had named “night” (Genesis 1:1: “...and
God called the light “day”, and the darkness He called “night”).
That is why it was neither “day” nor “night” literally, for there was
to be called “day”, nor dark enough to be called
“night”, given that after the 9th hour (3 afternoon) the sun
shone again in the sky. This too was foretold by the Prophet when saying:
“not day and not
night” (Zacharias 14:7), and adding at the end of v.7:
“and at evening time
there shall be light”.
Do you see the accuracy of the Prophets? Do you see how much truth there
is in what has been prophesied and written in advance of the actualized
you want to know exactly what time the sun was blotted out from the face
of the earth? Was it perhaps on the 5th hour or the 8th
or the 10th?
Then state the exact time to the inconvincible Jews, o Prophet! When did the
The prophet Amos said:
“And it will be on that day,
says the Lord God, and the sun will set
and the light will be
upon the earth
in the daytime.”
– exactly as above:
from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the
(as above, Matthew 27:45)
What season would
in, o Prophet, and what day will it be?
“And I will turn your feasts into mourning and all your songs into
lamentation. And I will bring sackcloth on every loin and baldness on
every head. And I will make Him like the mourning for a loved one and
those with Him like a day of suffering” (Amos
These details implied the feast days of Unleavened Bread and the Jewish
Passover - which was to “contain” the event of the Crucifixion during
those days. To
Prophet adds the following: “And
I will make Him like the mourning for a loved
one and those with him like a day of suffering.”
“And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also
mourned and lamented Him”
the Apostles may have remained in hiding, nevertheless, their souls were
also filled with despair and mourning....
This prophecy also deserves our admiration.
Now someone else might say:
Find yet another characteristic from the Passions of Christ which had
been preannounced by the Prophets with such precision.'
What other accurate evidence is there, related to the event of the
Crucifixion? When Jesus was
being led to be crucified, He was wearing only a tunic and His robe was
thrown over Him.
“Then the soldiers, after they had crucified Jesus, took His clothes and
made them into four parts, to each soldier one part, and also His
(tunic). Now the tunic was seamless, woven from the top all in one
piece.” (John 19:23)
This garment was not torn into parts, as it would have become useless.
So they decided to cast lots to see who it would
said therefore among themselves, ‘Let us not tear it, but cast lots for
it, whose it shall be’, so that the Scripture might be fulfilled which
says: ’They divided My garments among them, and on My clothing they cast
lots.” (John 19:24)
Was this also mentioned somewhere else?
Let us see what the Book of Psalms (11th century
divided my clothes for themselves, and on my tunic they cast lots.”
Also, when He was being interrogated by Pilate, He had been wrapped in a
“And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him”. (Matthew 27:28)
They had intentionally stripped Him, wishing to mock Him for making
claims of royalty.
Was this also written in the old Testament?
“Who is He that has come here from Edom, with a redness of garments from
Bosor – so splendid in apparel, mighty, with power?”
Who is He that wears scarlet and is being dishonoured? Bosor apparently
had such an interpretation for the Jews.
“Why are your clothes red, and your garments like those of a wine press
To which He replied:
“I had My arms outstretched all day long towards an inconvincible
and contrary people who did not walk in a true way, but after their own
He extended His arms upon the Cross, thus “embracing” the ends of the
inhabited world. Because the centremost point on earth is Golgotha. And
this is not my own reasoning. The Prophet is the one who said:
“Yet God is our King from before aeons; He laboured for salvation in the
midst of the earth.”
o Lord, forged our salvation through Your world-saving Passions at the
centre of the earth).
He who had stretched out the firmament with His divine arms has
stretched out His human arms, which were pierced with nails so that when
His human nature was nailed to the Cross – bearing the sins of mankind –
and eventually perished, sin would also perish with it, but we would
also be resurrected blameless and righteous.
“For one may die with difficulty for a righteous man; but for a good
man, perhaps someone may dare to die”. (Romans 5:7)
So, because death originated from a man (Romans 5:17), life was restored
also by a Man – our Saviour - who died voluntarily.
To be certain that this is the case, remember the One who said:
“No one takes it away from Me, but I lay it down of Myself.
I have authority to lay it down,
and I have power to take it back again”.
(No-one has the authority to take my life and kill Me if I do not want
it. But I give it up on my own. I have the authority to offer my life,
and I have the authority also to take it back again)
But He of course had endured all these things in order to save everyone,
but His people reciprocated with a wretched repayment.
Jesus said “I am thirsty” (John
19:28]. He who made abundant
water spring from a steep precipice, and had asked for the fruits of
the vine that He had planted:
“Yet I planted you as a fruitful vine, from pure stock. How did you turn
to bitterness, you foreign vine?”
But what was that “vine”?
As regards its nature, it is of course mentioned by the Holy Fathers; as
for its proclivity, it was Sodomic, because their vine originated in
Sodom and its branches in Gomorrah; and yet, when the Lord thirsted,
they took a sponge dipped in vinegar, tied it to a reed and offered that
“Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with soured
wine, and put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink.”
the book of Psalms we read:
“And they gave gall as my food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar
Do you see the transparency in the foretelling by Prophets?
Well, what kind of gall (bile) did they put in His mouth? They
gave him, he says, 'wine mixed with myrrh, but He did not take it”
Myrrh is disgusting and terribly bitter to taste; is that how you
reciprocate to the Lord? Is that
the kind of offering that the vine gives to its master?
Isaiah has rightly mourned for
you ever since, saying:
“I must sing to my beloved one a song concerning My vineyard: A vineyard
was created for My beloved one upon a hill, on a fertile place”.
But let us see what he says further on:
2 And I put a border around it and furrowed it and planted a Sorech
vine, and I built a tower in the midst of it and dug out a wine vat in
advance in it and I waited for it to produce grapes but, it produced
thorns. And now, those who dwell in Jerusalem and you of Judah, judge
between Me and My vineyard.
4 What more should I do for My vineyard that I have not done for it? For
I have waited for it to produce grapes, but it produced thorns.5 So now
I will announce to you what I will do to My vineyard:
I will remove its border and it shall be seized; and I will tear
down its wall, and it shall be trampled on. 6 And I will abandon My
vineyard and it shall not be pruned or dug, and they shall walk over it
as if it is a wasteland of thorns; and I shall command the clouds to not
deposit any rain on it. 7 For the vineyard of the Lord Shavaoth is the
house of Israel and the man of Judah is the beloved new plant. I waited
in order to make judgment, but it has made lawlessness; not justice, but
Look at the border of thorns that they surrounded My head with; I waited
for the vine (Israel) to make Me grapes to quench My thirst with its
wine, but My vineyard brought forth thorns.... So what decision should I
make? I will order the clouds not to let rain fall on this vineyard...
of course the clouds stopped raining over that vineyard - that is, the
prophetic voice stopped revealing God's will to them.
And as the apostle Paul said, Prophets thereafter would act within the
“28 But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and
let him speak to himself and to God. 29 Let two or three prophets speak,
and let the others judge. 30 But if anything is revealed to
another who sits by, let the first keep silent. 31 For you can all
prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be
encouraged. 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the
prophets. 33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in
all the churches of the saints.
He Himself gave that some be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists,
and some pastors and teachers, 12 for
the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for edifying the
body of Christ.”
Agabus was also a prophet, who tied his hands and feet with a waistband
and thus prophesied the apostle's imprisonment in Jerusalem
as we stayed many days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from
Judea. 11 When
he had come to us, he took Paul’s belt, bound his own hands and feet,
and said, ‘Thus says the Holy Spirit - thus shall the Jews at Jerusalem
bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the
Gentile Romans.’ ”
Saint Cyril of Jerusalem on the Creed
Cyril became Bishop of Jerusalem ca. 350, during the years of Arian
controversy that persisted after the first ecumenical Council of Nicea,
convened by the emperor Constantine in 325. Cyril came to accept
wholeheartedly the Nicene Creed’s definition of the divinity of Christ
as “consubstantial” with God the Father. He attended the First Council
of Constantinople in 381. Of his many writings, Cyril’s twenty-four
famous catecheses (lectures on aspects of the faith), which he delivered
as bishop in about 350, have been preserved. The first five of the
catecheses concern 1) the prerequisites for Baptism, 2) repentance and
remission of sins, 3) the Sacrament of Baptism, 4) ten key points of
doctrine, and 5) on faith and the Creed, or Symbol of Faith.
Following is an excerpt from his Catechesis No. 5 on the Creed, §§12 and
But in learning the Faith and in professing it, acquire and keep that
only, which is now delivered to you by the Church, and which has been
built up strongly out of all the Scriptures. For since all cannot
read the Scriptures, some being hindered as to the knowledge of them by
want of learning, and others by a want of leisure, in order that the
soul may not perish from ignorance, we comprise the whole doctrine of
the Faith in a few lines. This summary I wish you both to commit
to memory when I recite it, and to rehearse it with all diligence among
yourselves, not writing it out on paper, but engraving it by the memory
upon your heart, taking care while you rehearse it that no catechumen
chance to overhear the things which have been delivered to you.
I wish you also to keep this as a provision through the whole course of
your life, and beside this to receive no other, neither if we ourselves
should change and contradict our present teaching, nor if an adverse
angel, transformed into an angel of light (II Corinthians 11:14) should
wish to lead you astray. For though we or an angel from heaven
preach to you any other gospel than that you have received, let him be
to you anathema. (Galatians 1:8-9)
So for the present listen while I simply say the Creed, and
commit it to memory; but at the proper season expect the confirmation
out of Holy Scripture of each part of the contents.
For the articles of the Faith were not composed as seemed good to men;
but the most important points collected out of all the Scripture make up
one complete teaching of the Faith. And just as the mustard seed
in one small grain contains many branches, so also this Faith has
embraced in few words all the knowledge of godliness in the Old and New
Testaments. Take heed then, brethren, and hold fast the traditions
which you now receive, and write them on the table of your heart. (§12)
Guard them with reverence, lest per chance the enemy despoil any who
have grown slack; or lest some heretic pervert any of the truths
delivered to you. For faith is like putting money into the bank, even as
we have now done; but from you God requires the accounts of the deposit.
I charge you, as the Apostle says, before God who quickens all things,
and Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed the good
confession, that you keep this faith which is committed to you, without
spot, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.
A treasure of life has now been committed to
you, and the Master demands the deposit at His appearing, “which in His
own times He shall show, Who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King
of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only has immortality, dwelling in light
which no man can approach unto; Whom no man has seen nor can see. To
Whom be glory, honor and power for ever and ever. Amen”. [I Timothy
Translated by Edwin Hamilton Gifford. From
Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 7. Edited by Philip
Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing
Co.,1894.) Revised and edited by Kevin Knight for New Advent. Reprinted
with permission. (Complete text: newadvent.org/fathers/310105.htm).