The Power of God
The Cross of Consummate Love
By Steve Santini
It is in Corinthians that Paul says the preaching of the cross is foolishness to them that perish, but unto those who are being saved it is the power of God. We must ask, “What is this definitive power of the cross?” We can easily understand power in the resurrection and in the ascension but to endeavor to understand the power of one man hanging on a tree with his bloodied flesh shredded in the midst of a jeering crowd seems at first most foolish.
To begin to understand we first must have the facts correct as to the time and the place of the crucifixion. Jesus Christ was hung on a tree on the fourteenth of the Hebrew month of Nisan and died during the same hour that year’s Passover lambs were sacrificed. This annual date for the Passover was set by Moses according to the day that the children of Israel were first instructed to slay a young lamb and sprinkle its blood on the doorposts of their homes to prevent the destroyer of the Egyptians from slaying their firstborn. According to Ernest Martin in his detailed book, The Secrets of Golgotha, Jesus was crucified on the Mount of Olives directly east of the temple mount. This spot was near the altar of the red heifer overlooking the temple’s veiled Holy of Holies. This location was considered as a sacred part of the temple. The “tree of life” diagram from the Jewish Kabala, when superimposed on the configuration of the temple, as it was meant to be, has, as this spot, its base. The Roman centurion in charge of Jesus’ crucifixion said, “truly this was the son of God” when he saw the veil covering the entrance to the Holy of Holies rend from top to bottom as Jesus expired. (Mark 15:37-39) This veil was said to have been several stories in height and woven inches thick with the celestial bodies embroidered into its fabric. It was only from a spot high on the Mount of Olives that the rending of the starry veil could be observed by the centurion. Below from the city of Jerusalem all could look upward across the Kidron valley and see this man bleeding his life away on the cross.
At the end of Paul’s book of Hebrews he exhorts its readers to come outside the camp to the cross. “Outside the camp” was known to be this specific location in front of the tabernacle and later temple where stood the altar of the red heifer on the Mount of Olives. This is where the ashes of the burned bodies of the temple’s animal sacrifices were disposed. The red heifer was a virgin cow less than three years old. It was slain at this altar on the Mount of Olives and the ashes were mixed with water and daubed on people to purify them for entrance into the temple. Paul indicates in second Corinthians that we first need to know the observable facts, or Jesus after the flesh, before we can understand the multifaceted allegories or divine symbols of His life and death.
The celestial bodies and their movements were also made to be symbols. The masculine sun was to rule the day and the feminine moon was made to rule the night and its star-studded sky. In this regard, when certain celestial cycles are combined with earthly events, the day of the crucifixion gains significance. The twenty-eight day cycle of the moon represents the female’s power to bring forth. This cycle represents the female menstrual cycle. Each month of the Hebrew calendar begins with the first visible crescent of the new moon. It was on the fourteenth of the year’s first month in the fullness of the moon that Moses instituted the Passover and the eventual day that Messiah was to be crucified. The mid month day of the fourteenth represents the day of ovulation or the most fertile day of the month. Like the extensive wedding ceremonies in the East that were scheduled to consummate on the bride’s most fertile day, Jesus crucifixion occurred on a day that represents the Holy Spirit’s most fertile day.
The sanctity of the bridal chamber was also an important element in understanding the cross. The forerunner and pattern for the temple was the tabernacle. In the Hebrew language the same word used for tabernacle is also used for tent. Wives in the eastern nomadic culture had individual tents containing their veiled marriage bed. Their handmaids and feminine relatives were the only ones allowed into their tent. Even more sacred was the veiled marriage bed. The only ones allowed into this inner sanctum were the wife and her husband. Many have wondered why Jael who smote Sisera with a tent stake through his head became “blessed above all women in the tent.” (Judges 5:24ff) After defeat in battle against Barak, Sisera fled to Jael’s tent. He asked for water and she gave him milk that by custom contained a portion of salt. This was a means of offering the sacred salt covenant that signified Jael would protect Sisera with her own life. Sisera came into Jael’s tent yet later hid in her marriage chamber. In doing so he violated the sanctity of the most important realm of life in the East. Jael, by slaying Sisera, was protecting the Eastern woman’s heritage and a most powerful symbol of eternal restitution.
There is a more powerful declaration of this symbol in Paul’s prophetic book of Hebrews. In chapter nine he writes:
For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Hebrews 9:2-3
According to the gospel of Philip, an Eastern Gnostic gospel, the veiled Holy of Holies in the temple in Jerusalem was the bridal chamber. In this section of Hebrews, the apostle Paul uses the Greek feminine hagia rather than the masculine or neuter form of “holy” for this veiled center of the temple. This was the sacred portion of the tabernacle and the later temple that was separated by an inner veil. It is no wonder that in Jewish history there are records of the high priest tying a rope around his ankle before entering once a year. With this precaution he could be pulled out if struck dead while entering this holy place to offer blood for the sins of the nation on the annual Day of Atonement.
According to Paul the sacrifices of the temple service were figures or symbols of something better in the heavenly or divine realm. The sacrifice of Jesus on the Mount of Olives has divine meaning as the definitive power of God. Here the Eastern marriage and the feminine gender of the Holy Spirit again come to the forefront. Paul in his superlative epistle to the Ephesians bases the great mystery of Christ and the church on the union of husband and wife. The final act in the wedding ceremony was for the couple to hang their blood spotted bed sheet from the apartment window as proof to the community of virginity and consummation.1 The bloodied sheet was the sign that the bride had been accepted as a member of a new family and the husband and wife had entered wholeness. Then the husband and wife were considered to have been made whole when the wife conceived and brought forth children. In the summation of all things what does this mean?
Above the temple and all Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives, Jesus gave His life as the consummate pure blood token of divine union. Here, in the middle of the Hebrew’s first month, Jesus hung blood soaked as the symbol of consummation and divine conception. The passion of Solomon’s song was fulfilled: the spiritual feminine and the spiritual masculine could now be known as one in their eternal embrace. Here in reality is the ultimate symbol of the energetic power of consummate union in the realm of the divine masculine and the divine feminine. He endured the shame, the pain, and the anguish to show to all mankind that God is love. Here is the healing balm for all ages and for all realms. Here all sins are forgiven. Here the emotions and intellect become one in the heart of the soul. Here the physiology of soul is made whole. Here is salvation for the corrupted seed of the first man. Here the saints and faithful in Christ Jesus become united in one spirit. Here is the “one new man” of Ephesians. Here is the tiny seed that sprouts and grows into the tree of life for the restitution of all things. Here is the table from which we now eat and the cup from which we now drink. Here, in the cross, is the eternal power of God.
Copyright, 2001, Steve Santini
All rights reserved.
1 See excerpted booklet, Symbols of Restitution in the Eastern Betrothal Contract and Wedding Festival