22. It is related that when Pilate would fain have released Him all the people cried out, “Crucify Him, Crucify Him!” 3321 This also the Prophet Jeremiah foretells, saying, in the person of the Lord Himself, “My inheritance is become to Me as a lion in the forest. He hath uttered his voice against Me, wherefore I have hated it. And therefore (saith He) I have forsaken and left My house.” 3322 And again in another place, “Against whom have ye opened your mouth, and against whom have ye let loose your tongues?” 3323 When He stood before His judge, it is written that “He held His peace.” 3324 Many Scriptures testify of this. In the Psalms it is written, “I became as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs.” 3325 And again, “I was as a deaf man, and heard not, and as one that is dumb and openeth not his mouth.” And again another Prophet saith, “As a lamb before her shearer, so He opened not His mouth. In His humiliation His judgment was taken away.” 3326 It is written that there was put on Him a crown of thorns. Of this hear in the Canticles the voice of God the Father marvelling at the iniquity of Jerusalem in the insult done to His Son: “Go forth and see, ye daughters of Jerusalem, the crown wherewith His mother hath crowned Him.” 3327 Moreover, of the thorns another Prophet makes mention: “I looked that she should bring forth grapes, and she brought forth thorns, and instead of righteousness a cry.” 3328 But that thou mayest know the secrets of the mystery, it behoved Him, Who came to take away the sins of the world, to free the earth also from the curse, which it had received through the sin of the first man, when the Lord said “Cursed be the earth in thy labours: thorns: and thistles shall it bring forth to thee.” 3329 For this cause, therefore, is Jesus crowned with thorns, that first sentence of condemnation might be remitted. He is led to the cross, and the life of the whole word is suspended on the wood of which it is made. I would point out how this also is confirmed by testimony from the Prophets. You find Jeremiah speaking of it thus, “Come and let us cast wood into His bread, and crush Him out of the land of the living.” 3330 And again, Moses, mourning over them, says, “Thy life shall be suspended before thine eyes, and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt not believe thy life.” 3331 But we must pass on, for already we are exceeding our proposed measure of brevity, and are lengthening out our “short word” by a long dissertation. Yet we will add a few words more, lest we should seem altogether to have passed over what we undertook.
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