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At The Place Called Calvary

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04_Apr_At The Place Called Calvary 1

"And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary,
there they crucified him, and the malefactors,
one on the right hand, and the other on the left"
Luke 23: 33

Outside the city walls of Jerusalem is a place called Calvary. This spot on the map is designated as probably the most important place on earth! Not because of any noticeable beauty because it doesn’t really have any; in fact it was known in ancient days as “Golgotha” (the place of a skull) because its geographical setting rather resembles the appearance of a human skull. Calvary became the place of great significance because of an event that took place there 2000 years ago.

This was the place where common criminals were put to death for their crimes by means of crucifixion. This had to have been the very worst, most torturous way to die. Devised by the cruel Roman Empire and those who were impaled to crosses were lifted up and left to die. It took many hours for the victim to die, and for some it even took days before the inevitable came upon them. They were lifted up high for all passersby to see.

This was the place that had seen an end of many people before and this was just another day for some like the Centurion who presided over the affairs of such a barbaric occasion. However as the events of this day unfolded it soon became evident that this was going to be a day like none other before.

Three crosses were ready to receive their next victims and routinely each man was impaled and raised up to die – but, there was something different about the Man occupying the centre cross! There, suspended on that cross, as if the very worst of the three was the only Man to ever walk this earth without sin. But why was He there? What had He done to deserve such a cruel death? After all, His cross was originally for a man called Barabbas but he was spared from his fate ...

Because this Man was going to die in his place.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God came into this sad old world just 33 years before specifically for the purpose of coming to this place to accomplish a work that no other was able to do. It was there at this place that a mighty exchange took place when:

“(He) once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust,
that he might bring us to God ...”
I Peter 3: 18

This is when
“(God) ... made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin;
that we might be made the righteousness of God in him”
2 Corinthians 5: 21

It was then that God made to meet upon Him all of the sin accumulated from the past and all sin anticipated from that moment on, and He bore the mighty wrath of God against the sin of Mankind (our sin included,) until His wrath was expended. (See Isaiah 53: 6)

What sort of a mind could have devised such a rescue plan like this other than the mind of God? What could have motivated Him to do such an extraordinary thing other than love beyond measure to those who He has gone to such great lengths to redeem?

It may appear to some that the precious Son of God died as a result of man’s hatred and brutality, but the truth is that nobody took His life from Him that day ... He gave it freely as an offering for sin once for all! And if this is so, and we know it surely is, then why the cross? Why couldn't He have given His life some other way? Why did He allow Himself to suffer at the hands of man in this manner? May it be suggested that it possibly was to demonstrate to us how exceedingly sinful sin really is?

When the Lord Jesus was just a tiny infant of no more than a few days, He was taken by His parents to the Temple to be circumcised as was the manner of the Jews. It had earlier been revealed by the Holy Spirit to a faithful man of God called Simeon that this child was the means by which Salvation from God to man would come. With great reverence and respect he moved forward, gently took up the baby in his arms and gazed into the face of this precious child and declared to God his utter and complete trust in This One who in His very Person is the very Salvation of God.

Moved by the Spirit he then spoke to Mary His mother of the impact upon the world that this child’s future would have and then old her solemnly: Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed,” (Luke 2: 35) alluding to His future suffering on the cross. It is that statement “that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” that is of particular interest; for if we read carefully we find that there was somebody from every known nation represented there at Calvary, someone from every walk of life there also, and most importantly there was someone representing every possible frame of mind there at the place where our Lord was crucified!

We can all very well identify with somebody who beheld that scene that day.

The cross revealed what man was really like – some were cruel and sadistic, others were mockers. Some were cold and indifferent while others were afraid! Very few were prepared to come close to the cross and be identified with Him, but thankfully there were a few!

And somebody there at that place called Calvary was somebody just like you!

For the unsuspecting Roman Centurion mentioned earlier a great change took place in his heart that day; for after watching this Precious One suffer, bleed and die and after witnessing the events to follow He was heard to declare from the depths of his heart:

"Truly, this was the Son of God."
Matthew 27: 54.

The question is, what does this all mean to you?

04_Apr_At The Place Called Calvary 2

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>> Do you have any questions or comments about what Calvary means to you? I would love to hear from you -
      why not say hello down below!

 

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  1. Helen Munro Inverness

    Lovely as always Mandy. I'm in kentucky at Ark Encounter. Wonderful experience. Travel home tomorrow DV Lots of love. Helen

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