Golgatha ... "Place of the Skull"

Golgatha … “Place of the Skull”

“The glory of God is man fully alive.”  (St. Irenaeus.)  

“Our destiny is to come fully alive – your heart bears a glory.  And that glory is needed now.” 

                       ~~ John Eldredge, “Waking the Dead”

“So to pacify the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas. He ordered Jesus to be flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified … when they were finally tired of mocking him, they led him away to be crucified. And they brought Jesus to a place call Golgotha (which means “Place of the Skull”). Then the soldiers nailed him to a cross.” Mark 15, selected.

Since the 6th century, Golgatha has been referred to as the location of a mountain, or small hill, meaning, “Place of the Skull.” This meaning is derived from the Hebrew word for skull, as the hill resembled a skullcap. Another explanation is that the location was near a city gate as a place of public execution and refers to abandoned skulls that would be found there. Earlier Christian and Jewish traditions refer to the location of the skull of Adam, retrieved from the ark of Noah, carried by Shem and Melchizedek, to a skull-shaped hill at the center of the Earth, where also the serpent was cursed following the Fall of Man, and his head was crushed by the Living Christ.

Whatever the facts surrounding the history of Golgotha, one fact remains.   One Man.  One Death.  One Resurrection.  One Savior.  One man died for all men. Everlasting death was defeated and crushed by one man’s death and everlasting life ushered in by one perfect Savior’s resurrection. One man who endured the despising, the shame, the torture, the humanity and depravity of the ones He’d come to save, all because He loved … me. He loved you. No really, it’s not just a story, a holiday about eggs, and candy, and a bunny, and shiny shoes, and new stuff. It’s about death — Jesus’ death. “Something deep and profound happened to us in the death of Christ. His death was the real work on our behalf. Our nature was nailed to the cross with Christ; we died there, with him, in him. Jesus was the last Adam — the end of that terrible story.”*

But it’s not just about death.  The cross was not the end or the focus. Why? Because Jesus rose from the grave!! We are saved to live. Not just in eternity with Him, but to live and walk in freedom now — today!! It was Jesus’ Resurrection that the early church preached. The miracles, the healings, the hope of new life were the messages of the followers of Christ. We have been made alive to live with a new heart, a new nature. This is very Good News!! And yes, we will live with Him eternally, but we can live abundant, joyful, purposed, light-filled lives now — today!

“The day has come, and the Morning Star has risen, never to set again. This unveiling, this coming into your glory, this is inevitable for the ransomed heart.”  ‘And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory,which comes from the Lord.” (2 Cor. 3).

“We are in the process of being unveiled.  We were created to reflect God’s glory, born to bear His image, and He ransomed us to reflect that glory.  “The glory of God is man fully alive.”  (Saint Irenaeus.)  Our destiny is to come fully alive — your heart bears a glory.  And that glory is needed now.” *  Jesus walked the hill of Golgatha to bring glory … to His Father, and to fulfill God’s plan for life.  And so we would share and reflect that glory NOW.

So what does this mean for me?  I’m so grateful Jesus walked that hill, died that death, and lived that life.  I have some very good news to share … and I’m not keeping it to myself!!  He lives and because of that, I’m free.  Free to be who He created me to be … for His glory.  “Shine your light and let the whole world see, we’re singing for the glory of the RISEN KING!!”


(* – all quotes taken from “Waking the Dead” by John Eldredge.)