“…It is finished…” – John 19:30
Golgotha means “Place of the skull” and it derives its name from the jagged natural carving of a skull found in the side of the hill at the place Christ was crucified. Bible historians widely believe this is where Jesus hung two centuries ago on a day like this – a ghastly Good Friday. Golgotha is located just outside of Jerusalem’s walls and in Jesus’ day it was preserved for outcasts and deemed for criminals. Today, there is a bustling bus station where Christ’s cross was. I stood at this site months ago, and as my tour guide spouted information, I pictured the Champion of Heaven gasping for breath in this place. Oh He suffered for us, for me. We must remember, the symbol of the cross was not yet glamorized and celebrated and there were no treasured hymns written about Calvary, Roman nails, flogging or thorns. No, these were all shameful execution icons – they would have been regarded as we think of an electric chair … there is nothing prestigious about it. In the depictions we often see of Good Friday today, the cross is on a hill and Jesus is centred and elevated above two criminals. However, Jesus was not crucified on the hill, but at the bottom of a skull-carved cliff along the side of a busy highway where many passers by would have trudged. He would have hung at eye level with the people. As I stood at the crucifixion site, I wondered how many people would have taken the time to look into the eyes of God that day to see His heart. I pictured broken-hearted teardrops clouding bloodied eyes of love and I felt the weight of it. The weight of God’s love received through trust in this dreadful moment of history. May you take time to meet him eye to eye today too, as he offers freely all you need to walk through each circumstance scattered ahead. Your greatest life will be lived with eyes fixed on His.