At Golgotha

Christ died for our sins.

It can be easy to say those words and believe them, and not think much about what it cost Him to do so. He was beaten and mocked by the Roman soldiers. He was flogged by two lictors, each brandishing a whip with metal embedded in them. He carried His own crossbeam on the Via Dolorosa.

Jesus was taken to Golgotha - the place of the skull. On a hill outside Jerusalem, the soldiers laid him on the cross and drove spikes into His wrists and ankles. The Romans knew how to inflict maximum pain during an execution. It was all done publicly, meant as a deterrent to crossing the power of Rome.

The cross was hoisted into its hole in the ground, jarring Jesus' body and putting his full weight on the spikes, causing searing pain. His body weight put tremendous pressure on His chest and lungs, making it nearly impossible to breathe. In order to take in a breath, He had to push up on the spikes in His feet to relieve the pressure from His own body, hanging from the spikes in his wrists. The victim of crucifixion would often last on the cross for days, and eventually die of asphyxiation as they became too weak to push up on their feet to take another breath.

He suffered all this for you and for me. He took our sins, and our death penalty, to the Cross and died there in our place. His life was given up for your life. And for mine. And for the lives of all who call upon Him in faith for redemption.

There's an old Oak Ridge Boys gospel song that says this:

I was guilty with nothing to say

And they were coming to take me away

When a voice from Heaven was heard that said

"Let him go and take Me instead"

Oh I should have been crucified

And I should have suffered and died

I should have hung on the cross in disgrace

But Jesus, God's Son, took my place

The crowns of thorns, the spear in His side

And the pain, it should have been mine

Those rusty nails were meant for me

Yet Christ took them and let me go free

Oh I should have been crucified

And I should have suffered and died

I should have hung on the cross in disgrace

But Jesus, God's Son, took my place

At Golgotha, darkness came over the land when Jesus was crucified. Not an eclipse, but a supernatural darkness like the plague of darkness centuries before in Egypt. At Golgotha, soldiers cast lots for Jesus' garment - the only thing He owned. At Golgotha, there was an earthquake when Jesus died, and the curtain of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom, as Jesus opened the way for sinners to come into the very Presence of our holy, loving God.

At Golgotha, the justice of a holy God was served, and the grace of a loving God was poured out. At Golgotha, redemption was won in an act of self-sacrifice that can seem too good to be true. "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16 NIV)

Forgiveness for sin and freedom from its power were won for you and me at Golgotha. Sin was paid off and its power was broken for eternity. The enemy of our soul no longer has a claim on the life of one who is covered by the blood of Jesus and redeemed from sin and death. Glorious freedom is given so sin's deep effects in our fallen nature can be reversed and we are set free to live lives that honor God and become more Christlike.

It's all true, because of what Jesus did at Golgotha. His death there was the greatest injustice that was ever done - the sinless, perfect Son of God was cruelly executed without cause. It was also the greatest act of redemption that was ever done - the sinless, perfect Son of God died in my place so I could live. He died in your place so you could live!

Look to Golgotha. Look to the Cross of Jesus Christ. Look to the Savior in faith. Entrust Jesus with your life and follow Him into a future that is not ruled by sin like the past has been. Receive His Holy Spirit. Believe this: Jesus loves you more than you could ever know, and He can set you free from sin and death! Step into His glorious freedom and begin to live a life that loves God with all your heart and loves others as you love yourself. Exchange your old, broken, sinful life for a new beginning and an eternity of love and grace.

Meet Jesus at Golgotha, and be set free!

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