Nuggets of Truth

“When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”

Luke 23:33-34a (NASB)

There was a weekend in April, nearly 2000 years ago, that is special to all of humanity.

It was the weekend of brutality and bloodshed as the righteous died for the unrighteous.

It was the weekend that began with tremendous agony but ended with tremendous victory.

It was the weekend when Jesus Christ gave Himself up for sinful man.

It was the weekend when Jesus Christ conquered sin, death, hell, and the grave.

It was the weekend that changed the world for all history and eternity.

It’s Friday morning, 9 A.M. Killing time in Jerusalem.

Outside the Damascus Gate is a road and on the other side of the road is a flat area near the spot where the prophet Jeremiah is buried. Up above you can see a rocky outcropping that, if studied at a certain angle, looks like a skull. Eroded into the limestone are two sockets for the eyes, a place for the nose and maybe a place for the mouth.

Skull Hill, they called it. Golgotha.

Consider these three words from Mark 15:25: “They crucified him.”

The word “they” speaks of the people who crucified our Lord. The “they” included the Romans, the Jews, and it includes you and me. We all had our share in the death of Jesus.

The word “crucified” speaks of the painful death He suffered.

Crucifixion was the ultimate punishment in that day. It represented the final judgment of the world on Jesus. Though He had done no wrong, they crucified Him anyway.

The word “him” speaks of the person who died that day. This was no ordinary man. As the centurion cried out when Jesus died, “Surely, this was the Son of God!” Mark 15:39

Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles, but on a cross between two thieves; on a town garbage heap, at a crossroads so cosmopolitan that they had to write His title in Hebrew, the language of the religious, Latin, the language of the barbarian, and Greek, the language of the cultured. It was the kind of place where cynics, thieves and soldiers would often gamble. The cynic would talk smut, thieves would curse, and soldiers would gamble.

In addition to this possibly every type of person saw Him as He carried the cross to Golgotha. You see it doesn’t matter who we are, we are all sinners, but Jesus, “died for all mankind.”

In John 19:30 the Bible describes how Jesus draws a deep breath, pushes His feet down on those Roman nails and cries: “It is finished.”

Are any more words more victorious? I don’t think so. What was finished?

The history-long plan of redeeming you and I was finished.

The work done by Jesus as a man on earth was finished.

The words, “It is finished” were the same words that would be wrote across a receipt when a debt had been paid in full. With those words, you were a free man.

The cross is where when we exercise believing faith, God takes all our sin, all our debt and lays it on the shoulders of Jesus, while at the same time taking all Christ’s righteousness and wrapping us up in it. What a transfer. And there’s only one way to get it, and it’s not by working for it – it’s by trusting in Christ alone.

I heard a story recently about a man who visited Golgotha and the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem. Overwhelmed, he began to weep. “Have you ever been here before?” someone asked. “Oh, yes,” he replied. “I was here 2000 years ago.” The song Were You There? asks a question we ought to ponder today:

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Has the message of Jesus death, burial, and resurrection made it from your head to your heart? Jesus didn’t die for a faceless humanity, He died for you (Galatians 2:20). He rose again for you. He wants you to know Him, not just know about Him.

Let me encourage you this Easter weekend to make sure you don’t just simply go through the motions. The worst thing that could ever happen to anyone is to know the plan of salvation and not the Man of salvation… to know the way to heaven and yet fail to go that way.

Jesus is indeed the One and only Saviour. He will save anyone who will cry out to Him in repentance and faith. His cross and empty tomb changed the world as they made it possible for sinful man to have a personal relationship with Holy God. Receive Christ into your heart.

Don’t just tip your hat to Him, bow your knee. The surrender of your heart makes it personal, and that makes all the difference in the world.