I would venture to say we all have those places in life in which we were tremendously impacted.
For some, it may be a classroom where a particular teacher spoke into your life. For others, it may be a job that helped you to break out of your shell. You may even relate to a moment at church when a song or message rang to your very soul. For me, it was a place called Golgotha.
I have never been to Golgotha, but what occurred there changed my life for all eternity. Matthew tells us about this place of Christ’s crucifixion in Matthew 27:33, “And they went out to a place called Golgotha (which means “Place of the Skull”)” (NLT). Golgotha! What does it mean to you?
For some, the name was simply given because the land and rock formation around merely appeared to resemble a skull. Others believe it is where young David took the head of Goliath after the great victory. Perhaps even the skull of Adam, the first man created by God, was buried on this very hill.
To others, it was only an area right outside Jerusalem, through the city gate. A place of justice, a place of execution. A place where criminals where taken to be crucified. Where the skulls and bones of criminals lay scattered. Where the victims were perhaps abandoned to become prey to birds and beasts. Golgotha! What does it mean to you?
TheFreeDictionary.com defines Golgotha as “a place or occasion of great suffering.” Jesus to Golgotha? The perfectly pure One — He who was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sin. He, Jesus, brought to a place regarded as the most polluted and defiled, where skulls and bones marked the place of public execution, and which was branded with the death of many.
Jesus, the son of God, to whom all power was given in Heaven and on earth, whose will the armies of Heaven obey. He, Jesus, seized by wicked men, and dragged as if He were a helpless victim of their cruelty to a place called Golgotha, The Place of the Skull! Golgotha! What does it mean to you?
For me, it is so much more. You see, what occurred at Golgotha changed my life forever. It was Christ’s death on the cross that gives me hope for tomorrow. It was Christ’s perfect sacrifice that takes my imperfections and clothes them in all that is perfect.
Because of the death and resurrection of Christ, my connection with God is not based on what I can achieve on my own. After all, it is Romans 6:23 that reminds us that in our own efforts, it is hopeless. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 6:23 (NLT).
What I have earned by my efforts, regardless how noble or just, is death. However, Jesus stepped in and changed everything for me and for you. You see, what He is offering is not just a gift, but a free gift of life. True forgiveness! It all started at a place called Golgotha.
But have I gone too far past Jesus? Have I messed up too much? No! You see, there is nothing that can separate me from the love of my Savior, Jesus Christ.
“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?… No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” Romans 8:35, 37 (NLT).
Wow! What great hope Christ sets for us. It doesn’t matter how bad you think you have been. It doesn’t matter how many mistakes you have made — the price that Jesus paid at Golgotha is big enough to wipe it all clean. Is it time for you to take a spiritual road trip to a place called Golgotha? Why not let Christ be the game changer in your life? Why not allow Him to give you a new reset point in life?
I don’t know what Golgotha means to you, but for me, it is a place of hope. A place of new life. Yes, a place of suffering. A place of sorrow. A place of pain. But it was a place where my future began.