Read: John 19:16-25

. . . The Place of the Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. (v. 17)

Sometimes, where something takes places matters. Sand from the beaches of Normandy means something different than sand from Holland, Michigan. Saying “I do” at a wedding is different than answering in the kitchen when asked if you want a cup of coffee. Where something happens matters.

Where Jesus was crucified matters: Golgotha, “The Place of the Skull” (v. 17). This story really starts in the garden, with Adam and Eve (Gen. 2). They lived in harmony with God and creation. But when temptation came, they broke that harmony. They listened to the lying voice of the serpent. They ate the fruit God commanded them not to eat, and sent the whole of creation careening into sin (Gen. 3:1-14). However, in his mercy, God did not abandon his creation. Instead, included in his judgment upon the serpent was a promise: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (v. 15). God promised that one day, Eve’s offspring would defeat the serpent, once and for all.

It’s no accident that Jesus’s feet (heels!) were pierced on a hill called “The Place of the Skull.” In Jesus, that promise of the ages has come true. By his pierced hands and feet, Jesus has crushed the head of the serpent—gaining victory over sin, death, and the devil. On Golgotha, Jesus fulfilled God’s great promise to redeem his people.

As you pray, thank Jesus for the cross.

About the Author

Stephen Shaffer is the pastor at Bethel Reformed Church in Brantford, Ontario.

This entry is part 27 of 31 in the series Looking to Jesus