Where was Jesus crucified? Was He crucified at Calvary or Golgotha? Matthew 27:33, reveals that Jesus was led “to a place called Golgotha (which means the place of the skull).” John 19:17, indicates that He was forced to walk carrying his cross “to the place of the skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha).” In referring to the King James Bible, Luke 23:33, says “And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him (Jesus)”. Both Golgotha and Calvary point to the same location outside Jerusalem.

The word Calvary in Luke’s Gospel is English for a Latin term translated from a Greek word meaning “skull.” The other Gospel writers Matthew, Mark and John used the word Golgotha. It is a translation of an Aramaic term taken from a Hebrew word meaning “skull” or a place of the skull. Jesus was crucified at Calvary, which is also Golgotha. They are the same location with different names.

We can visualize what happened at Jesus’ crucifixion. Jesus had to carry his own cross, although he had to have help from Simon of Cyrene before reaching the place for his crucifixion. Jesus was thrown backwards violently. His shoulders slamming against the heavy crossbeam He carried through the streets of Jerusalem. A soldier pounded a heavy iron nail through each of his wrists. The beans were lifted and attached to the standing stake. On top, an inscription read, “Jesus of Nazareth, The King of the Jews (John 19:19). With His knees slightly bent and one foot pressed on top of the other, a nail was hammered through the arch of each foot. While on the cross Jesus uttered his last seven words. After six hours of brutal agony, Jesus said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit and died (John 19:30).” “God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8)”.

While dying on that old rugged cross, Jesus Christ accomplished three major gifts for us: 1. Through Jesus’ atoning blood we are redeemed. Like God’s Passover lamb, Jesus’ shed blood bought our ransom and forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7). 2. Jesus through his death allowed us to have reconciliation. Originally, we were sinners, but Jesus on the cross changed that relationship. Now there is an unending peace between God and humankind (Romans 5:10). 3. Through Jesus, God’s justice and holiness were satisfied. The Bible calls this doctrine propitiation, the turning away of wrath by an offering. God viewed Jesus’ shed blood as an acceptable sacrifice for sin (Isaiah 53:10, Hebrews 2:17).

What happened three days later is probably best expressed by the song, “Christ Arose,” written by Robert Lowry in the 19th century. This song goes like this “Up from the grave He arose; with a mighty triumph over His foes; He arose a victor from the dark domain, and He lives forever, with His saints to reign. He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!” Because He lives, we too shall live. In His victory over the Devil and death rests the glorious promise of resurrection for all who truly have placed their faith in Him.

J.B. Morris leads the Rock Hill United Methodist Church.