If you had been to Jerusalem you may have visited two very famous, very important sites: one is called the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the other one is called the Garden Tomb.
You also heard the word Golgotha which means “skull” in Aramaic. The word  Calvary, comes from the Latin calva: “bald head,” or “skull”. The skull-shaped hill in Jerusalem, is the site of Jesus’ crucifixion.
It is referred to in all four Gospels. The hill of execution was outside the city walls of Jerusalem, apparently near a road and not far from the sepulchre where Jesus was buried
General Gordon
However, the most famous proponent of the view that Skull Hill is the biblical Golgotha was Major-General Charles Gordon who visited Jerusalem in 1883.
His name has become so entwined with Skull Hill, that many contemporary news articles and guide books erroneously state that Gordon is the first to discover the site.
In reality Gordon was very much influenced by the arguments of Conder and by his conversations and correspondence with Schick.

Gordon went beyond Howe and Conder to passionately propose additional arguments, which he himself confessed were “more fanciful” and imaginative.
Gordon proposed a typological reading of Leviticus 1:11: “[The sheep for a burnt-offering] shall be slaughtered on the north side of the altar before the LORD”.
Gordon interpreted this verse to mean that Christ, the prototype, must also have been slain north of the “altar” (Skull Hill being north of Jerusalem and of the Temple Mount).
This typological interpretation, though obviously theological and not scientific in nature, has been given some credence even by prominent detractors of “Gordon’s Calvary” – such as Major-General Charles Wilson.
Gordon also commented on the appropriateness of the location in a letter he sent to his sister on January 17, 1883, his second day in Jerusalem:
“I feel, for myself, convinced that the Hill near the Damascus Gate is Golgotha. … From it, you can see the Temple, the Mount of Olives and the bulk of Jerusalem.
His stretched out arms would, as it were, embrace it: ‘all day long have I stretched out my arms’ [cf. Isaiah 65:2.
Close to it is the slaughter-house of Jerusalem; quite pools of blood are lying there. It is covered with tombs of Muslim;
There are many rock-hewn caves; and gardens surround it. Now, the place of execution in our Lord’s time must have been, and continued to be, an unclean place … so, to me, this hill is left bare ever since it was first used as a place of execution. … It is very nice to see it so plain and simple, instead of having a huge church built on it.

Today, as of old, I am covered with tombs. What you see here are tombs of Moslems.
And from the street below this is what you see – an image of a human skull.
Recently, after heavy rains, the image of the skull was lost. But if have visited the Garden Tomb, your pictures will have the original skull.

Because I am at present a Muslim cemetery, no one is allowed up here and no one is allowed to take picture.
Some Westerners managed to get up here and even took some pictures.
Today I want to tell you of what happened here in one spring morning in 31 AD.

When Rome conquered Palestine they choose me to become to place of execution. Why me, you may enquire?
Because I was opposite the Damascus gate where thousands of people entered and exited. I was located in such an obvious place that the inhabitants and visited wouldn’t miss seeing me.
The execution of criminals was a warning to potential criminals to refrain from crime and corruption.
I had strong criminals hanging here for more than a day or two to exhibiting their awkward, shameful nakedness and their facial expression of agonizing pain.
Today you can visit the Israel Museum where archaeologists exhibit an ankle of a crucified person from the time of Christ.
The adjacent caption shows how these criminals were crucified.

Early one Friday morning three crosses were to be erected on me.
I watched as two of them came up here. Like all the criminals in the past, two of them carried their heavy crosses.
The third criminal was the first ever who did not carry His cross.
I watched what happened. The third criminal was also forced according Roman law to carry His cross. But He was too weak.
Only after He was eventually nailed to His cross, did I realize why He could not fulfil the Roman law of carrying the cross.
In the palace of Caiaphas he received 26 lashes over His chest. You only saw one big bleeding wound.
Pilate administered the 40 lashes minus one, twice. This was the first time I saw a bleeding back like His.
But He also wore a crown of thorns which caused great bleeding wounds on His skull.
His eye sockets were swollen. Blue markings and oozing blood could be seen all over His face. He face was so marred by continual beatings in His face by cruel fists the previous night.
By the way the cross He was forced to carry, bore the name of Barabbas one of the most notorious criminals in Jewish history.
At this time of the year Pilate usually set a criminal free. He wanted to do this with third criminal called Jesus, but the crowd said they preferred Barabbas to be set free instead of Jesus.

I saw how the Roman soldiers kicked and cursed this Jesus when He collapsed under the burden of the cross they forced on Him. Because Romans citizens were exempted from crucifixion execution they refused to carry His cross.
I saw how they grabbed of man from Cyrene of Africa and forced him to carry the cross of Jesus.
You should have seen his resentment and hatred because he had to carry a criminal’s cross.

Somewhere here where you see the Muslim tombstones, three crosses were erected.
Two of the criminals kicked up a great fight as the nails penetrated their hands and feet.
I was used to listen how they cursed their executioners. But the third One called Jesus did not enter one word of resentment.
The very word He mentioned was forgiveness. I have never heard such a word in my entire history up here.

When Jesus uttered the words: “Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing,” the expression of hatred on the face of Simon of Cyrene suddenly changed.
He could not believe that One who was so cruelly treated could utter words of forgiveness.

After this event Dr. Luke a Greek who became of Christian, wrote these words:
Luk 23:32 There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death.
Luk 23:33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left.
Luk 23:34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots.

Before telling you about the conversation of the two other criminals, let me quote Dr. Luke once more:

Luk 23:35 And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.”
Luk 23:36 The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine,
Luk 23:37 and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.”
Luk 23:38 And an inscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Although He was called a criminal by His enemies He behave like a King, a very king King. To me He became the King of forgiveness, the King of love, the King of redemption.

Luk 23:39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”
Luk 23:40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation?
Luk 23:41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.”
Luk 23:42 Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”
Luk 23:43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you today you will be with Me in Paradise.”


The more i was exposed to the criminal on the middle cross, the more i realised that He was truly the Son of God.

When He prayed to His father to forgive His murderers He expressed His willingness to take their punishment upon Himself. According to law you cannot be punished for the crimes of someone else.
But here the Son of God, by His divine authority, exchanged His innocence for the guilt of humanity.
I whatched Him as He agonised with the load of guilt of the entire human race.


Someone else, called Mathew a previous tax collecter who became one of His followers, wrote the following sentence:

Mat 27:45 Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land.
Mat 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?”

Suddenly at noon, the sun refused to expose the following three hours of the agony that Jesus went through.

This was the first time this happened to me. It was pitched dark. After three hours which felt like an eternity, the darkness was removed and the voice of Jesus was heard in Aramaic, His mother tongue:

“Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” if you tranlate these words, it mean “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?”

Do you realize why Jesus was forsaken by His Father?

The value of a soul, who can estimate? Would you know its worth, go to Gethsemane, and there watch with Christ through those hours of anguish, when He sweat as it were great drops of blood. Look upon the Saviour uplifted on the cross. Hear that despairing cry, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” Mark 15:34. Look upon the wounded head, the pierced side, the marred feet. Remember that Christ risked all. For our redemption, heaven itself was imperiled. At the foot of the cross, remembering that for one sinner Christ would have laid down His life, you may estimate the value of a soul.

Why did the Father forsook Jesus when He hung on Calvary?

No man will ever have occasion to cry out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Jesus endured the hiding of his Father’s face, that God might never have to forsake the children of earth, unless they deliberately turned from him.


Listen how John, one of His disciples describe His dying words:

Joh 19:29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth.
Joh 19:30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

Do you fully realize what is meant by the words “It is finished!”

The eternal death penalty for all sinners was revoked. Christ paid the price for sinner’s iniquity. Sinners dont have to pay the price for their sins which is eternal death. Jesus paid the price for the sinner’s guilt.

In other words, if I accept the gift of Calvary i will not taste the agony of the second death.

If accept the gift of Calvary i stand before God the Father as if I had never sinned.

I loved the words of

I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small,
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”

And when, before the throne,
I stand in Him complete,
“Jesus died my soul to save,
My lips shall still repeat.

Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
  He washed it white as snow.


I watched the Roman Centurion who was in charge of the crucifixion of Jesus

Luk 23:47 So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous Man!”

What an experience. This was the One and only Rigteous Man he ever crucified.

If you would imagine the scenes and sounds of Calvary you will utter the same testimony – The Rigteous Man.


The disciples of Jesus was embarressed and broken hearted when their Master died. They had no money to give Him a descent burial service. The alternative was too gastly to consider.

They could allow the authorities to dump him in the Hinnom valley where carcasses of animals and criminals were dumped.


Let me read to you of two celebrities that came to their rescue:

Joh 19:38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus.
Joh 19:39 And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds.
Joh 19:40 Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.
Joh 19:41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid.
Joh 19:42 So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby.

This was the most expensive burial that happened that Friday afternoon. The wealthy Nicodemus bought the most expensive mixture of myrrh and aloes. The broken body of Jesus was wrapped in the most expensive linen.

And then these two men took Jesus to the most expensive tomb and laid Him there.


Can you tell me how many conversions took place that Friday afternoon?

The first was Simon of Cyrene; the second was the thief that was crucified next to Jesus.

Then the Roman centurion and the two celebreties, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea.


The story of people who were converted right here on me were five. That was 2000 years ago.

Now we are in the 21st Century and the crucifixion of Jesus has the same effect on sinners.

When they meditate on what Jesus has done for poor lost sinners, something happens inside of them.

They realised Jesus took every bit of their sin and buried it in His death. If they accept this gift they have everlasting life and everlasting piece.

This is my wish for you dear reader.

Christ did not yield up His life till He had accomplished the work which He came to do, and with His parting breath He exclaimed, “It is finished.” John 19:30. The battle had been won. His right hand and His holy arm had gotten Him the victory. As a Conqueror He planted His banner on the eternal heights. Was there not joy among the angels? All heaven triumphed in the Saviour’s victory. Satan was defeated, and knew that his kingdom was lost. {DA 758.1}
To the angels and the unfallen worlds the cry, “It is finished,” had a deep significance. It was for them as well as for us that the great work of redemption had been accomplished. They with us share the fruits of Christ’s victory. {DA 758.2}

Updated on 21st Mar 2022

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