Golgotha, the Place of the Crucifixion

The Official Publication of the Church of God of Prophecy


Dr. Freddie Harding,
Cookeville, Tennessee

“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin” (Romans 6:6). “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:24, 25).

There is quite a contrast between crucifying the flesh at the place referred to as “The Skull” which was a total lack of flesh. Our sin was destroyed because Jesus chose the rocky Golgotha way.

The Romans selected conspicuous places by major highways for their public executions, such as a hill at an elevation high enough to be plainly visible at a distance. The crucifixion was near the junction of the main north-south road (now Suq Khan-ez-Zeit) and with one of two main east-west roads (now the Via Dolorosa and complex of streets known as the Muristan). A major bus terminal operates at this intersection today, at the same location where the travelers mocked Jesus as they passed by on these ancient roads (Matthew 27:39, Mark 15:21, 29, 30).

While taking a picture near Golgotha on a recent trip to Israel, the guide told me that Christ could have hung on the cross at the road, in front of this huge rock. This near eye level position was not what I had envisioned. Being on the hill of Calvary was where I thought Jesus was crucified between two thieves.

The gospel writers called the place Golgotha—an Aramaic word “gol goatha” meaning the skull and they used the Greek word “kranion” to describe where Jesus was crucified. This referred to the upper part of the skull, different from “skufion” (skull), implying that the crucifixion could have been on the top of Golgotha. Earlier references called this, “the skull-pan or the upper part of the head”.

Scripture stated that Jesus’ crucifixion took place outside the city walls of Jerusalem, but not far away from the wall (John 19:20, Hebrews 13:12). Golgotha was where Jesus left his living body at the end of this phase of His early ministry here on earth. This place was reserved for punishment of the outcasts in this world. The mobs chose to have Christ crucified like a common criminal. The precious Son of God shed His sinless blood for you and me so that His sacrifice would qualify us to enter heaven.

Not far away, (almost in sight of the Temple), the veil of the holy sanctuary was seen to be rent in two as Jesus gave up the ghost. The earth quaked and the darkness settled in, as bystanders expressed that truly Jesus was the Son of God. It is very important to remember that Jesus gave up His life; it was not taken from Him. This ushered in His gift for the payment of our sins, as a true sacrifice.

Thank you Jesus, for this most precious Easter gift offered to us on that solid rock so many years ago!

—, Cookeville, Tennessee