Golgotha (Calvary) – The Place of Skull

Golgotha is an Aramaic word meaning “skull” and is also called Calvary from the latin word “calva” meaning “bald head” or “skull”. It is the place referred to in all four Gospels as the hill of execution outside the city walls of Jerusalem near a road not from where Jesus was buried. There are several locations in and around Jerusalem thought to be Golgotha – the actual site where Jesus crucified. One location is believed to be a rocky steep ridge that seems to resemble the face of a skull, located northwest of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, near the Garden Tomb, outside the walls of Jerusalem and where there was an ancient temple quarry site. This rock steep ridge contains two large sunken holes resembling the eyes of a skull in a skull-like appearance is why many call this location Golgotha. Believers since Constantine recognized the Church of the Holy Sepulcher to be the mount of Golgotha where Jesus was crucified. The church is built above the Golgotha and marked with altars inside the church. Another hill on the other side of Jerusalem, outside the eastern wall, northeast of the Temple Mount is place some believe to be Golgotha. Graves have long since been removed from this hill. It is believed that Jesus would have left Jerusalem through the earlier Sheep Gate would have arrived at the base of this hill. This site of the hill of Golgotha would have been in viewing and hearing distance of all the activities held during the Feast of Passover inside Jerusalem. God alone knows the exact location where His blood fell to earth centuries ago, but the fact that He gave His “life” freely for every man, woman and child on earth is our major focus point.

Jesus prophesied His death and scripture confirms his prophecies and reveals the story of His loving sacrifice for our redemption and the fulfillment of God’s Plan.

“You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.” (Matthew 26:2).

“Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said to him, “Let Him be crucified!” (Matthew 27:22-44).

“So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified.” (Mark 15:15-32).

“But they were insistent, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified. And the voices of these men and of the chief priests prevailed. 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.” (Luke 23:23,33).

“After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” 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. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, “Not one of His bones shall be broken.” And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.” 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. And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. 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. 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. So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby.” (John 19:28-41).

“At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.” (Matthew 27:51-52).

“Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.” (Matthew 27:59-60).”Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.” (Mark 16:2-4).”Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” So they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.” (Mark 16:1-8).

“Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea and he was waiting for the kingdom of God. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid.” (Luke 23:50-53).

“Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’” (Luke 24:1-7).

“But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” (Matthew 28:1-8)