And When They were Come to the Place

"AND WHEN THEY WERE COME TO THE PLACE, WHICH IS CALLED CALVARY,
THERE THEY CRUCIFIED HIM" (LUKE 23:33)

The death of the Lord Jesus is a fact of history. Its meaning is entirely a
matter of divine revelation. There is no other means of interpreting our Lord's death
but "according to the scriptures" that "Christ died for our sins" (1 Cor. 15: 3, 4). His
death was a most cruel and ignominious death. Crucifixion was a Roman and Gentile
form of death. The Jews stoned to death their own condemned criminals. In crying
for and demanding that the Lord Jesus be crucified, the Jews therefore were not only
inflicting upon our Lord a most inhuman form of suffering, but were showing their
contempt of Him, by assigning Him a Roman death, as though He was unworthy to
be identified with national Israel even in death.

The Jews who did this infamous act were part of the Hebrew race, whom God
took up in ancient times for sovereign and divine purposes. The nation itself was a
representative part of our total humanity. As such they were given privileges, which
no other people were given, and elevated to be the chiefest of the nations, being
specially educated in the knowledge of God. Paul says of them in Rom. 9:4-5, "...to
whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory... the service of God, and the
promises... of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came... God blessed for ever".
Jesus lived among them, and did the most stupendous miracles, performing
by a touch, or a word, often without a word, and sometimes at a great distance.
They were all-benevolent in their nature and brought the greatest blessings to the
people of that nation. Yet "they crucified him". If Jewry did this, what shall we say,
would any other part of the human race have done?

In the act of crucifying our Lord, there were gathered around the cross every
type of our humanity. The corrupt humanity of the whole of mankind was expressed
in this, even by the most e9ucated, civilized and religious part of it. "And they
crucified him"- that points the finger to all mankind.

The hatred of the rulers and priests of Jewry, with their cunning and craft,
enmity and cruelty, exposed their heart of unbelief, though under a religious guise or
garment. Pilate is representative of the Gentiles and the Gentile dominion, the fourth
great world -power of Rome, which had subdued the Jews and usurped the rule of
their land. He was the Roman Governor, an able man of his day. Because of his
detestation for the Jews, he might have taken sides with Jesus. He sought to
proclaim the innocence of Jesus, "Behold... I find no fault in him" (John 19:4, 5).
Pilate recognized something of the superior quality of life in Christ, when he cried to
the Jews, "Behold the man!", as though he was acknowledging," Here is an ideal
man, a kind of man that all men should have been."

Now all this high praise of Pilate's, suddenly came crashing down when the
Jews cried, “If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend" (John 19:12). That
cry created anew issue; Christ or self interest-Christ or position-Christ or reputation.
And Pilate loved self more than he loved God, if he ever thought of God at all. This is
the real malignity of sin. It esteems self to be of more value than the Son of God. So
it was that Pilate, to save his own skin, delivered up Jesus to be crucified. Pilate
either had to deny self or deny Christ; crucify the flesh or crucify Christ. He did what
all Gentiles do- and did as the representative of all Gentiles.

If the cross thus reveals the true character and extent of man's iniquity and
unbelief, it reveals as nowhere else the true character and extent of God's love for
man. Here and only by this means, man's redemption is secured and here and in no
other place, can sinful man fall into the loving arms of His God and be forgiven. It is
the love of God in action; love which many waters cannot quench nor floods drown.
It is love from which comes all our salvation. The cross is God's witness that He is
not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Pet.
3:9).

There is only one other kind of people to be found in the Scripture. It is a
company of people who have come forth from both these groups - Jew and Gentile,
because they have seen by the Spirit of God, the evil of their natural heart and the
immensity of unbelief, which lurks in every corner of that heart. They have knelt at
the Savior’s feet. They have received Him, Whom both the Jew and Gentile had
rejected. They are neither Jew nor Gentile now, but a new creation people through
faith in Him, Who in being crucified by men, wrought out God's plan for their
salvation. "For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek (Gentile): for
the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call
upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Rom. 10:12:13).

Dear reader, if you have not experienced this salvation, through faith in the
crucified, risen One, "... call ye upon him while he is near;" and be forgiven -saved
from the wrath to come (Isaiah. 55:6,7).

K.P.

Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.   Matthew 24: 42