They led Jesus outside the city gates of Jerusalem towards a hill called Golgotha, which means the place of the skull.
Wearied and bloodied with a crown of thorns on His head, His feet painfully, slowly lifted one after another over dirt and stone that cut into His soles. The very same feet that had walked distances to heal the sick, raise the dead, and help the lost were now bruised with bones that ached and throbbed from the weight of wood upon His back.
Some of those who used to run towards Him, now ran away from Him.
Drenched red from a lead tipped whip, His back, all the way to His soul, bore the weight of a cross and of all people laden with sin. The same back that was sure to have been embraced with affection by men and women at the sight of their healing, now barely able to carry the mass of wood slung over His shoulder and back.
Nails bore into His hands. The same hands that clasped hands and wiped away tears, now broken by the force of hammer to nail.
Hung for all to see upon the hill at Golgotha, He was hurled insults by the passerbys on the road. The sign on His cross, “Jesus, the King of the Jews.”
The lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world now pained by crucifixion still even in death spoke and gave life. The very essence for the reason of His walk on earth to give life, true life, eternal life, and to give it more abundantly.
Next to Jesus on his right and left hung two criminals, one of them hurled insults at Him. “Aren’t you the Christ, Save yourself and us!”
But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus answered, ” I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:33, 40-43)
And that is what He gives us His children, His friends, His heirs through His death on the cross. A paradise unlike any fathomable to the human mind.
Death comes to all, but He brings us resurrection and life. These fleshly bodies will cave and vanish and wither, but the soul lives on towards paradise. Worry and fear mounts over death, but a heavenly paradise awaits for those who speak words of repentance and whose hearts connect with His.
There will be no more pain or mourning or loss for all of those have passed away. (Revelation 21:4) And we have been given a glimpse ~ a glimpse at this paradise where He sits upon the throne, the Spotless Lamb of God, the Messiah. From John’s encounter in the book of Revelation:
It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gate. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. There were three gates on the east, three on the the north, three on the south and three on the west. The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
The wall was made of jasper and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eight beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass.
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. One each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp for the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.
(Rev 21:11-14, 19-21. Rev 22: 1-5, 12)
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain! (Rev. 5:12)
Jesus, the light of the world, came to save us from our darkness.
He came because the Father loves us so.
He longs for us to walk with Him, to give Him our sin, our time, our heart, and our prayers. And in return, He gives us resurrection and hope through salvation.
He gives us an eternal paradise.
About the author:
I am a carpenter’s wife and homeschooling mom to two boys. When free time finds me I peck out a few lines about life, Spirit Fruit,and closeness with God. I search to find a rejoice in every minute by being in His presence. Reaching far to fill my imperfections with His holiness, I realize the depth of my need for someone outside this world, someone who gives grace and mercy, and who will never let this soul down. By writing about Him and His love, I hope to be able draw women closer to God’s heart where true peace, acceptance, and life lives. The days here are always loud, hectic, and messy, but its a beautiful mess and there’s peaceful praise in it. Your welcome to it here ~
Article and picture by Bonnie Fair
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