When they were come to the place which is called Calvary, there they killed him, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood. “Christ suffered without the gate” (Heb 13:12). Christ, our representative, was to suffer without the boundaries of Jerusalem. He died outside the gate where murderers were executed. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law being made a curse for us” (Gal 3:13).
The news of his condemnation had spread throughout Jerusalem, and people of all classes and ranks flocked toward the place of crucifixion. The Saviour’s burden was too heavy for him in his weak and suffering condition. Had they known that they were putting to the torture one who had come to save the sinful race from eternal ruin? The spotless Son of God hung upon the cross.
There is now an end to all sacrifices and offerings for sin. The Son of God has come according to the word, “Lo, I come to do thy will, O God”. “By his own blood, he entereth in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Heb 10:7; 9:12).
On the day of crucifixion, the day of apparent defeat and darkness, the promise was given. While dying on the cross, Christ assured the poor sinner, “Today thou shalt be with me in paradise”. The thieves crucified with Jesus were placed on either side, with Jesus in the middle. This was done by the direction of the priests and rulers. Christ’s position between the thieves was to indicate that Christ was the greatest criminal of the three. Thus was fulfilled the scripture, “He was numbered with the transgressors” (Isa 53:12). As Jesus, crucified with the thieves, was placed in their midst, so his cross was placed in the midst of a world dying in sin.
Jesus suffered the most intense agony of mind and body. In his humiliation, he was prophet, priest and advocate. He had pleaded with his Father, as a loving Saviour to forgive his murderers. Christ was the prince of sufferers. Christ saw the hold of sin upon the human heart. Upon Christ, as our representative and surety, was laid upon him the iniquity of us all.
Bro Melusi Ndlovu (Kwekwe, Zimbabwe)