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The Place Called Calvary

Luke 23:33


When they were come to the place…” — Not just any place would do. They must come to this specific place, “the place which is called Calvary.” It was at this place, Golgotha, the place of the skull, that the God-man must suffer and die. When our Lord set His face to go up to Jerusalem, He knew what He was doing. He knew where He was going. He knew what would happen there. But to Calvary he must go! He said, “What shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name.” Satan tried to take His life in the wilderness. The Jews tried on many occasions to kill Him. The devil tried to destroy Him again in the garden of Gethsemane. But His hour had not yet come. He had not yet come to “the place,” “the place which is called Calvary.” But now His hour had come. Now “they came to the place.”


His Own Purpose

The Jews thought they had dragged Him as a helpless victim to the place of His execution. But in reality, the Lord of Glory had led them as a sovereign King to the place of His great conquest. God the eternal Son had purposed from all eternity to come to this place. It was the object, desire, and purpose of His heart to come to this place before the world began. It could truthfully be said that the great purpose for which God created this world was that, in the fulness of time, the Lord of Glory might come to this place. Our great Redeemer, from old eternity, fixed his eye on “the place which is called Calvary.” He had sworn to redeem us; and he would not rest until, from the tree fixed on Calvary’s hill, He had cried, “It is finished.” And so Luke records these words, “and when they were come to the place.” It came to pass exactly as our Lord had purposed. He must come to “the place which is called Calvary.”


Steady March

In my mind’s eye, I see King Jesus marching with steady pace from old eternity, through the ages of time, to the place where he would make for Himself an everlasting and glorious name. (Read Isaiah 50:5-7.)

He was on his way to Calvary when  He stopped outside the gates of Eden and promised our fallen parents, Adam and Eve, that He would come to undo the ruins of the fall as our Redeemer (Genesis 3:15). — He was on his way to Calvary when He paused to make a covenant of pure grace with Noah. — He was on his way to Calvary when He stretched out His arm to deliver Israel by the price of blood and the power of grace from cruel Egyptian bondage. — He was on his way to Calvary when He led Israel through the wilderness, a pillar of smoke by day and fire by night. — He was on his way to Calvary when He caused David to write prophetically of him, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” — He was on his way to Calvary when Isaiah got a vision of Him and penned these words: “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.”


Behold, God’s own Son as He comes into this world, out of the womb of the virgin! Even then He declares the purpose for which he came (Hebrews 10:5-14). He was on his way to Calvary when He stopped by the pool of Bethesda to heal a certain poor, cripple man. — He was on his way to Calvary when He sat on Jacob’s well, down in Samaria, to give eternal life to a poor harlot. — He was on his way to Calvary when He paused to meet with Moses and Elijah on the mount of Transfiguration. — He was on his way to Calvary when He stopped by the Jericho road to give sight to a poor, blind beggar named Bartimaeus. — He stopped on that same road, leading up out of Jericho, to save a wretched publican named Zacchaeus. — King Jesus was on His way to Calvary when He rode into Jerusalem on an ass’s colt, on His great inauguration day. Even then, His people took palm branches and shouted in anticipation of His victory, “Hosanna! Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.”


Complete Salvation

Well do I recall my first visit to Calvary. I came as a guilty, heavy-laden sinner, burdened down with the oppressive load of my sin and guilt. But there I beheld the Son of God dying in my place; and the burden of my sin rolled away. I went home that day singing…

Mercy there was great and grace was free;

Pardon there was multiplied to me;

There my burdened soul found liberty — At Calvary!

            Standing here by grace alone, I have all God’s salvation. I stand before God in Christ, through His blood poured out for me at Calvary, fully forgiven, completely justified, perfectly accepted, entirely righteous, forever reconciled, wholly sanctified, securely preserved, holy, unblameable, and unreproveable!

            Will you come by faith to the Christ of Calvary? You have no other hope.

Come just like you are. Come in submission. Come, trusting Christ alone. He is able and willing to save all who come to Him. God help you to come now.




Don Fortner








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