Friday, August 9, 2013

~ "Jerusalem to Golgotha..."

And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. (John 19: 17-18)

[Side Note:  Satan already does not want me to write this post:  when I googled the distance between Jerusalem and Golgotha, one very large Christian denomination's "Ask" site informed me that there is no place!  Needless to say, my FAITH and BELIEF tells me there is (as does my know, the book that GOD wrote???).  Guess what???  The enemy is at this time, being reminded of his destination - I will continue on!!!]

I had a very grueling day yesterday.  I worked for about 15 hours, on my feet most of the time, running back and forth between different areas of my work place, up and down stairs and took perhaps a 30 minute lunch and a few smoke and toilet breaks.  I came home exhausted, yet could not fall asleep until around midnight.  I managed to get about 7 hours of undisturbed sleep.  I awoke this morning and dragged my sorry carcass out to the kitchen to make some coffee, scroll through my news feed and sit to begin to write.  As it is with every morning - I have no idea what I'm writing until I actual start.  I wait on the Lord.

In my mind, I'm thinking "oh, great, I have to do all that again this afternoon".  Then that light bulb went on...

After an evening of dining (celebrating Passover), Jesus left the table and went to the garden to pray.  A little while later, He was arrested and dragged off to jail.  Now, I don't really know too much about Jerusalem's prison system, but I really don't see it being "3 hots and a cot" - perhaps some straw on the floor (if that) and a smell that would make a manure farm smell good.  I doubt He slept.  I'm pretty sure He spent the rest of that night in prayer and if He did sleep, well, I'm sure it wasn't 7 uninterrupted hours.  So now we have a tired Jesus (and I will use the word fearful, simply because he was human and it is human nature - and, we know He prayed for God to remove this "cup").  In the morning, the soldiers come and drag Him before Pilate.  Pilate washes his hands and sends him away to be scourged.  We now have a tired and beaten Jesus.  A while later, they drag Him back up to offer the people a choice - Barabbas or Jesus.  They choose Barabbas.  Jesus gets the death sentence (physical death, that is).

Now, we know I'm not a "math" person, but I can do some random calculations (and what I'm about to write looks like a question directly out of an algebra book I burned after freshman year).  From what the scriptures tell us, Jesus hung on the cross for 6 hours.  We know all went dark from noon until 3pm, when he died.  That means he was on the cross from 9am to 3pm.  The average person can walk 2 1/4 miles (the approximate distance from the gate of Jerusalem to Golgotha) in 45 minutes.  We'll use that time for right now, because if I'm right, you are already seeing where I'm going with this...We will take into account time for Him to get from the jail cell to the gate (15 minutes) - that leaves the time of departure at 8am.  

My dear friends, when we have a day like the one I had yesterday, it is very easy to complain and gripe and even whine a little.  Days like these are usually followed by a chance to rest up.  We will tell people that we carry the "weight of the world" on our shoulders...think again...Jesus did just that.  He carried the sin for all of us that last day of His life.  He was beaten, mocked, ridiculed, denied, and then carried OUR cross through the streets of Jerusalem before being nailed to it to suffer for the sins of all men.  Yes, He asked God if there was another way, who wouldn't?  In the end, He accepted death so that we could live.

I've never really sat and walked through it step by step actually thinking about the time frame, the conditions that surrounded His final day.  What a sacrifice (and here I sit, complaining I'm tired)!

Life is not easy.  It isn't always fun.  Some days you feel good, other you feel like it's your last.  Someday it will be - the last day you have to spend here...then it's on to an eternity with Jesus.  An eternity of peace and joy, of love and comfort!  Of being in the presence of the King!!!  So, breath a sigh of relief - it does end, and when it does - oh, that joyous day!!!  Hold on to that thought when you have nothing left to hold on to!