In our Word of the Week for Holy Week, Pastor Nathanael Mayhew takes us into the word Calvary. Most people are familiar with this word as the name of the place where Jesus was crucified on what has become known as Good Friday. The Hebrew name for the place of the crucifixion was Golgotha which meant "the place of the skull." This Hebrew term was translated into Greek ("kranium") by the New Testament writers since many of their original readers may not have known Hebrew or the geography of Jerusalem. The term Calvary is the Latin translation for "skull" which was used by Jerome in his Latin translation of the Bible. The name Calvary is interestingly not found in most modern English translations. It was retained from the Latin Vulgate in the Authorized Version (KJV) and then again in the NKJV. It is only found in Luke 23:33 in those translations. While we do not know where the site of Calvary is today, we do learn a few things about it from Scripture. It was near but outside Jerusalem and most likely within eyesight of a main road going in and out of Jerusalem (John 19:20; Hebrews 13:12). There was also a garden nearby where Joseph of Arimethea and Nicodemus burried Jesus after His death (John 19:41-42). While we do not know for certian the location of the crucifixion, we do know what happened there: Jesus "was cricified, died, and was buried" as we still confess in The Apostolic Creed. Thanks be to Jesus who suffered death and the agony of hell at Calvary to reconcile us to God and open the door of heaven to sinners!
March 26, 2018