Every city in the Roman empire had its place of execution. In Jerusalem, it was called Golgotha.
They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). – Mark 15:22
The people of ancient times were careful to keep death out of their cities. If you ever travel and visit the ruins of any Greek or Roman cities, you will see that the tombs are always outside the walls.
In the same way, their places of execution were outside the walls. In fact, the whole point of crucifixion was for the Roman empire to create gruesome propaganda billboards of what would happen to you if you defied Rome. That’s why the place of crucifixion was always right beside the main entrances to the city.
These were truly places of utter horror, where the sights, and sounds and stench were inescapable to all who travelled in and out of the city. The crucified men were left for days on end nailed up on the crosses, even after death. You could always hear them moaning and gasping as they died.
The carrion birds and the dogs were everywhere. And after death, the bodies were just taken and thrown into a pit nearby for the wild animals to devour. That was what Golgotha was like. And that’s why it was called the Place of the Skull.
It’s interesting that Jesus was crucified at the place of the skull. There would have been lots of empty skulls lying around that place of death. There are a lot of hard skulls today as well, when it comes to confronting the Cross of Jesus.
This should remind us to think, think very seriously and to make the right choices in relation to Jesus and the salvation that he offers.
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