It Happened on a Hill

The New Testament writers tell the story of Jesus through two opposite points of view.  One point of view is through the eyes of God seekers. God seekers find their way to Jesus.

The contrasting point of view is the religious. They so focus on the religious traditions passed to them from generation to generation that they missed Messiah who was right before their very eyes.

The point of reference for the religious was obedience to Old Testament Scripture. They knew the “Thou Shall’s,” and the “Thou Shall Not’s.” The one they did not know was God. He came in the flesh to walk the streets of Jerusalem and the religious hearts mistook his identity. They did not see him. They despised him for messing with their rules. Jesus would not penetrate hearts of stone that were solid as the tablets of Moses.

Emperor's_ThroneA truism of life is perception of power lies in the camp of tradition.

Thus, the religious leaders set out to rid Messiah from the face of the earth. The end would justify any ungodly means, even to the point of lying and murder.

Real power always equates to God.

While religious people followed the timetable of their murderous scheme, God’s timepiece did not miss a beat. There was only one way to restore the garden. It was dependent on God’s time and upon one critical act on a hill.

From the time of Adam’s second born son Abel, to Noah, and Abraham, the gift of a prime lamb as a sacrifice was pleasing to God. With the law given by God through Moses the prophet, atoning blood from an animal sacrifice would be offered to forgive sin but with no lasting effect. The sacrifice would have to take place repeatedly.

There was only one sacrifice available to dissolve the evil released from the garden. There was only one sacrifice that could turn evil back into God’s pure good. That sacrifice—the most costly possible—happened on a hill. The sacrificial offering was the Lamb of God.

On a hill named “the place of the Skull,” God demonstrated his incomprehensible love for me.

The ONLY WAY God could restore the loss of the Garden, was to send his son—equal to God and a member of the Holy Trinity—to take on the form of man. The stage was set. Jesus prayed to God for an alternative way to restore the garden. He knew there was none. Therefore, Jesus prepared himself to take upon his shoulders every sin committed since Adam and every sin yet to be committed prior to the completed garden restoration.

cross1Killed by sinful man in the most horrendous act of crucifixion, over seven times, Jesus struggled to obtain enough air in his lungs to speak. He spoke of forgiveness. He spoke of care for his mother.

From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Again, he cried out, “It is finished, Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last and gave up his spirit.

In that moment the blackness of sin covered the face of God.

The curtain of the temple tore in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split,and tombs broke open. The Roman guards stood over the crucifixion proceedings as unbelieving witnesses. The evidence and the terror were overwhelming. In a movement from disbelief to belief they were left no choice and cried out, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

What are your reflections? Stay tuned. – Gary

3 thoughts on “It Happened on a Hill

  1. Gary,

    Thank you again for taking the time to write and strengthen us as we seek to serve God daily. I appreciate this line, “Jesus would not penetrate hearts of stone that were solid as the tablets of Moses.” And for the Greek-minded, could I add that neither would He penetrate hearts of stone that were as solid as idols made by human hands. How we all need the True Holy God to replace the counterfeit that so draws us away from this our Creator; it is a daily battle. But thanks be to God, He has won the war. May I ever be mindful. Come Lord Jesus!


  2. Gary, hope you are recovering well from your surgery.

    Thanks for another encouraging and thought provoking article. This series on the church is well timed and conceived–and on target.

    May God continue to bless your efforts.


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