Summary: A divine exchange took place at the place of the skull.
EXCHANGE AT THE PLACE OF THE SKULL
"33 And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull, 34 they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink. 35 Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: “They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.” Matthew 27:33-35
"And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull." Mark 15:22.
"And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left." Luke 23:33.
"17 And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, 18 where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center." John 19:17-18.
For three and a half year, the Lord Jesus went about doing good; teaching, healing and deliverance those possessed by unclean spirits. But when the time came for Him to be crucified, many turned against Him. Jesus was betrayed, arrested, tortured, publicly humiliated, stripped naked, condemned, nailed to the Cross and executed in the most cruel manner. Jesus was forced to carry His cross up to Golgotha. Yet He was innocent! Jesus knew no sin! A Lamb without weakness. On the Cross at the place of the skull Jesus died for our sin. But it wasn't the end! Luke 24:26. The empty tomb at the grave reminds us that Jesus triumphs over death.
SIGNIFICANCE OF GOLGOTHA:
The word Golgotha is Aramaic and it means, "the place of the skull." The Greek word for it is “kranion.” It is from where we get the English word “cranium” or “skull.” The Latin translation of Golgotha is “calvaria,” which translates in English as “Calvary.” So another word for Golgotha is Calvary. On the Cross at Calvary, Jesus was crucified for our redemption. Golgotha was a horrible place. Dying on a Cross was a painful death. Yet He surrendered Himself. The Lord Jesus was innocent of every accusation still He died for us at Calvary.
The reason why the place of Christ's Crucifixion is called Golgotha is unknown. But it has been suggested by some that it was the place of public execution and skulls were left lying around after people had been executed. But this does not seem likely when the Jewish practice of burial of the dead is considered. So that argument is not strong. It has also been hinted that the name 'place of the skull' was derived from the shape of the Golgotha. In the sense that it looked like a human skull. On this argument, there's no record of such in the Bible. There is also a contention over the location of Golgotha. There are two places in Jerusalem that are considered potential sites. One is the Garden Tomb, which was discovered in 1848, The other location is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre which has been the traditional site of the crucifixion since the 1st and 2nd century. We may not be able to tell which is the right location but, one thing is sure, it was a place outside the city walls of Jerusalem.
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8.
Golgotha was at the intersection where two roads crossed! The Romans intentionally picked Golgotha as the place of the Lord Crucifixion so that all who passed by might see the shame and death of the 'King of the Jews.' Jesus was crucified on a cross between two thieves. He offered Himself as a Sacrifice at the crossroads of Golgotha. Golgotha was a place of death! But there, Jesus reconciled God to man and man to God. Calvary became a place of Sacrificial Love. And truly there is no greater Love than the one displayed on the Cross at Calvary when the Lord Jesus was bought for only thirty pieces of silver yet His worth is inestimable.
MYSTERY OF THE CROSS:
The Cross means several things to different people. To some it is an ornament. Some have it displayed on their doorsteps, others wear it around their neck. Yet the Cross is much more than a piece of accessory, jewelry, a work of art, a decoration, a label on the pulpit or a sign on a church building. The Cross is a mystery! It is a message! The Cross is a message from God to humanity. The message of the Cross is the truth about what happened on the Cross at Calvary. It is the greatest story ever told! It is even more than a story; the Cross is the power of God. The message of the Cross is the message of love, forgiveness, mercy, reconciliation and peace. Jesus’ suffering on the road to Golgotha, His death on the Cross and resurrection is the message of the Cross.