Where Jesus Died
READ: I Corinthians 15:1-5
“Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (I Cor. 15:3b, NIV)
In family devotions with our two young children, my wife and I often repeated the story of Calvary and Jesus’ death on a cross. We were not sure of the story’s impact on our son’s and daughter’s minds until one day when we were driving cross-country on a car trip.
As the miles rolled by under our car, we suddenly spied in the distance a hill with three crosses outlined clearly on the summit. My children watched silently until we began to pass the hilltop arrangement. Finally, in a voice of awe, my four-year-old son whispered, “Daddy, is that where Jesus died?”
I tried tenderly to explain that, no, the place where Jesus died was far from that hillside.
I’ve since come to regard my answer as a little hasty. Of course, Jesus did die at a specific spot on the surface of the earth. But in another sense, maybe He did die on that hillside, if that is where one of His children came to faith in Him. For me, He “died” at a scratched and pitted wooden campground altar. For one of my friends, it was literally a ditch beside a country road. For others, the place was a storefront church or a kitchen table. Perhaps that’s what hymnwriter (and Salvation Army general) Albert Orsborn meant when he wrote, “On every hill our Saviour dies, and not on Calvary’s height alone,” for wherever I accept His love and sacrifice, that place becomes a Calvary.
On every hill our Saviour dies,
And not on Calvary’s height alone;
His sorrows darken all our skies,
His griefs for all our wrongs atone.
Present he is in all our woes,
Upon a world-wide cross is hung;
And with exceeding bitter throes
His world-embracing heart is wrung.
Go! Cry the news from every hill;
Go! Ring the earth with sacred flame;
To pardon is the Father’s will,
And Jesus is the Saviour’s name.
PRAYER: Jesus, keep me near the cross where, as a trembling soul, love and mercy found me.
THOUGHT: The cross of Christ spans the ages and the miles to meet the needy soul. . . anywhere.
Bob Hostetler is an award winning and best-selling author whose work is prolific. He is also a gifted speaker and pastor.