If I live to be 100 I will never forget standing at the foot of Mt Calvary outside the City of Jerusalem in 1996. A place that is necessarily outside the city limits so as to not taint the city's religious purity by the butchery of human beings. No special gear needed for reaching the base of this ignominious geological tumor - just walk across the paved parking lot of Modern Jerusalem's city bus station.I was amazed that such a place would be so ill-considered as I stood on the diesel saturated asphalt that terminated at its base. I later returned there at night in order to be alone and weep. The other members of the graduate project had seen me cry at various sites and seemed curious as to my emotions. I knew that this was a place where I needed to be alone.How could they just build a city bus station at the foot of such a place? My brother in Christ, Dr. Anthony Negbenebor had reminded me earlier, at the house of Caiaphas, that these places meant something very special to me, but meant very little to most who lived there.In fact, the Church of Holy Sepulcher is supposedly the "correct" crucifixion site. In the second century AD, Hadrian the Roman Emperor had built a temple to Aphrodite, which was later converted into a church by Constantine. Helena, Constantine's mother, claims to have held one of three crosses she found at this site over a corpse, under which one of the crosses caused the corpse to live. Therefore, she believed that this was indeed the cross of Christ and that Hadrian's former temple site was where Jesus was crucified.However, this was all a bit too spurious for some. In addition, this site was located far too deep within the city walls to have even been a place of crucifixion. In 1863, British General Charles Gordon gave the skull shaped mound, at which I stood, further significance after the discovery of a garden, a tomb, and wine press nearby. Also, a large underground cistern indicated that this tomb would have belonged to a person of wealth, such as Joseph of Arimathea (John 18:38).No matter, I too am guilty of not giving the death of God Himself the significance it deserves. My worship is often hurried by obligations that I have allowed to encroach on the sacred time that should be God's and His alone. Like the choking smoke of city buses, my plans and my time often compete for attention that should belong to God.I need forgiveness and where such was made possible could never be sanctified sufficiently. Because "there" (Luke 23:33) is where we caused the most pain to the most precious for the most worthless... me. Pastor Mike Snelgrove
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