The other gods were strong; but thou wast weak;
They rode, but thou didst stumble to a throne;
But to our wounds only God’s wounds can speak,
And not a god has wounds, but thou alone.
- Edward Shillito
After his trials, beatings, flogging, and mock worship, Jesus receives back his own clothes and is led out to the crucifixion site. It was customary for criminals to be paraded through the streets, sometimes naked, so the return of Jesus’ clothes may reflect a Roman concession to the Jews for the shame they felt in being exposed in public.
The execution site is called Golgotha, which is Aramaic for “Place of the Skull.” Our more familiar term “Calvary” (which derives from the Latin word calvaria) also means “skull” and was used in the Vulgate (Latin) version of the Gospels. The route of the procession has become known as the Via Dolorosa (“the Way of Suffering”), and we should note—given our hymnody—that there is no specific biblical reference to Golgotha being located on a hill, although it is certainly possible that it was. Continue Reading…