Reflections from Calvary’s Hill | Guest Post by Barbara Hill

israel

Friends, I am thrilled to invite back to the blog Ms. Barbara Hill, who has previously appeared as a guest writer at FaithfulSparrow.com! In this feature, she shares her reflections from a past trip to Israel—they serve as wonderful reminders as we prepare our hearts for the upcoming Easter season. Enjoy!


 

I traveled to Israel 7 years ago now, and there were so many things that I saw and learned that left a lasting impression on me. But there was one experience I’ll never forget.

Our guide took all 40 of us to what is believed to be Golgotha’s hill, or more commonly known as Calvary–where Christ died. When we arrived, I was struck by how seemingly insignificant the hill was, and how much smaller it was in person than I had envisioned it to be in my mind.

It was truly a common hill, for a very uncommon Savior.

I stood there taking in the scene and “time-traveling”, imagining what the scene would have really looked and felt like. As I was lost in visions of ancient times, I was quickly disrupted by a startling statement from the guide.

“Don’t be fooled by the commonness of this hill, for there is much more here than what meets the eye.”

I looked around and was confused—I didn’t see anything extraordinary. I’m sure the guide saw our perplexed expressions, but he didn’t seem compelled to hurry and clear up our confusion. He just let it all sink in, and allowed us to try and figure out what could be so remarkable about where we stood.

Finally, the guide went on to explain that although the view of this hill was common, it was rather the view beyond this hill that was most uncommon. He then pointed and our eyes were drawn to what is known as the Garden tomb, or the Garden of Joseph of Arimathea.

He continued, “So, from where we stand now—the place where Christ was crucified—do you see that view right over there? Well, that is actually the tomb from which Jesus would rise from.”

We all looked dumbfounded. How incredible it was to think that the eyes of our Savior laid upon the very future He would embrace, just three days from His gruesome day of crucifixion.

Resurrection life awaited Him, and He could see it—literally right in front of Him—as He was suffering.

Instantly this verse came billowing into my mind:

“For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” {Hebrews 12:2}

This verse became so real and alive to me in that moment. Christ literally had His end in view; the joy of His resurrection, and all it would imply, motivated Him to endure through the pain.

Jesus knew His resurrection meant a future which included us–and that was His ultimate joy. Although He would appear defeated as He hung on the cross, the tomb He looked upon signified that he would rise again victorious, and with arms full of the people He laid down His life to love.

“No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.” {John 10:18}

Christ on Calvary’s Hill is our example to always keep the end in view.

And what is that end? Joy. Always joy.

“Weeping endures for a night, but JOY comes in the morning.” {Psalm 30:5}

And as for Christ, so for us. He is our joy on the other side of our pain. We gain Him, as He gained us as a reward for His sacrifice.

So, whatever proverbial common, painful, and unremarkable hill we may be standing on today, we can always keep the end in view by setting our eyes upon Calvary. In Christ, we can find joy in a promised bright future while taking one day at a time. Step-by-step we climb, until His promises turn into our reality.


Barbara Hill | FaithfulSparrow.com | Christine M. Chappell | Guest PostBarbara Hill is an East coast girl at heart, and after two amazing years living in Southern California, has relocated to the big city of Chicago, Illinois. She is a worshipper, freedom fighter, blogger, and recently completed her masters in Biblical Counseling. Connect with her on her blog theedgesofhisways.com and on Instagram @barbshill.

 

Read Previous FaithfulSparrow.com Guest Posts by Barbara Hill:

The Steadiness of Faith