On the Way to Calvary (Part 2)
Jesus had instructed the women weeping over His journey to the cross not to mourn for Him but for themselves and for their children. There would come a time when barren women would rejoice that they were barren. In other words, it was considered better to not have children than to have them and lose them to war, starvation, disease, etc. The tragic time described is the destruction of Jerusalem that would take place in A.D. 70.

Jesus continued - "Then they will begin 'to say to the mountains, "Fall on us!" and to the hills, "Cover us!"'" (Luke 23:30). This language, though figurative, fitly described the extreme terror that would be experienced by those who would frantically and vainly seek refuge in A.D. 70 (cf. Hosea 10:8). There would be no hiding from the Roman army in that day.

"For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?" (Luke 22:31). Although it is difficult to pinpoint exactly what Jesus meant by this expression, it is obvious that He is contrasting the events of that day with the destruction the Romans would later bring upon Jerusalem. One possible view is this: If the fiery persecution of Rome is so consuming that Jesus' innocence (depicted by "green wood," i.e., a living, fruitful tree), though affirmed repeatedly by the governor himself, is no protection against it, what will that fire do when it envelopes the guilty, rebellious city of Jerusalem (i.e., the "dry" wood which has been cut down, cf. Luke 3:9)? Another possible interpretation is as follows: If the grief of these women is this great while the city is like a green tree, how much more will they sorrow when the tree dies, dries up, and is about to fall?

"There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death" (Luke 23:32; cf. Isa. 53:9). "And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull" (Mark 15:22). The exact location is unknown and the reason why the location was called the "Place of a Skull" is also a mystery. However, there is a natural formation in rock on the side of a hill outside of Jerusalem that greatly resembles a skull. It is very possible that this was the site of the crucifixion. The only things factually known about the crucifixion site is that it was outside the city, yet near it (cf. Heb. 13:12; John 19:20).

"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). The word "Calvary" is a synonym for "Golgotha."

"They gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink" (Matt. 27:34). Jesus was given a mixture containing wine and a bitter substance. The beverage was offered to Jesus by some pitying person who desired to lessen His agony. He refused to drink it, choosing rather to drink the cup His Father had given Him in a state of full awareness (cf. John 18:11). He did not want to be nailed to the cross or die in a semi-conscious, drugged condition.

We will have much to say about Jesus' crucifixion in upcoming lessons.