The Greatest Event in World History

Luke 23.33

The cross of Christ is without parallel in world history. Comprehensively prophesied, nothing has accomplished so much for countless millions of people. To be unaware of the reason of the cross of Christ is to miss the entire purpose and destiny of life.

And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.

And our subject is ‘the greatest event in world history’. It is of course the crucifixion of Christ,  the cross of Christ. Perhaps you don’t think so. How can that be the greatest event in all history, you wonder. Surely this is a massive overstatement; but we will only say ‘we don’t think so’ if we don’t understand the cross of Christ, and what it is and what happened, and what God has done, and its profound aspects and its accomplishments. Then we see it and we grasp it.

If we’re unaware of the cross of Christ – why the cross of Christ, what did it accomplish – then really we won’t understand the purpose of life, and we won’t have any hold on our eternal destiny. The cross of Christ is unquestionably the greatest and the most significant event – the most powerful achievement – in all history. And, dear friends, we desperately need to appreciate that, and to know that.

‘And when they were come to the place which is called Calvary.’ How interesting  that in our King James version we read this word ‘Calvary.’ It isn’t actually what is in the original.  The original Greek is simply the word which indicates skull or cranium. ‘When they were come to the place of the skull, a rocky hill that vaguely resembles a skull.’ So why  do our King James translators choose the word ‘Calvary?’ Well, it’s because it was the word in the Latin Vulgate.

What are they doing borrowing their word? Well, it was so well-known in Jacobean times that the translators decided evidently to leave it there. So you have here the Latin translation (or derivative of it): Calvary. The only place that occurs in the Bible. The modern translations all tend to go for ‘the place of the skull’ which is literally correct. It is of course, in Aramaic, ‘the hill originally named Golgotha.’