THE PLACE Andy Hollifield 7-24-18
LUKE 23:33 And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him…
There is something about the “The Place” that denotes a sense of finality or destiny or even sometimes relief or rest. In Genesis 22:4 the bible says “Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.” That one is significant because it is a picture of the crucifixion of Christ, even using the same words about “the place.” All throughout Jacob’s life story, every time he encountered God, whether wrestling, praying, worshipping, or building an altar; the bible says that he named “the place.” I am thankful and still remember “the places” where I have encountered the Lord and met with or heard from him. Those are special places in my life. In Genesis 50:19 Joseph while in Egypt told his brothers: “Fear not, for I am in the place of God.” He didn’t say he was God but what he said may have two meanings. One would be that he had their life in his hands to either take it or save it. The other meaning would be that he was in “the place” that God had put him to preserve their lives. God told Moses in Exodus 3:5 to take off his shoes for “the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” In Joshua 4, the Israelites carried stones to “the place” where they lodged after crossing Jordan and also placed stones in “the place” where the priests feet stood in the middle of the dry river bed.
The term “the place” is used 176 times in the bible. While a lot of them aren’t all that significant, a lot of them are. A place was usually named because it had a specific importance in the life of the person naming it. When you get to the New Testament, the term begins to have somewhat greater significance. In Matthew 28:6, the angel at the tomb told the women that came on the third day to “come see the place where the Lord lay.” Mark 15:22 says “And they bring him unto the place Golgotha… Luke 19:5 tells of “the place” where Zacchaeus met the Lord. John 11:41 talks about “the place” where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. John 18:2 talks about “the place” where Judas betrayed Jesus in the garden. John 19:17 says “And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called “the place” of the skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha.” John 19:19-20 talks about Pilate placing a sign on the cross in “the place” where Jesus was crucified saying “JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.” It was written in Greek, Hebrew, and Latin. Little did Pilate know the significance that sign and “the place” would have for the salvation of all mankind throughout the history of the world. In Acts 4:31 the bible says, “And when they had prayed, “the place” was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.” Oh that we would pray and “the place” where we did would be shaken again!
Where is “the place” for you? We remember “the place” where we met our spouse or where a marriage proposal was made or “the place” where we were married. We also remember “the place” where our children were born. Even if you don’t remember the date or time where you met the Lord; you will remember “the place” if you have ever met him. I can remember “the place” where the Lord spoke to me as a young boy and told me there was more to it than what I had. I also remember “the place” where I accepted him as my Savior and “the place” where I was baptized, surrendered to preach, and announced my calling. As I said earlier, I can remember a lot of “the places” where God has done a special work or given a special blessing or answered a prayer. I bet Zacchaeus never forgot the exact tree he was in when he met the Lord. If we have ever met the Lord, we should remember “the place” where we met him. None of us were born with salvation but had to accept it after reaching the age of accountability when God drew us to himself with Holy Ghost conviction. We didn’t grow into it or inherit it from anyone. It came at “the place” where we met Jesus and accepted him as our Savior. There are a lot of places where you have encountered him as Jacob did, but where is “the place” for you where you first met him? Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!