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The biggest ever challenge and threat that satan faced in all his existence was the excruciatingly painful walk the torturously tormented Jesus undertook that ultimately culminated in satan’s utter defeat on the cross when Jesus won over death gifting us our salvation through His love for us.
Before this humble devotional essay deliberates on the intricacies of Jesus’ benchmark love for us that enabled Him through epic Calvary walk, let us solemnly delve & meditate on the monumental history of it for a few poignant moments.
The historian Eusebius writes that the Roman Emperor Hadrian's destruction of Jesus’ tomb was deliberate. It is evident that statues of the false Roman deities Jupiter and Venus were erected at the site. Ironically, Emperor Hadrian's efforts helped preserve evidence of the location of Jesus’ burial place.
Eusebius accompanied the Empress Helena on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in AD 326. While looking for Jesus’ burial place, they were told that it was beneath the Temple of Venus. In the year 326 AD, Empress Helena the mother of Emperor Constantine, ordered the pagan temple demolished and removed to uncover Jesus’ tomb and Calvary. The excavations revealed several ancient tombs. Evidence pointed to one in particular as the tomb of Christ. The workmen also uncovered a rocky outcrop that was identified as the hill of Calvary. A church was built adjacent to the site in AD 335—the forerunner of today’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Archaeological excavations have revealed more facts about the Jerusalem of Jesus’ day—including the route of the city walls at that time. As the Bible has recorded that Golgotha lie outside the Jerusalem city walls, the walls that now surround the Old City are not the walls of Jesus’ day. They were built in the 16th century by Turkish Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. Excavations and literary evidence show conclusively that when Jesus was crucified, the line of the city wall ran south.
The above historical facts and the scriptural substantiation that the sanctified cross was placed on the brutally beaten whipped tortured frail back of a blood-soaked Jesus in the wee hours of the morning in Pontius Pilate’s Roman prison and by the time Jesus arrived Calvary around past noon time which establishes that approx. ten painful hours was taken for Jesus to reach the Calvary (the present day "Via Dela Rosa" is after the numerous earthquakes that occurred in the entire biblical lands and therefore the current distance is severely shortened than it was in the 1st century) we can calibrate that the distance must have been around 4 to 5 km. through which the extra-ordinary but intense love for us that took our Savior to bear that crude cross weighing over approx. 100+ kgs.! – Roman historian Flavius Josephus wrote in his book "Antiqes Judaes" that the Roman cross weighed approx. between 160 to 300 pounds standing 12 ft. tall from ground level. Whilst the sacrosanct cross weighed mortally only 100+ kgs., it must have been heavier by millions, trillions & zillions of tons spiritually since it carried the abominable weight of all our sins for which the merciful Savior undertook the matchless "Calvary Walk" towards our ultimate salvation.
And this was the kind of love that Jesus was talking about when He said “A new command I give: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35).
Even if we manage to have a fraction of this love of Jesus for one another, we can defeat the treacherous satan a thousand times over. That is the defining challenge each of us Christian faced today in this hi-tech fast track 21st millennium that is ripe with bitter bickering blame games, jealous judgments of one another, searching for specs in another's eyes while logs are jutting out of one's own eyes, etc. Amen.