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Who were on Golgotha during the crucifixion of Jesus?

Today’s question has to do with those who were on Golgotha during the crucifixion of Jesus. Who exactly was there? Let’s run down the facts to answer this question.

There were a great many people that attended the crucifixion of our Lord. In the Gospel of John we see the mother of our Lord (Mary) and her sister, Mary of Clopas, Mary Magdalene (John 19:25), and Mary the mother of James and John (Matthew 27:56). Luke records many other women there “looking on from afar” (Matthew 27:55). Roman soldiers are also stated by Matthew (27:54), Mark (15:39), and Luke (23:47). All four gospels also mention the two criminals crucified on either side of Jesus (Matthew 27:44; Mark 15:27; Luke 23:32; John 19:18). Of course this crowd included the chief priests, scribes, and elders who comprised the Sanhedrin (Matthew 27:41-43; Mark 15:31-32; Luke 23:35; John 19:20).

The list of people at the crucifixion of Jesus we have seen in Scripture is, up to this point, devoid of disciples. I have left this roster spot until last largely because there is only one disciple at the crucifixion of Jesus—the “disciple whom Jesus loved”—the apostle John (John 19:26-27). That’s right, of the twelve disciples that Jesus spent the bulk of His time with during His three year ministry, only John is on Golgotha comforting the mother of our Lord during the crucifixion. All the other disciples forsook the Lord and fled (Matthew 26:56) including Peter after denying Jesus three times.

Now that we have a complete roster to work with, let me share with you what all of this means. First, the presence of this group at the crucifixion of Jesus was important for the purpose of witnessing the real death of Jesus on the cross. They could testify of the grim reality that Jesus really died—and therefore attest to the incredible miracle of the resurrection three days later.

Second, their attendance at the crucifixion of Jesus spoke of their devotion to the Lord. They loved Him and their place was with Jesus—even in His death.

Finally, those who witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus saw something extraordinary—they heard and saw Jesus paying for their sin with His death on the cross. Only later would they understand this by the illumination of the Holy Spirit…but still, there was something supernatural about the events of the crucifixion of Jesus and they were there to see and hear it happening!

No doubt this was a difficult event to witness. But sometimes the most difficult things in life can be the most meaningful. No truer words could ever be spoken regarding the crucifixion of Jesus. My friends, I would ask you today to remember the precious price that purchased the forgiveness of your sins and the redemption of your soul. These witnesses could tell you—although it was difficult to experience, it was the best gift ever given to sinners!

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