I want to tell you about a man who climbed a hill.

For 33 years, he made preparation. Along his journey, he gathered all the necessary equipment.

Some of his friends tried to talk him out of it. They questioned his motives but when he would try to explain, they either didn't understand or they refused to listen. The village council called him nuts and wanted no part of him. One of his closest friends, Peter, told him it wasn't necessary and there was no good reason for it. But he just brushed him off and told him to "get behind me!" So he continued on his journey and while doing so, he gathered a huge following. Some people really supported him. Some just wanted to see what this "nut" was going to do next and others tried to stop him. The council had enough, they paid one of his friends a rather larger sum of money to show them where he was. Told him they would arrest him for his own good. Without hesitation, he took the money and led them to where he and his other friends were gathered.

A fight broke out and one of the officers got their ear cut off. After this happened, all of his friends ran off and left their friend standing there alone. The guards took him back to town and they beat him half to death. They used clubs and whips. They slapped him. Spit on him. They beat him so bad that he wasn't recognizable. After several hours, they took him to court and the judge found him innocent. After all, all he wanted to do was climb a hill. The council was so angry they demanded his death.

They had strange rules in their country. They set a convicted murdered free and sentenced him to death. They forced him to carry a tree through the city streets and then to the top of a hill named "The Place of the Skull." The guards beat him some more, knocked him down and nailed his hands and feet to the tree. Then they hung him between two thieves.

This man climbed that hill and died. He shed his blood on an old rugged cross in a place called Calvary. His name is Jesus, the Living Son of God. He shed his blood to pay the price of our sins. He freely gave his life so we could live eternally with him.

Go to the house of God this Sunday and learn more about this man who forgives sin and sets men free.