Close your eyes and for one moment let’s go on a trip across the ocean (virtually). It’s free and you can stay in your comfy PJs throughout the entire duration of our travels, yay!
Ok – open your eyes now because, duh, you have to keep reading!!
This is the site in Jerusalem believed by most Evangelical Christians to be the place where our Jesus was laid inside the tomb. It’s directly by the hill called Golgotha (the skull).
This is a beautiful garden where you can stroll, sit and spend time reflecting on the events that happened in this very place so long ago.
The olive trees are everywhere and they are hundreds and thousands of years old. Amazing.
You can hear the wind whistling through the trees and the birds chirping. It’s a lovely day in Jerusalem, but don’t stay in the sun too long, it’s almost 100 degrees!
First of all – meet our tour guide.
She’s British, living in Jerusalem as part of a non-profit ministry that works to preserve the Garden Tomb. I forgot her name. Did I mention I’m horrible at remembering names?? But, she is lovely and I could listen to her talk all day!!
Our guide shares with us that this holy site is located directly beside….
A city bus lot. Yes. Craziness, right? Oh, wow. Our hotel is over there on the other side of the bus lot and we didn’t realize all week that we’ve been staying directly beside the location of where Jesus was crucified.
As we sit overlooking the bus lot, you can make out the skull in the rocks marking the spot that was called “Golgotha”, the place believed to be where Jesus was crucified.
Our guide explains that the cross would not have been located on top of the hill (as we’ve heard in so many old church hymns over the years). Actually, the cross would have been located directly beside the street so that people could walk by and know what the criminals did. This was part of their humiliation and part of the public crucifixions. The people would walk by and spit and poke fun and jeer at the criminals.
She shows us a photo of what this same area would have looked like around 1900.
No bus lots then, just camels.
Now, let’s walk back to the garden area located directly beside the rocks.
This tomb is believed to be owned by Joseph of Arimathea, the one responsible for burying Jesus after the crucifixion.
Let’s go take a look – you’ll need to bend down to get inside the tiny opening to the tomb.
The stone has never been found, but that crevice beside the steps is the place where the stone would be rolled back and forth to cover the opening.
This is the place! And guess what?
He is not here!!
We’ve seen it with our own faces and the feeling is surreal, to say the least.
We walk back outside into the garden. One of the artifacts that traces this garden back to Joseph of Arimathea is this well that was discovered.
Joseph owned a well just like this one and it has been preserved – such a beautiful site, indeed.
Before we leave the garden, take one last look around.
The tomb is empty and He is risen! We celebrate His power over death and His return to reign forever!! Oh, friends. Can we even imagine?
What a day that will be
When my Jesus I shall see
And I look upon His face
The one who saved me by His grace
When He takes me by the hand
And leads me through the Promised Land
What a day, glorious day that will be
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