Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Holy Land Tour: The Garden Tomb

At Dave Peterson's insistence we made one last stop that day at the Garden Tomb. This site is outside the city walls of Jerusalem near the Damascas Gate and believed by some to be the location of Jesus' tomb and His resurrection. British Major General Charles Gordon found it in 1887, noting the resemblance of some of the rocks in the area to a skull--like Golgotha ("the place of the skull"). It has its own website if you are interested: http://www.gardentomb.org/

Dave wanted us to visit the Garden Tomb so we could get a better idea of what Jesus' burial place really looked like --whether or not this was the actual location of His tomb. When I checked Wikipedia to confirm some of my notes, I read that the Garden Tomb is very popular with Protestants. I can see why, based on my own reaction to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The Garden Tomb is run by a British non-profit association and we were led through it by a delightful guide who said he came down every year for a couple of months for the purpose of serving as a volunteer docent. The photo below shows a cave in the area. In the time of Jesus the dead were placed in caves until the body decomposed and then the bones were placed in ossuaries.

Our Garden Tomb guide said that this was the tomb in which Jesus' body was laid. 
And this is a photo of the area around that tomb, showing our guide Lee Glassman.

A group of African Christians came in behind our group and treated us to some glorious singing during our stop!

Concuding our visit to the Garden Tomb, Dave led us in a time of silent meditation and prayer before we boarded the bus to go back to the hotel. It was the perfect way to wrap up this memorable day.

No comments: