The Empty Tomb
Visiting the Garden Tomb was one of the most meaningful and memorable events during my trip to Israel. It was the last site we saw and the highlight of our trip. The Garden complex includes this empty tomb, the “Skull Hill” overlook, and various locations for groups to worship. Our group finished our tour here, worshiping our Savior by observing the Lord’s Supper together.
This empty tomb is located north of the old Jerusalem city wall, near the Damascus gate. It is also near Skull Hill, which many believe may be Golgotha, “the place of a skull” where Jesus was crucified.
It cannot be conclusively proven that this empty tomb was the one Jesus was buried in and rose from, but it seems like a likely candidate.
- Poor people could not afford such a tomb, it had to have been built by someone wealthy (like Joseph of Arimathaea)
- Joseph of Arimathaea laid the body of Jesus “in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre” (Matt 27:60)
- There was not much time between the Christ’s death and the beginning of the Sabbath, so they had to bury Him quickly. The tomb had to be near the place Jesus was crucified. This tomb is very near Skull Hill.
- John records, “Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.” (John 19:41-42)
- There are holes in the rock wall, near the door which could have been caused by spikes used by the Romans to seal the door.
- In front of the door of this tomb is a trench where a large stone would have been rolled to open and close the door.
Even if this tomb was not where Jesus was buried, it is an excellent example of what His tomb would have been like.
I hope you find the following pictures,from my visit to the Garden Tomb in Israel, helpful.
If you liked this post, you might like: Golgotha – The Place of the Skull