The Garden Tomb

This tomb, probably from the Byzantine period, is situated outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, to the North of the Damascus Gate, and is believed by many Christians, but specially the Protestants, to be the true burial place of Christ (pbuh). This possibility seems to be indirectly confirmed in the Gospel: “Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulcher, where was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulcher was nigh at hand” (John, XIX 41-42). The Garden Tomb is known also as Gordon’s Calvary, after Charles Gordon, the British general who discovered the place in 1883 while he was admiring the strange landscape of Golgotha. Nearby the Garden tomb is a hill which, especially when the sun hits it a certain way, resembles a skull, thus called Skull Hill. Scripture tells that after Jesus was crucified, a rich religious leader of the Jews, named Joseph (from Arimathea), was granted the Lord’s body. “Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away” (Matt, 27:59-60). The simplicity, beauty, and peaceful atmosphere of the Garden Tomb makes it a favorite spot for prayer and meditation. Some Christians find worshipping near the rock-hewn tomb helpful in reliving the crucifixion and resurrection experience. The Garden Tomb gives a clear picture of what the place of Crucifixion and burial must have looked like at the time of Jesus (pbuh).

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