Our Savior's burial location
Jesus' garden tomb is located outside the city walls of Jerusalem and close to the Damascus Gate. Many believe this location, and not the traditional site of the burial thought to be in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (a Roman Catholic Church), is the place where our Savior's burial took place.
In 1842 A.D. a man by the name of Otto Thenius proposed that the actual place of where the Lord was crucified, called Calvary (Golgotha) in Scripture, is the same as the place called the 'place of the skull.' In 1867 A.D., the discovery of the garden tomb (shown in the picture above) occurred near the 'skull place' thought to be where Jesus died.
The connection of the garden tomb, with the believed location of Golgotha, received prominence through a British general named Charles Gordon. In 1883, General Gordon found a rocky ridge or plateau (which today is seen from the back of a bus station) that, from several angles, looks to him like the face of a skull. Golgotha, the name of the place where Christ was crucified, is an Aramaic word that means skull.
21. Then they compelled one who was passing by coming from a field, Simon the Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry His cross. 22. And they brought Him to the place named Golgotha; which is, being interpreted, "The Place of a Skull." (Mark 15:21 - 22, HBFV)
Gordon concluded that the rocky outcrop he thought looked like a skull was high likely to have been the Biblical place known as Golgotha. This is why another name for this location is Gordon's Tomb.
The tomb itself consists of at least a couple of chambers. To the right of the first chamber the second chamber can be seen. Benches made of stone line the walls of chamber number two, except in the places where the walls join and running along the first chamber's back wall. The benches, though heavily damaged throughout the years, can still be seen. The groove edge outside the burial location is cut diagonally. As was prophesied in Isaiah (Isaiah 53:8 - 9) Jesus was buried in the tomb of a rich man even though he was believed to be a criminal (Matthew 27:57 - 60).
7. He was oppressed, and He was afflicted; yet He opened not His mouth. He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before its shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth. 8. By oppression and judgment He was taken away; and with His generation who did consider that He was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgression of My people He was stricken? 9. And He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death; although He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth. (Isaiah 53:7 - 9, HBFV)
57. And when evening was coming on, a rich man of Arimathea came, named Joseph, who was himself a disciple of Jesus. 58. After going to Pilate, he begged to have the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given over to him. 59. And after taking the body, Joseph wrapped it in clean linen cloth, 60. And placed it in his new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock; and after rolling a great stone to the door of the tomb, he went away. (Matthew 27:57 - 60, HBFV)
The Bible states that several people visited the garden tomb during and after our Savior's burial. They include Joseph of Arimathea, a rich member of the Sanhedrin, and Nicodemus, a Pharisee, who together placed Christ in Joseph's new burial location (Matthew 27:57 - 61, Mark 15:42 - 47, Luke 23:50 - 55, John 19:38 - 42). Mary Magdalene and "another Mary" checked the burial site late on a Saturday afternoon just before the resurrection (Mark 16:1, see our article entitled "Three days and three nights"). Mary Magdalene and other women revisit the site early Sunday morning, with Peter and John running to the location later in the day (see Luke 24).