The Garden Tomb of Jesus

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Garden Tomb of Jesus
Jesus' 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 Catholic Church's Church of the Holy Sepulcher, is the place where the burial of Jesus' body after he died on the cross took place.

In 1842 A.D. a man by the name of Otto Thenius proposed that the actual place of where Jesus 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 now can be seen from the back of a bus station) which, from several angles, look to him like the face of a skull. Golgotha, the name of the place where Jesus was crucified, is a Aramaic word meaning skull.

"And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian . . .to bear his (Jesus') cross. And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull." (Mark 15:21-22)

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 Garden 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 together 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).

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