Hello everyone! Happy Resurrection Sunday! I am a little late posting this today. I’ve been spending the day with my wife and kids and we went to the last afternoon service at church, which was awesome. We have a new Pastor and his first time preaching at the church was at the four Easter services today. The Lord spoke a powerful message through him and the worship was beautiful. I loved singing “He silenced the boast of sin and grave!” I couldn’t hold back the tears of joy. We celebrate Jesus today and every day because He silenced sin and death and gave us eternal life! Jesus has risen and He is alive! Hallelujah!
That photo above is the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem, Israel. It is the most probable archeological site for the tomb that Jesus was laid to rest in. It is located in a beautiful garden right next to where Jesus was crucified at Golgotha (The Place of the Skull) just outside the old city walls of Jerusalem. The tomb is actually only a few hundred feet to the west of Golgotha and its location matches what John wrote about the burial of Jesus. Let’s take a look at that Scripture.
“Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.”
You can see Golgotha from the garden and vice versa. They are right next to each other just as John said. It is important to note that Joseph of Arimathea was a wealthy man. He owned the land where the garden was located and he cut the new tomb out of the rock. It is quite possible Joseph had a vineyard because there is also an old wine press on the property and a cistern. It is a beautiful piece of land and it was a beautiful brand new tomb for Jesus to rest in.
Here is how Matthew records the burial of Jesus:
“As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 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. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.”
“That tomb (and presumably also the garden) belonged to Joseph of Arimathea, a secret disciple of Jesus, who was given special permission to bury the body of Jesus in his nearby tomb before the start of the Jewish Sabbath. The discovery of both an ancient tomb and the remains of an ancient agricultural garden very close to Skull Hill conforms well with that description.”
Although the curators make no claims that they know for certain that the tomb and the garden belonged to Joseph, the location of the area lines up with Scripture perfectly.
“The traditional site where the crucifixion and resurrection are remembered is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre which was established in the early 4th century by Emperor Constantine. However, for at least several centuries some have questioned whether that ancient church is the actual site of the gospel events. This alternative location, today known as Skull Hill, was first suggested to be the site of Christ’s crucifixion in 1842 by a German scholar named Otto Thenius. The tomb itself was unearthed in 1867 and first proposed by General Charles Gordon to be the tomb of Jesus in 1883. Unfortunately, its entrance had been damaged and later repaired with stone blocks.
This garden has been carefully maintained as a place of Christian worship, witness, and reflection on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah. Many believe this to be the garden in which Jesus of Nazareth was buried and where he rose from the dead. The Garden Tomb has been owned by a nondenominational Christian trust since 1894. We make no dogmatic claims about the historical authenticity of this site but desire to preserve it as a place of worship and as a visual reminder of the Messiah’s sacrifice and victory. ”
You can see it is a very beautiful garden that most definitely would have been owned by a rich man.
Here is what the tomb would have looked like with the stone rolled in front of it:
“The exact dating of the tomb is disputed, however it is at least as old as the days of Christ and it otherwise fits the descriptions in the gospels. In later years the tomb area was used by Christians in both the Byzantine and Crusader periods. There is a Byzantine cross painted inside the tomb and a Crusader cross carved outside on the front wall. The channel outside the front wall of the tomb, though extensively modified in later centuries, may have originally been used as a track for a large rolling stone.”
After Joseph rolled the big stone in front of the tomb, the chief priests put the official government seal on it and had it guarded:
“The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”
“Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.”
This is the place where our Lord and Savior may have been buried and where He rose back to life! Let’s take a look at what happened on the day Jesus resurrected from the dead!
“After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
That is just awesome! There had just been a massive earthquake when Jesus died and there was another one when the angel came down to move the stone! I love how the angel just sits on top of the stone. It is such an amazing sight that it completely defeats the Roman guards leaving them speechless and motionless on the ground. I also love how the angel is so straight forward and matter of fact when he tells the women Jesus had risen just like He said. Most of all, I love that Jesus greets them and comforts them!
As the angel said, “Come and see the place where he lay.”
Death could not hold Jesus and because of Jesus we no longer have to be afraid! Jesus is the resurrection and the life and all who believe in Him will live for eternity with Him in Heaven!
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
After Jesus rose from the dead, He appeared to his disciples for forty days before He ascended into Heaven. He hung out with them, He ate with them, and He taught them about the Kingdom of God.
“In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.”
At the end of those forty days, Jesus gave his disciples one last command. It is known as the Great Commission and it is every Christian’s high honor to fulfill it!
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
It is because Jesus has risen that we have hope! There would be no hope without the resurrection! Jesus silenced the boast of sin and the grave! How beautiful it is to have your sins forgiven and have the great peace of knowing that death no longer has any hold on you! Jesus died for our sins, Jesus rose from the grave, Jesus ascended into Heaven, and Jesus will be coming back someday!”
“After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
May we eagerly await His return every day and may we serve Him and do His will by making disciples of all nations just as He commanded! Jesus truly is the resurrection and the life and that is the greatest truth a human soul could ever hear! Amen, come Lord Jesus! May Your holy will be done!
Grace and peace to you all!
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”