11 Minute Read + Scripture readings
Today’s Bible Reading:
Today’s Bible Verse(s):
“They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of the Skull)… Then they crucified him … Pilate was surprised that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had already died. When he found out from the centurion, he gave the corpse to Joseph. After he bought some linen cloth, Joseph took him down and wrapped him in the linen. Then he laid him in a tomb cut out of the rock and rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb.”
Mark 15:22, 24, 44-46 (CSB)
Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):
We’ve read the story of the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection so many times that it may not stir up awe and gratitude in our hearts like it once did. We’ve heard it so much that what is priceless may have become common.
So, in this post, I want to share some pictures and videos that I captured while on my trip to Israel a couple of years ago. I will simply copy-and-paste a section of my digital book, “Taking a Trip to Israel: Pictures, Videos, Reflections, and Tips from a Trip to the Holy Land.”(It will be FREE for a digital download tomorrow; regularly priced $2.99 USD). The following text, pictures, and videos are a portion of the chapter I titled: “Golgotha & the Garden Tomb.”
“This was by far the most meaningful stop of our whole trip! I have done some previous study on the possible sites of Jesus’ crucifixion and burial and this location seems the most plausible.
It was surreal to be in the place where my Lord’s crucifixion and resurrection possibly took place. What my Lord did for me probably took place … right here!
Our tour guide had arranged for us to have another guide speak with us at this site. It was obvious that the young lady was a sold-out believer in Jesus and was well versed in the arguments for and against the Garden Tomb being the site where Jesus’ body was placed.
But, before we get to the tomb, we need to go to the cross. First, let me share a passage of Scripture that identifies where Jesus was crucified.
John 19:16-17 “Then he handed him over to be crucified. Then they took Jesus away. Carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called Place of the Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha.”
The place where Jesus was crucified was called “Place of the Skull.” More than likely, this meant that the place looked like a skull.
Let me share a picture with you that our tour guide showed us. She said that it was taken about 100 years ago. Notice what the rock formation looks like.
If you look closely at the picture, you can see that it somewhat resembles a skull. And that fact would fit the biblical record of where Jesus was crucified.
This place looks very different now. The part of the rock that created the impression of a nose has fallen off. But it has also been marginalized by the Jerusalem bus depot and humanity’s propensity to litter.
Here is a picture that I took while visiting this site.
To view a couple of videos that I took at this location, click the following two pictures.
I don’t know about you but when I saw how the site had essentially been desecrated, I was saddened and angered.
However, a thought came to mind when I was experiencing those emotions. I realized that this site was never intended to warm the human heart. It was a site of injustice, God’s wrath, payment for sin, and death. Mary and John, who attended the crucifixion, had their hearts ripped out in this location. It only makes sense that if this is truly the site where Jesus was crucified, then His followers, while looking at what has been done to this location, would also feel angered and saddened, too.
I will elaborate on the second thought that came to mind after my following account of the Garden Tomb.
From the Scriptural account, the place where Jesus was buried was reasonably close to the place He was crucified.
John 19:40–42 “They took Jesus’s body and wrapped it in linen cloths with the fragrant spices, according to the burial custom of the Jews. There was a garden in the place where he was crucified. A new tomb was in the garden; no one had yet been placed in it. They placed Jesus there because of the Jewish day of preparation and since the tomb was nearby.”
After visiting the site where many people think Jesus was crucified, we went to one of the potential locations of Jesus’ Tomb. It was within a very short walking distance (about 100 feet) of the rock formation in the pictures above.
Here are some pictures that I took:
While I believe that this could very well be the spot where Jesus was buried, we cannot be 100% sure. And that brings me to my concluding thoughts about this site …
I’m sorry to leave you hanging but I used the rest of the chapter to explain why I believe God has kept us from being absolutely certain that this is where Jesus was crucified, buried, and resurrected.
So, there you have it. I hope that this article was beneficial to you. I hope it helps you to visualize the truth of Scripture. Friend, Jesus was crucified for you. He was buried for you. He rose again for you.
So live loved, today! Out of gratitude for all that He has done for you, live today for Him!
* * * * * * * * * *
Lord Jesus, thank You for loving me so much that You willingly left Your rights and privileges of Heaven to come to earth to pay the sin debt of every single person who will simply trust in You. Thank You for enabling me to trust in You. Now, I pray that I would live loved today. I pray that I would also be willing to share with others what You have done for me and what You can do for them. Amen!