December 9: “Where Was Jesus Crucified and Buried?”

Today’s Bible Reading:

2 Chronicles 9
Jude 1
Zephaniah 1
Luke 23

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Luke 23:33 (CSB): “When they arrived at the place called The Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals, one on the right and one on the left.”

Luke 23:52–53 (CSB): “He approached Pilate and asked for Jesus’s body. Taking it down, he wrapped it in fine linen and placed it in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever been placed.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

In today’s Bible reading, we are called to enter into the experience of the death and burial of Jesus. We read Luke’s account of some of the events surrounding Jesus’ crucifixion and burial.

I’m visual. I like to see things so that I can understand them much better.

With that being the case, I have often wondered what Golgotha looked like. I have wondered what the tomb looked like.

So, assuming that you may be a visual learner as well, let me share some videos and pictures with you for the remainder of this post. The following pictures and videos are from a trip that my wife and I took to Israel a couple of years ago. While no one is absolutely certain where Jesus was crucified and buried and rose again, there are compelling arguments that Gordon’s Calvary and the Garden Tomb are where it all happened.

However, the Catholic Church claimed to have located the site of Jesus’ burial in the 4th century. A structure was built over a rock-cut tomb and the building was called “Church of the Holy Sepulchre.” (You can click on the previous title to access Wikipedia’s article.) Personally, I don’t believe this is where it took place and it is sad to see people sobbing over and kissing a rock where we were told Jesus’ body lay for 3 days.

Here is a video that I took inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The rock I just referred to was about 50 feet (or so) behind me as I captured the following moment.

The site that was identified much later, but seems more legitimate, is what is called Gordon’s Calvary and the Garden Tomb. Here are some pictures I took.

The following picture is of Gordon’s Calvary.

To see how much this place looked like a skull up until about a 100 years ago, simply look at the following picture.

Here are a couple of videos that I took of Gordon’s Calvary. It is now adjacent to a bus depot. Garbage has been dumped at its base. Just click “Play.”

Only what seemed like a few short steps from Gordon’s Calvary, we arrived at the Garden Tomb. The Garden tomb is part of the same rock formation as the site of Gordon’s Calvary.

Luke 23:33 (CSB): “When they arrived at the place called The Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals, one on the right and one on the left.”

Luke 23:52–53 (CSB): “He approached Pilate and asked for Jesus’s body. Taking it down, he wrapped it in fine linen and placed it in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever been placed.”

Whether this is the location where our Lord was crucified, was buried, and rose again cannot be held with any degree of certainty. But this location brings the words on the page into sharper focus as we see a real place where it could have happened.

I hope this has been helpful to you. If you want to purchase a digital book ($2.99/US) with a lot more pictures and links to videos, click here. I wrote that relatively brief book in such a way as to make the reader feel like they were taking a trip to the Holy Land with my wife and I in May/June 2018.

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, thank You so much for dying to pay my sin debt and rising again to conquer the grave. Thank You that You have given me the faith to trust in You so that I have become a recipient of eternal life. I pray for the grace to enable me to live each day worthy of what You have done for me. I pray this in Your Name. Amen.

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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