Church of the Holy Sepulchre
In approximately 33 AD, Jesus of Nazareth was condemned to death, crucified on Mount Golgotha and buried in a tomb that had been excavated in a nearby garden. After three days he rose from the dead. From this moment the Tomb of the Resurrection became the central place of faith for all Christianity.
“I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” John 11,25.
- The church contains the two holiest sites in Christianity: the site where Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, known as “Calvary” in Latin and “Golgotha” in Greek, and Jesus’s empty tomb, where he is said to have been buried and resurrected.
- Calvary (Golgotha), traditionally regarded as the site of Jesus’ crucifixion.
- The Rock of Calvary can be seen under glass on both sides of the altar, and beneath the altar there is a hole said to be the place where the cross was raised.
- According to tradition, Jesus was crucified over the place where Adam’s skull was buried.
- According to some, at the crucifixion, the blood of Christ ran down the cross and through the rocks to fill the skull of Adam.
- The Rock of Calvary appears cracked through a window on the altar wall, with the crack traditionally claimed to be caused by the earthquake that occurred when Jesus died on the cross.
- Stone of Anointing: tradition believes to be the spot where Jesus’ body was prepared for burial by Joseph of Arimathea.
- The Prison of Christ, alleged by the Franciscans to be where Jesus was held.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre - The Site:
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem covers what Christians believe is the site of the most important event in human history: The place where Jesus Christ rose from the dead.
But the pilgrim who looks for the hill of Calvary and a tomb cut out of rock in a garden nearby will be disappointed.
At first sight, the church may bring on a sense of anticlimax. Looking across a hemmed-in square, there is the shabby façade of a dun-colored, Romanesque basilica with grey domes and a cut-off belfry.
Inside, there is a bewildering conglomeration of 30-plus chapels and worship spaces. These are encrusted with the devotional ornamentation of several Christian rites.
This sprawling Church of the Holy Sepulchre displays a mish-mash of architectural styles. It bears the scars of fires and earthquakes, deliberate destruction and reconstruction down the centuries. It is often gloomy and usually thronging with noisy visitors.
Yet it remains a living place of worship. Its ancient stones are steeped in prayer, hymns and liturgies. It bustles daily with fervent rounds of incensing and processions.
This is the pre-eminent shrine for Christians, who consider it the holiest place on earth. And it attracts pilgrims by the thousand, all drawn to pay homage to their Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre Gallery:
From the Bible:
- John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
- Mark 10:34 – “And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.”
- Isaiah 60:1 – “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.”
- Peter 3:18 – “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.”
- Isaiah 53:5 – “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.”