Garden Tomb

Garden Tomb – Christ’s Burial Site

In Jerusalem for a visit in 1883, General Charles Gordon spied a prominent rocky crag which looked to him like it could be the Garden Tomb – Christ’s Burial Site, “place of the skull” mentioned in the Bible as where the romans crucified Jesus.

Around the corner a previously discovered rock-hewn tomb was associated with the escarpment, and Gordon popularized the view that this was the actual place where Jesus was crucified and buried.

While officially the Garden Tomb Association only maintains this as a possible site for Christ’s burial, some tour guides of the site are convinced of the authenticity.  They note the large cistern nearby, which proves the area must have been a garden in Jesus’ day.

They claim that marks of Christian veneration at the tomb also prove its sanctity throughout the ages.

Key Events:

  • Likely place where Christ was buried and then rose again.
  • Likely place of the crucifixion of Christ
  • Located just outside the Old City of Jerusalem

Garden Tomb - The site:

In a setting of neatly maintained gardens and trees, the Garden Tomb provides a tranquil environment for prayer and reflection.

The open tomb in the garden of Christ’s Burial Site carved into a rock face, with skull-like erosion in a limestone cliff nearby, can be found down an alley off Nablus Road, north of the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem.

The site is particularly favored by Protestant pilgrims, in preference to the cluttered Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City. For a period, it enjoyed the formal support of the Anglican Church.

“It is much easier to pray here than in the Holy Sepulchre,” writes Jerome Murphy-O’Connor in his Oxford Archaeological Guide The Holy Land. “Unfortunately, there is no possibility that it is in fact the place where Christ was buried.”

Garden Tomb Gallery:

From the Bible:

  • John 19:17 NIV

    Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha).   Here they crucified him, and with him two others – one on each side and Jesus in the middle.    Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews.  Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city. And the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek.

  • Matthew 27:57 NIV

    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.

  • Matthew 28:1 NIV

    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.  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.”

Garden Tomb Maps & Location

Garden Tomb

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