The Garden Tomb and the Great Stone | Quick Facts About the Garden Tomb
Quick Facts of The Garden Tomb
So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). John 19:16 New International Version (©1984)
In 1883 British Major-General Charles George Gordon identified a site that he believed to be the tomb in which Jesus had been laid after noticing a skull face sunk into the rock opposite the old city walls. Charles George believed it to be the Golgotha as told in the four gospels.
There were also European scholars named Otto Thenius, Col. Churchill, and Fisher Howe 1871 who believed the hill to the east of the Garden Tomb fits the famous biblical Golgotha.
Just outside the old city walls, near the Damascus Gate of northern Jerusalem, there is a popular site that was known for crucifixions in the time of Jesus.
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. John 19:41
New International Version (©1984)
British Major-General Charles George Gordon also discovered that near to the place of the Skull was a tomb, which he believed it to be the site of Jesus' tomb, now called the Garden Tomb
This region of "Gordon's Calvary", Skull Hill is the northern most part of the mount called Moriah and confirms with the practices in Leviticus 1:11
He is to slaughter it at the north side of the altar before the LORD, and Aaron's sons the priests shall sprinkle its blood against the altar on all sides, NIV.
This is the same region that Abraham brought his son Isaac to sacrifice him as told in Genesis 22.
Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about." NIV
This is the same region that God was foreshadowing and serving as symbolic of an event, of something to follow, which was God's own son Jesus Christ.
This region and tomb is also outside the city gates which confirm with Hebrews 13:12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.
This same region is the highest points of Mount Moriah, standing an impressive 777 meters above sea level. The number 777 is said to describe the Holy Trinity of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
There are ancient paintings pinpointing this same region as the location of Jesus tomb, paintings that were made before the tomb was discovered.
Ken Krestrail ,the Garden Tomb guide, confirmed he had never seen these maps before and that he was overwhelmed to see how accurate they were.
Rubin Aylett at the Jewish National and university library in Israel confirmed that the ancient paintings were drawn hundreds of years before the Garden Tomb was discovered.
The ancient paintings also identify a place near the site of the crucifixion as "Jeremiah's Grotto". Also there is such a place by the place of the skull believed by the locals to be the place where the Prophet Jeremiah retired to write the Book of Lamentations, a book of the Old Testament which chronicles the destruction of Jerusalem in 589BC.
In this region there is a cliff with the skull image sunk into its weathered rock face confirming with Matthew 27:33.
They came to a place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). NIV.
EVIDENCE OF A WEALTHY MANS TOMB:
1. The tomb was carved out of rock
2. There is a garden at the tomb
3. In this garden there is a wine press and one of the largest water wells in Jerusalem, which must have been owned by a wealthy man, as told in Matthew 27:57. As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus.
There is also a seal just outside the tomb, confirming with Matthew 27:65 "Take a guard," Pilate answered. "Go,make the tomb as secure as you know how." 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.
The chemical analysis of the soil proved that there was no evidence that a body had decayed there, agreeing with the resurrection of Jesus. Matthew 28:1
There is graffiti on the walls referencing the Alpha and Omega, and Jesus being the anchor of our souls.
There is also archaeological evidence of a chapel having stood outside of the tomb, this is evidence of veneration.
The naming of The Place of the Skull, such a geographical feature in such a way fits entirely with Jewish practice of the time. Other examples include Gamia, a Jewish city on the Golan which is built upon a hill like a camel's hump. 'Gamia' means 'the camel'. Also 'Susita', Aramaic for 'the horse.
There is evidence that the tomb was hurriedly extended to accommodate a taller body being about 5'11 (confirming with Matthew 28) because the Sabbath was approaching.
Ten Turin Shroud scholars all stated that the person on the Shroud of Turin was about 5 ft 11.about the same measurements as the grave in the tomb.
Barrie Schwartz the greatest expert on the Shroud of Turin stated that the height of the man on the Shroud and the grave being the same height was CERTAINLY COINCIDENTAL.
These facts are just some of many and the details of the Garden Tomb, exactly match those described in the gospels.
However like all good story tellers I am saving the best till last!!
There is one very important piece to this puzzle missing, so important that it would prove without a doubt the true where abouts of the tomb of Jesus.
THE GREAT STONE
Most tombs have a stone that is rolled across the entrance to seal the tomb.
However, the tomb in this garden has no stone, but there is still there to this day clearly a channel that is 15' wide, that still has the marks of a rolling stone that had once been rolled down the channel to the tomb, which proves that there was once a stone there, as the channel also has a stopper at the end to stop the stone from rolling away after sealing the tomb.
So where is this stone today?
This original stone has never been found or been seen for 1000's of years. If we could find this stone it can only prove one thing, that this is the true tomb that was owned by Joseph of Arimathea.
WHY you may ask?
The answer is because the gospels tell us that the stone that was at this tomb was GREAT. It was not a normal size stone as the ones we so often see in the Holy Land which only just covered the entrance door to the tomb. This stone must have been, and was, and is unique. It was so large that when the two Mary's went back to the tomb, to anoint Jesus' body, as the scriptures say,
they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?" Mark 16:2. NIV
Here the gospel of Mark makes this point very clearly because the stone was so large the two Mary's were obviously concerned how they would push and roll such a great stone clear away. This conversation proves the stone at the TRUE tomb was most certainly unique.
How large was the stone? Was There A Great Stone At The Garden Tomb? If so where is it?