The Garden Tomb

9:00:00 AM Brooke Neal 5 Comments

We spent our Christmas holiday in Israel--it was somewhat of a pilgrimage if you will.  We went specifically to see the setting of Jesus Christ's life.  I had expectations and hopes for my children, yet I knew to not to put a lot of stock or expectation in the places purported to be "the spot" where Christ laid his head, was whipped or dropped his cross.  Many of these locations were  determined or identified 300 years after the Savior's death--they are best guesses based on oral history and in some cases, absolute fabrications concocted for someone else's gain.

The Jerusalem of Christ's day is about 15 feet below today's ground level, so when you walk the Via Delarosa you are not actually walking the path Christ would have carried his cross and yet, the city has a feeling.  A tension, a peace, a holiness (in very select parts) that permeates.  Perhaps it is the faith and belief of those who come here in search of Christ.  Perhaps it is the hope and longing of the Jews that a Messiah will come and restore Temple Mount. Perhaps it is the conviction of the Muslim's that this is their sacred land granted them 2000 years ago by Abraham.



The hill that looks like a skull--Golgatha or Calvary 100 years ago and today
All these competing voices mingle and clamor to be heard and felt in the Holy Land. It is quite ironic that Israel is even called the Holy Land--you can not deny there is tension in the air and yet we are drawn to her anyways because of what we HOPE we will FEEL.
You can read a more personal report about our trip on my family blog

Right smack dab in the heart of the bustling Arab quarter surrounded by the bus station and a local outdoor market is a garden.  The area is noisy and chaotic; horns honking, hands reaching to the sky as if to invoke a curse, people milling about in the streets and then you enter the walled off garden.  It is surprisingly quite and calm.  Even with tour groups of 50, people are reverent and hushed.
Operated by a non-denominational group, a guide takes you through the garden giving you the history behind ancient burial practices, and how this spot came to claim itself as a possible burial site for Jesus Christ. The Garden Tomb's park like setting is a peaceful reprieve from bustling Jerusalem and one of the better spots for contemplation.
The Details--The Garden Tomb
Address: Conrad Schick St.
Cost: Free, donations welcome
Hours: M-Sat 8:30-noon; 2:00-5:30
Tip: Easily accessible by foot from the Damascus Gate. The website has really good directions. I can attest that driving/parking in the area is a pain in the neck.  Ditch the auto and walk.



5 comments:

  1. I haven't been in Israel in way too long! What a great trip you all took!

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  2. It is good to travel to historical places like this with eyes wide open and questions from all different parties and gage your own observations. What an interesting garden tour

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  3. What a wonderful opportunity for you. Rebecca

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  4. Your observations are refreshing and open-minded. Thank you for sharing your visit to unquestionably a very historic location (facts and fallacies alike).

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  5. Bringing back memories of our trip, but to Isreal in 2010. Sadly we didn't get to see the Garden Tomb as their was a war going on at the time we went over and our guide would not bring us there!

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