The Christ in Prophecy Journal

The Reality of the Resurrection: The Garden Tomb

Where was Jesus buried and resurrected?

There is simply no way to overemphasize the importance of the Resurrection to the Christian faith, for the resurrection of Jesus is the Christian faith. Christianity stands or falls on the validity — the historical reality — of the Resurrection. The Resurrection of Jesus is either the greatest event in the history of mankind, or it is the cruelest hoax that has ever been perpetrated.

The Garden Tomb

Dr. Reagan: Ancient history’s greatest fact — the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The Bible says that in the place where Christ was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb where no one was ever laid before. There is a lovely garden outside Jerusalem’s city walls, where the very heart of the Christian message was proclaimed.

Jerusalem is home to the three great monotheistic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Foremost, Jerusalem is the city where the Creator of the universe executed His plan to redeem fallen man.

The Holy Sepulcher is traditionally the chief site of Christian pilgrimage. But, many after visiting wander away without being made aware that Christ came into the world to save sinners.

Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Scripture says Christ suffered outside the gate and that history’s greatest sacrificial death took place at Golgotha, meaning the “place of the skull.” There, as the people passed by, Jesus bore the wrath of God to take away the punishment that must be paid for our sin.


The Gospels record that a rich religious leader, Joseph of Arimathea, took the Lord’s body down from the cross, laid it in his own tomb, and that this tomb was in a garden nearby. In this acre of land, we find two pre-Christian artifacts that attest to a working garden from the First Century: Jerusalem’s third largest water cistern cut out of solid rock and a very large winepress, both of which are evidence of wealth.

Just yards away, a tomb that matches the Bible’s description in every way has been hewn from the rock with a great stone to seal the doorway. Inside is a large weeping chamber, and the place where the body was laid is visible from outside, just as the Bible describes.

The Garden Tomb

We cannot be absolute and say that this is the tomb where Jesus was laid. Joseph never left his mark on it, but others did. Christians have been present here perhaps from the very dawn of the faith. But, it’s more about who is not here. The raising of Jesus from the dead is the greatest miracle in all history, for it is His resurrection from the dead, as Romans 1:4 declares, that is proof that Jesus was who He said He was — the Son of God. That’s the core of our proclamation. Jesus is alive! After all, no Resurrection, no Christianity.

David Reagan: #Jesus is alive! After all, no #Resurrection, no #Christianity. #Easter Click To Tweet

I love the Garden Tomb. I love to go there and just meditate on the Lord. It is a place of serenity that is enriching to the soul.

In the third part of this series on the reality of the Resurrection, we’ll debunk the shaky arments for the empty tomb.

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ABOUT AUTHOR View all posts Author Website

Dr. Nathan E. Jones

As the Internet Evangelist at Lamb & Lion Ministries, Nathan reaches out to the over 4.5 billion people accessible over the Internet with the Good News of Jesus Christ. He also co-hosts the ministry's television program Christ in Prophecy and podcast The Truth Will Set You Free.

5 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • I believe this is the best format ever!!! It is so easy to find what you would like to read about or to study. Keep up the good work for Christ Jesus our Lord.

  • Has He, victoriously,
    Burst from the vaulted
    Grave, and ail-gloriously
    Now sits exalted ?
    Is He, in glow of birth,
    Rapture creative near ?
    Ah ! to the woe of earth
    Still are we native here.
    We, His aspiring
    Followers, Him we miss ;
    Weeping, desiring.
    Master, Thy bliss…

    • Dear Bro Jones and Bro Reagan,

      The Garden Tomb, so-called, looks so much like the old prints. Who can resist it? Well, I can. Because Scripture implies a communal grave in which no body had ever been placed. Neither the Garden Tomb nor the little broom closet inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre are large enough to satisfy that consideration.

      But it does seem absurd, does it not, that we should be arguing about this question, that somehow we, the church, could have lost track of the Lord’s tomb. Therefore, I submit that the most famous cave in Jerusalem deserves more than a passing glance. I refer, of course, to the Well of Souls, the cave beneath the Rock, under that pretty blue Dome we all know so well.

      Yes, the family crypt of Joseph of Arimathea is to be found under the Dome of the Rock. And we have misidentified the Temple Mount as well, obviously. Study the pictures online of Ammunition Hill. It is covered with chutes and alleys for sacrificial animals.

      I thank you.


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