Joseph of Arimathaea, a wealthy and influential disciple of Jesus, laid Jesus’s body in “his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance” (Matthew 27:60, emphasis added). The apostle John noted that this new tomb had been built in a garden near Golgotha, the place of the crucifixion (John 19:41). That burial in the rich man’s garden tomb thus fulfilled the prophecy spoken centuries earlier by Isaiah: “He was with a rich man in His death” (Isaiah 53:9).
The garden tomb discovered by Charles Gordon in 1884 is believed by many to be the burial place of Christ, though aspects of the tomb itself suggest an Old Testament date (rather than the new tomb the Gospels require). Still, the beautiful surroundings of the Garden Tomb lend themselves to meditation on the profound power of Christ’s resurrection.
On that first day of the week nearly two thousand years ago, Mary and the other women reached the tomb to find the stone had been rolled away (Mark 16:4).Over the course of a few weeks, one by one the disciples learned that their Lord had been raised from the dead, delivered from the darkness of that cold tomb into the dawn of a new and glorious life.
Together, the eyewitness accounts and the empty tomb continue to convince people today that the Savior lives. Though we do not see Him with our eyes or touch Him with our hands, we still fall down on our knees and cry out to Jesus the words of Thomas, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28).
He is risen indeed!