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The Tomb of Jesus

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Hidden Mysteries in the Tomb of Jesus

Location – Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Map Coordinates - 31.778460, 35.229556

The Burial Bench.


What happened in this room changed the world for all time. Here the lifeless body of Jesus Christ was laid. In this room this Man who was once dead stood up and walked out of His own grave. This story is told to us in detail by four independent Gospel historians.


The burial bench of Jesus probably looked something like this arcosolium.

On this burial bench is a marble slab. We know that Jesus didn’t lie on this particular surface. He laid on a limestone burial bench, which is directly under this and another marble slab in-between. Unlike typical Jewish tombs, which were deep niches carved into a wall, you can see that the style of this tomb was a bench, where His body laid parallel to the wall, fully extended. His head would have been over on the left side. Back in those days, bench-type tombs often had two and three-benches in the same room. But this particular tomb only had one burial bench.


The last time that Jesus’ limestone bench was seen was in 2017. The date that it was seen before that was the year 1555 AD, or in other words four and a half centuries years earlier.


The Hinged Icon.

Here I am inspecting the stones that originally surrounded the tomb of Jesus.

Behind the icon on the far wall (which is actually a hinged door) are some of the original stones of the Tomb of Jesus. This tomb was knocked down in 1009 AD by the Muslim Calif Al-Hakim, and a wall of these stones lay just behind this door.

Stones from the original tomb of Jesus behind the hinged icon in the current tomb.

The Window.

Through the glass window on the wall opposite the burial bench you can see the actual unfinished rock wall of the tomb of Jesus. This window is actually a silent witness to the resurrection of Jesus. Let me explain why. 


The window inside the tomb of Jesus, showing the original rocks that surrounded the tomb.

The fact that this is rough stone has led scholars to believe that this tomb was still under construction when Jesus was laid here. After all, Luke 23:53 and John 19:41 say that no one had ever laid in this tomb before Jesus. 


Think about this. In the last week of Jesus’ life, He rode on a donkey on which no one had ever ridden (The Merged GospelsTM, story 215). He was wrapped in new linens that had never been used for any other purpose The Merged GospelsTM, story 285). The crown of thorns had just been made, and no one had ever worn it before The Merged GospelsTM, story 276). And now He was lying in a tomb in which no one had ever laid (John 19:41). In addition, it’s a tomb that has never been finished. There’s even a longstanding belief that the cross beam to which Jesus’ hands were nailed came from a tree that had just been harvested, and was never used to crucify any other person. This legend comes from a place called the Monastery of the Cross in Jerusalem, where the tree supposedly grew. According to tradition, after Jesus was crucified, His cross was thrown into an abandoned cistern, never to be used again. If this is true it means that the cross was entirely dedicated to Jesus. The donkey, the linens, the crown, the cross, and now the tomb – all destined to be used by only one person – Jesus Christ 


Look closely, and you can see chisel marks in the center of the wall, which mark the ancient surface of the wall.

There’s something else. If you look closely right in the middle of this window there are chisel marks in one of these rocks. A chisel is a hand-held tool that is used to carve stone. These chisel marks indicate that the surface on which these marks appear was the outermost extremity of this southern wall. This confirms that there was a wall here, and not another burial bench.


My conclusion is that this tomb has never had more than one burial bench.


But there’s more. We know that Joseph of Arimathea was a follower of Jesus. We know that he owned this tomb, both before and after Jesus laid here. Having learned that Jesus rose from the dead, do you think that Joseph, being a follower of Christ, would ever consider putting another person in this tomb, to lie here and decompose in the same spot where the Savior of the world was resurrected? It’s not likely.


There are three ancient historians who all claim that this tomb was a holy shrine after Jesus rose from the dead, and that Christians worshiped Jesus in this room for the next 100 years. Do you think that any one of them would tolerate some random corpse lying and rotting in this tomb while they were worshiping here? Once again, not likely. 


What does this mean? If all of this is true, then Jesus was not only the first person who ever laid in this tomb, but He was also the last. What else would you expect about the site that gave us the most defining moment in the history of the world? This sepulcher has been a place of worship for 2000 years. Our conclusion is that this tomb was destined from eternity to have only one occupant – the Son of God. 


It was meant to be a place of celebration, not a place of mourning, and that it should be remembered for only one thing – that what happened here made eternal salvation possible for every person on earth - a room not to be shared with the likes of any other mortal being. In fact, not even Joseph of Arimathea was buried here, even though that’s what his original plan was. For you see, we know that Joseph of Arimathea died as a missionary very far away from here in the British Aisles. 


The tomb of Jesus is dedicated perpetually for the celebration of history’s greatest moment. In the book of Revelation, Jesus says, “I am the first and the last.”  From what we can tell, that statement also applies to this tomb. He was the first and the last.

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