Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The Garden Tomb

The Garden Tomb - otherwise known as Gordon's Calvary (because the site was identified by General Gordon) - wasn't on our itinerary, as it is clearly not the site of either Calvary or the garden where the tomb was.  However, I took the chance to go there on my own and found it a helpfully meditative place - and, of course, lots of pilgrims do go there.  It all started when General Gordon noticed some indentations in a hill that gave the appearance of being the sockets for two eyes and a nose.  He suggested that this was Golgotha - Skull Hill - the place where Jesus was crucified - and it is still outside the city wall.  What is more is that there is an attractive garden nearby and that garden contains a tomb.  Indeed, the garden gives a good view of the hill, which is beside a bus terminal, and so the sense of noise and bustle fits with the crowds passing by the site of crucifixions.  Though it is not the authentic site, the Garden Tomb does offer a realistic picture somewhere around what it must have been like and, with that, the opportunity to reflect in the open air on the events of Good Friday and the discovery of the empty tomb on the first Easter Day!  Indeed, the message, now as then, is: He is not here - He is risen!

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