After Jesus was crucified, his body was taken down from the cross and placed in a tomb. But where exactly was this tomb located?
And what happened to his body after his resurrection? Let’s explore these questions and delve into the history surrounding Jesus’ burial.
The Location of Jesus’ Tomb
The Gospels tell us that Jesus was buried in a new tomb owned by Joseph of Arimathea, a wealthy Jewish man who was also a disciple of Jesus. This tomb was cut out of rock and had never been used before (Matthew 27:59-60; Mark 15:46; Luke 23:53). The location of this tomb is believed to be near Golgotha, the place where Jesus was crucified.
The Garden Tomb
One possible location for Jesus’ tomb is known as the Garden Tomb. This site is located just outside the walls of Jerusalem and has been identified by some as the place where Jesus was buried. The Garden Tomb is a rock-cut tomb that matches the description given in the Gospels, with a nearby garden where Mary Magdalene saw the risen Jesus (John 20:11-18).
However, there is no conclusive evidence that this is actually the site of Jesus’ burial. Some scholars believe that it is more likely that Jesus’ tomb was located within the walls of Jerusalem.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is another possible location for Jesus’ tomb. This church contains several different sites related to Jesus’ death and resurrection, including Golgotha (where he was crucified) and an empty tomb believed by many to be where he was buried.
The current structure dates back to the 12th century, but there has been a church on this site since at least the 4th century. While some scholars dispute the authenticity of this location, it remains a popular destination for pilgrims and tourists alike.
What Happened to Jesus’ Body?
According to the Gospels, after Jesus was buried, his body was placed in the tomb and a large stone was rolled in front of the entrance (Matthew 27:60; Mark 15:46; Luke 23:53). The Jewish authorities also posted guards at the tomb to prevent anyone from stealing the body (Matthew 27:62-66).
However, on the third day after Jesus’ death, Mary Magdalene and several other women went to the tomb and found that it was empty (Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-10). The Gospels tell us that Jesus had been raised from the dead and had appeared to his disciples and others over a period of forty days before ascending into heaven (Acts 1:3-11).
The location of Jesus’ tomb remains a subject of debate among scholars, but what is clear is that his resurrection from the dead changed everything. As Paul wrote in his first letter to the Corinthians, “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14). The empty tomb is a symbol of hope for Christians around the world, reminding us that death has been conquered and eternal life is available to all who believe.