Sue and I waited to see the tomb where our Savior’s body lay many years ago. It had been the second site we visited today. The first was lined with gold candlesticks, incense, and other gaudy fixtures. Fit for a King of a grand palace, but for the Son of God?
I shrugged my shoulders. Of course, but He wouldn’t have wanted it that way.
We stepped into the garden of the second site and the birds singing in the trees caught our attention. Beauty surrounded us and I inhaled deeply.
“Now, this is where I choose to believe Jesus was buried,” I said. “Not with all that worldly stuff.”
Our turn came next, and we stepped inside the small cave-like tomb. We weren’t overpowered with incense or flickering candles, just a cut out slab where Jesus would have been laid. Cold and hard. Not fit for a King of a palace, but for the Savior of the World?
We made our way to a small outdoor chapel area where the pastor announced earlier we would partake in a communion service.
Tears flowed down my face. Taking the cup and bread in the spot where Jesus was buried overwhelmed me. Then, the unthinkable happened.
“Next, we’re going to sing Because He Lives and dedicate it to Doreen Harrison,” Pastor Jonathan said.
I gasped and immediately grabbed my sister’s hand.
Could I sing my mother’s favorite song here? In her honor? Without crying?
Nope. Sue and I held each other’s hand until our knuckles turned white. We sobbed uncontrollably, but didn’t care.
Neither of us could sing.
We just clung to each other.
You know what was so amazing about this visit to the Garden Tomb?
The tomb was EMPTY!
That, topped with singing our mother’s favorite song, overwhelmed me like you wouldn’t believe. I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.
My tears told me I wasn’t.
There is a controversy over which tomb Jesus was actually buried in. But, in the end it doesn’t really matter. You know why? Because He’s not there!
What if the tomb wasn’t empty? There would be absolutely no hope. We’d all be lost and wandering around without direction.
Aren’t you glad this isn’t the case? I’m so thankful Jesus walked out of that tomb and ascended into heaven. We will see Him one day along with all our loved ones. That’s the hope we have.
Hallelujah! He’s risen!
God sent His son, they called Him Jesus
He came to love, heal, and forgive.
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.
(Bill & Gloria Gaither)
First site we visited
Sue and I coming out of the tomb
Hallelujah! He’s risen!