It was my first year in Jerusalem, and I went to visit the Garden Tomb.
The Garden Tomb is the place believed by many to be the place where they laid the dead body of Jesus after the Crucifixion. It’s little more than a stone’s throw from Golgotha, also called Calvary, the hill where it is believed the Crucifixion of Jesus took place. You can see from a distance the distinct impression of a skull in the rocky side of the hill and I took note of that. It’s unmistakable.
And then down around the side, there is a garden area and the tomb where Jesus was placed after his death.
As I gazed on Golgotha, I spent some time imagining what happened there almost 2,000 years ago. Then I faced the Garden Tomb. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go inside, to me it was one of the holiest places on earth and I felt unworthy to touch it. But after awhile I decided to go in. I wanted to see everything and anything that pertained to my Lord and all He accomplished when He came to this earth.
It was a bit dark in there, but I could clearly see the slab where the Body had been placed. I looked around and took it all in.
But then, suddenly, something began to happen to me. Inexplicably, I began to tremble deep inside my body. Then this feeling came over me that’s hard to describe, except to say it was one of the most intense feelings of joy that I have ever felt in my life. It took me by surprise and seemed odd to me, because I was standing in a dark tomb, yet feeling this intense joy completely envelop me inside and out. I was stunned. I didn’t know what was happening to me. I was a bit fearful because this was such an incomparable experience happening there in that dark place.
As I stood there in wonder, the Lord Himself spoke to me, and the words I heard that day deep within me were words I will remember till the day I leave this earth, so profoundly did they impact me. He said to me:
“Paula, this is not the place of death, this is the place of RESURRECTION!”
Oh yes, YES, YES!!!! This is the place where the greatest miracle of all time had taken place!!! My Savior who had been crucified for me, did not remain on that slab.
He is RISEN! Yes, oh yes, HE IS RISEN!
I was so stunned I was reeling, and it took me a bit of time until I was able to look at those words and understand the great meaning imparted to me that day. I have meditated on them time and time again throughout the following years, knowing that that day was to me one of the most meaningful days of my time on earth.
In the ages to come, it will be known to all that there was one day greater than any other day past, present, or future, and that was the day that Jesus Christ obtained the eternal victory over death and the grave, and rose gloriously out of that tomb. It is the Resurrection from the dead that sets Him apart from any other person deemed “holy” in this world, past, present, or future. No other religion has a Savior who overcame death and promised his believers that “whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” (John 11:26)
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“I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am ALIVE FOREVERMORE.”
Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He ever lives to make intercession for them.
Read the Biblical story of the resurrection in John, chapter 20.