Our final stop in Jerusalem was the Garden Tomb. It’s sometimes called “Gordon’s Tomb.” General Gordon. A renowned British military hero, 28 sign on doorCharles George Gordon, fought in the Crimean War, in China and in Egypt. When he arrived in Jerusalem in 1883, one of his first actions was to combine his religious fervor with a general’s skill and confidence in interpreting terrain. After making sketches for a short report, he announced that the hill in which the Garden Tomb cave was hewn was Golgotha (“skull” in Aramaic), the site of Jesus’ crucifixion. The Garden Tomb, hidden for centuries, was covered with rubbish twenty feet high. When they first cleared the spot, with great caution they gathered all the dust and debris within the tomb and carefully shipped it to the Scientific Association of Great Britain. Every part of it was analyzed, but there was no trace of human remains. If this is the real tomb of Christ, then Jesus was the first to be laid there and he was also the last.

There is a sign on the inside of the door of the tomb that reads “He is not here – for He is risen.” Every time we’ve visited this site in the past, at least one of the members of the tour group would take their turn going in and coming out of the garden tomb and shout “Nope, He’s still not there!” The Empty Tomb had a message for the disciples as it has for us. It says to science and philosophy, “Explain this event.” It says to history, “Repeat this event.” It says to time, “Blot out this event.” It says to faith, “Believe this event.” Keith Green wrote one of my favorite songs. You will probably remember it as “The Easter Song.”

“Here the bells ringing, they’re singing that you can be born again. Here the bells ringing, they’re singing Christ is risen from the dead. The angel up on the tombstone said he has risen, just as he said. Quickly now, go tell his disciples that Jesus Christ is no longer dead. Joy to the word, he has risen, hallelujah He’s risen, hallelujah. He’s risen, hallelujah” He took his lyrics from Matthew 28:6 where the angel said, ““He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come; see where his body was lying” (Matthew 28:6).