Church of the Holy Sepulchre – the Tomb – Israel

The Edicule: the Tomb itself

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is named for the Tomb (i.e., the Sepulchre) where Christ was buried and later arose. The rock from which the Tomb was hewn, has long since been hacked away.

When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed. Matthew 27: 59 – 60 

Then he bought fine linen, took Him down, and wrapped Him in the linen. And he laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock, and rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. Mark 15: 46

Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of the rock, where no one had ever lain before. Luke 23: 53 

After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby. John 19: 38 – 42 

There is a small chapel structure (called an “edicule”) within the broader Church that marks the location of the Tomb. The edicule dates only from the 19th Century.  Overhead is a dome with an oculus that allows the sun to shine down. 

Scriptural Significance

The Resurrection of Christ is the most important miracle of Scripture. Its significance is profound and the Christian Faith stands or falls with its occurance. The Resurrection of Christ:

  1. Proves Jesus Christ is the Son of God – Romans 1: 4
  2. Confirms the truthfulness of all that He said – Matt 28: 6
  3. Demonstrates God has accepted Jesus’ sacrifice in our stead – Romans 4: 25
  4. Makes certain all will be raised (both saved and unsaved) – I Cor. 15: 20 – 22
  5. Guarantees believers will be raised to everlasting life in close fellowship with God – II Cor. 4: 14
  6. Guarantees there is a coming judgment of the world – Acts 17: 31
  7. Grants power for service & strengthens us in the Christian life – Eph. 1: 19 – 22
  8. Designates Christ as Head of the Church – Eph. 1: 19 – 23
  9. Enables Christ to be our sympathetic High Priest – Hebrews 4: 14 – 16

Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen. Luke 24: 1 – 6