This is a photograph that I took just outside the Tomb of Jesus in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. That is my friend, Chris, ducking, with both hands behind his back and holding his hat, to enter the tomb.
The Tomb of Jesus is inside a small building (called an edicule) which is inside the Rotunda of the Sepulchre, which is part of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The edicule was constructed in four layers over 1,000 years. When I was there in 2015, there was a fifth layer – steel I-beams which were helping to keep the edicule from falling over. Since 2015, the edicule has had a major rebuilding, and the I-beams are now gone.
The major discovery of this work, was that there still exists within this religious landmark, remnants of a first century tomb. The place where we knelt and prayed inside the tomb is covered in marble quarried somewhere else. But under the marble there is a stone bench which is one piece, with the bedrock underneath the marble floor, and also attached to what would have been the back wall of the tomb. The stone bench would have been the place where Jesus’ body was laid. The entrance you see in my photo would have been solid stone with the tomb and bench cut out of it. A rolling stone would have been nearby to roll in front of the entrance.
I got to visit the tomb twice while I was in Jerusalem. The first time was on a Sunday afternoon and it was very crowded and very busy. This second visit was early on a weekday morning, and my two friends and I were the only ones in the tomb. It was very nice to be able to take our time to kneel ... and pray ... and to contemplate where we were and what we were seeing and experiencing. I am very grateful for this second opportunity.
You and I need to take advantage of the second chances we get. We can get better. We can start over – today. We are going to get another chance to reshape our lives when the quarantine is lifted – so start getting ready now. Take some time, and talk to the Big Boss about what God wants you to do with the opportunities that lie before us.
God Is With You!