Yad Vashem and the Resurrected Christ

Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Jerusalem, Jerusalem District, Israel
Jerusalem, the city of peace surrounded by war. Yad Vashem, a memorial for death and persecution. The Garden Tomb, the possible location of the burial and resurrection of the Savior of all of mankind.

Jerusalem itself could take years to explore . There are so many small details and historical sites to study and ponder, to discuss and argue, to memorize and photograph. So many events of the past, present, and future point to this location. On this trip we barely had enough time to scrape the surface of delightfulness of the newer part of the city, modern and full of life. And the same goes for old Jerusalem. There are too many things to see and places to go, and two days isn't enough.

Yad Vashem, Israel's official memorial for the Holocaust, is an amazing and awful place to visit all at the same time. It's a reminder of how harsh human beings can be and how much influence Satan has on this world. The justification of the killing of millions, the reasoning behind torture and slaughter. I don't have words. Some of the images we saw on the walls I'd seen before on the pages of books. But here in this place are more than images. There is a street lamp and train tracks from the ghetto in Warsaw . There are piles of shoes and books full of names. There are stories from survivors and from those who died. Stories even from those who did the oppressing and killing of millions. It makes me feel for them but also for all the others around the world and from different time periods, people who were oppressed and beat down, those who were thought of as lesser people. This happens in places you wouldn't think it should happen. One day the oppressed will be let go and the dead will rise to tell their stories before God Himself! And any final justifications for life and death will be made by our Creator.

We left that place, a place you can't experience without being there. Not just because we weren't allowed to take any photos once we were inside. We left and went to another place you can't possibly understand without being there, the Old City of Jerusalem. We could see the walls off in the distance as we approached the places called the Garden Tomb which lies outside its Damascus Gate near a bus station along what was probably once a main road past the city .

The Garden Tomb is a proposed location of the burial of Jesus Christ. Christ was laid to rest for three days and three nights in the belly of the earth inside a rich man's tomb, hewn in the stone walls in a garden. “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” (‭‭John‬ ‭19:41‬). The garden we visited was set right near the side of a hill that has a face that, once upon a time, resembled a skull "which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha" (John 19:17). The garden contains a very deep cistern, a water source needed to feed a garden. There is a wine press there, possibly two, which makes some think there may have been a garden there in years gone by. Little details that seem to match with the account we have in scripture. Or perhaps there's another location that has since been destroyed that would fit even better. God only knows and we don't need to.

For sure this is the city where God wanted to dwell among His people in the temple He designed. And this is the city where Christ, our Redeemer, will return and again place His feet on the ground.
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