Reflections of the Holy Land: Church of the Holy Sepulchre
by Jonathan Sanchez
One of the incredibly moving parts of our trip was our visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Inside is both the traditional site of the tomb where Jesus was laid and the spot on Golgotha where they believe Jesus’ cross was. We had plenty of time that morning, so we were able to take our time while visiting these sites. I was particularly affected by my time in the shrine of the tomb. Just before entering the innermost part of the shrine where the actual tomb was located, I was struck by a sense of awe and humility; this was the place where my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ rose from the dead! And so I went in and knelt and prayed, paying homage to the place where my hope of victory over death manifested itself. It is amazing to have been at the physical location where Christ triumphed over death and the grave so that I may have hope of the Resurrection on the Last Day. After this we moved on to Golgotha, but before that we stopped in a room that had a dark brown “button” set in a small font-like structure. This button, located directly in between Cross and Tomb, Death and Life, is considered by the Greek Orthodox to be the center of the universe. This resonated with me; it stands in between Cross and Resurrection, the paradox of Him who suffered and died yet miraculously lives. I had never heard of this place but it quickly became one of the most meaningful sacred spaces.
Originally printed in the May-June 2016 edition of the South Carolina Lutheran. Subscribe today for only $10 for six issues a year by calling the office at 803-765-0590.