Passion of the Christ - AN EMPTY TOMB

This image of a tomb outside the city walls of Jerusalem is known as the “Garden Tomb.” It is also referred to as “Gordon’s Garden Tomb” since this British general suggested that it could have been the tomb of Jesus.

The picture is by Phillip Benshmuel who provides more detail about the site: “Tomb of the garden in Jerusalem updated by the Greek owner of the land who wanted to use it as a cistern to hold water. In front of this tomb was built a Byzantine church in the fourth century, as evidenced by the mosaic decorations on the floor, the supports of the arches on the rock wall, the niches that could serve as a location for the ceiling beams, and share and other two rectangular cavities that could receive reliquaries. The frontage of this tomb carries a nephesh on the right, an anchor symbol / the cross on the left and traces evoking the shape of a large circular stone that was rolled in a guide groove but the marks of chisel in this groove seem to be due to the Crusaders and suggest rather a trough for animals.” Online via Wikimedia Commons; License: CC BY-SA 4.0


After Jesus was buried, religious leaders wanted to make sure that no one stole his body. They went to Pilate and said:

We remember that while he was still alive the deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.

Pilate agreed to their demands.

"Take a guard," Pilate answered. "Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how." So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

On Sunday morning, the first day of the week, some of the women went to look at the tomb. They found it empty, with the stone rolled away. The guards had been frightened "and became like dead men."

Calling some of the disciples, the women returned to the tomb. Mary Magdalene stayed behind when the others went back to their homes. Looking inside the tomb, she:

...saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying?’

Never expecting to see Jesus again, Mary Magdalene responded:

‘They have taken my Lord away...and I don’t know where they have put him.’ At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize it was Jesus.

Jesus asked her:

Why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?

Thinking he was the gardener, she asked Him to tell her where the body was so she could retrieve it. Not until Jesus said,


did she realize who He was.

Trying to touch Jesus, Mary Magdalene reached out for him. Jesus reproached her:

Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Feb 01, 2004

Updated Last Revision: Jul 05, 2019

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"AN EMPTY TOMB" AwesomeStories.com. Feb 01, 2004. Jan 24, 2020.
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