The Messiah's Burial Site
'The traditional site [Church of the Holy Sepulchre] of our Lord's burying place has long been honoured by Christians of all lands as the indisputable place where Joseph of Arimathea laid the body of his Lord, following His Sacrificial death on Calvary.
'It is rather startling to discover at this late period of time that this belief is based entirely upon a tradition which emerged as late as A.D.336, after a lapse of more than three centuries from the date of the actual event. The tradition becomes more shadowy when it is recalled that, between the time of the Crucifixion and the date of the discovery of the tomb by Macarius, Bishop of Jerusalem, the city had been reduced to a rubble-heap by the Romans and, a century later, completely replanned and rebuilt. It was three hundred years after Christ's burial that Macarius excavated a tomb beneath a Roman temple of Venus and, on the slender evidence of the members of a then existing local Christian community, it has been accepted as the authentic sepulchre of Jesus.
'In support of the claim, it has been argued that some of the early Christians who fled from the Holy City at the time of the siege in A.D. 70 would seek the first opportunity of flocking back for the purpose of identifying the holy spot. The fact that the ruins became the centre, for scores of years, of a Roman army camp would not militate in favour of such a search, even if the Christians had been permitted to venture upon it. The claim of this traditional site is further tarnished by the fact that archaeology has DISPROVED similar claims in respect of sites traditionally connected with other places in the Jerusalem of Christ.
-- The Link, March 1982.
Hope of Israel
P.O. Box 853
Azusa, CA 91702, U.S.A.