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For the first time nearly half a millennia, the tomb of Jesus, the rock upon which he was laid after the Crucifixion, and from where He Resurrected, has been opened.

Researchers from the National Technical University of Athens had been given permission by the caretakers of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to remove a marble slab that had covered the limestone slab where Our Lord was placed as part of a conservation effort. It is the first time since at least 1555 that Tomb had been opened, and as such, it had never been photographed or seen by any person currently alive.

After removing the marble slab, researchers found a layer of fill debris, and below that, another marble slab engraved with a cross, likely from the Crusaders era. When the final layer was removed, a humble and rough-hewn limestone slab was revealed. This is believed to be the actual rock Our Lord laid for 3 days after the Crucifixion, and before his glorious Ressurection.

“I’m absolutely amazed. My knees are shaking a little bit because I wasn’t expecting this,” said Fredrik Hiebert, an archaeologist with National Geographic who granted exclusive permission to record the efforts. “We can’t say 100 percent, but it appears to be visible proof that the location of the tomb has not shifted through time, something that scientists and historians have wondered for decades.”

In addition, researchers confirmed the existence of the original limestone cave walls within the 18th-century Edicule, or shrine, which encloses the tomb. A window has been cut into the southern interior wall of the shrine to expose one of the cave walls. The researchers also confirmed the existence of the original limestone cave walls that encloses the tomb.

The site has been venerated since at least 325 A.D., when the Emporer Constantine sent his mother, Saint Helena the patroness of archaeologists, to locate the tomb. The locals directed her to a temple built by the Roman emperor Hadrian 200 years prior. Hadrian had the temple built over the tomb in an attempt to deter believers from venerating the site.

holy-sepulcher-overlay-450

According to Saint Eusebius, the Roman temple was demolished and beneath it was found the rock-cut tomb. Constantine commissioned a Church to be built on the spot. Sadly, in 1009, Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah ordered the complete destruction of the church. The Church was rebuilt in 1028 after a treaty between the Byzantines and the Fatimids.

The conservation efforts of Christ’s tomb are part of a larger project to repair damage in the Church. The tomb has been resealed and might not be revealed again for centuries. National Geographic will be airing a documentary about the project.

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78 COMMENTS

    • If you believe all of this to be nonsense, why are you spending your time reading and writing about it?? I’m just curious.

          • @Vanguard: If that is the way to live, why do christians/church spend so much for converting people to christianity ? Why not let others live with their own opinion of God or atheistic or agnostic believes ? Semetic religions are main reason why people have closed minded

          • They don’t spend money to convert but spread the good news of Jesus. If they want to convert it is their own will.

        • Do you have any opinions about Muhammad because is easy to mock the christians say something about the Muslim belief let see how the respond ok

    • They haven’t made anything up. This is traced back through history, archaeological evidence and annectodal. Do your research properly. The Catholic Church takes years and thorough investigations to even proclaim something as a miracle, or declare anyone a Saint.

    • Hey Mr. Art…why not just leave those of us who believe, to live in our blissful ignorance, and we’ll let you to live in yours.

    • Do you believe in history? I am sure you do. Do you believe you had a great great grand father? I am sure you do. But it is not true. Because you have not seen him. Oh! Man of little faith. May the good Lord Jesus Christ enlighten you!

    • Hey Mr. Art…why not just let those of us who believe, to live in our blissful ignorance; and we’ll let you live in yours?! There’s no need for anyone reading this, to try to convert or explain why we believe or why you should believe, unless you ask one of us or someone more learned to answer your questions—if any! Have a great day!

    • whether it is true or not doesn’t matter it is the message and the sites/designations like these bring people closer to the message of the Christ which is Love.

    • Dear Art,
      If you choose not to believe that is your choice. As Jesus gives us free choice to believe or not to believe. Please do not choose not to believe without fully studying everything their is to read. If you do not want to read articles from Catholic Church there are scholars who have documented the unexplainable. If you dont want to read or if u have & u still believe thats your free choice. Please stay off our sites and keep you opinions to yourself. There are plenty of pagen and atheist sites with like minded people.

      • This is true miss Marie. It is also true that I am blinded to deaf with the fears and prayers of yourself and the like minded asking to be shown the way and then not taken the given advise. Satan, Saint Aaron 😉

  1. Obviously you know nothing of sacred history, or of anything to do with Christ. You need our prayers. The chances that Christ was buried there are very high, and that alone is enough to convince me that it is the place. It really doesn’t matter, however if it is or not, the prayers of the people who have prayed there for 2000 years is enough to make it a Holy place. I have not had the luck to visit the place in person, but I am sure there are hundreds who have and who have amazing testimonies. Open your heart to God, who loves you, before it is too late. God bless you.

  2. This article needs better editing – spelling & grammatical error easily spotted. Doesn’t lend much to its credibility otherwise.

    • An extremely intelligent comment. Surprisingly you have no comment on the content. No, I am wrong. No reason to be surprised. Stay by your counting commas. We all find something useful in life.

    • We are all humans. Sorry that our ignorance in comprehension bothers you so much. If you dont believe thats your free choice. However, Like I said to Art, there are plenty of Atheist and Pagen websites with like minded people. If you dont believe why are you reading?

  3. Justine,spelling and grammar errors are human and it doesn’t change the facts highlighted in the article. The fact remains that you have taken your time to read through the article because you are interested to know where Jesus Christ was buried. Its now your choice to believe or not but not to give our some lame excuses of spelling and grammar.

  4. I honestly mean this in the most respectful way. And I hope none will take offense… Why did it need to be opened? Isn’t the belief that this is His resting place enough? I don’t mean it in a bad way I am just curious. And also on a more ‘practical’ level. Wouldn’t the opening of His tomb be bad for it? I mean, would now deteriorate, now that it’s been exposed to the different elements?

    • They were opening it in order to repair the damage that has occurred over the centuries, including some water damage. This was not opening it simply to see what is there. As they seal the tomb back up and restore the Edicule, they will be doing it in a way to further preserve the site and prevent future deterioration as best we know how.

    • It was in danger of collapsing on the pilgrims who visit it. They poured concrete into the fissures that water seepage had created to stabilize it. They were able to remove the stabilizing scaffolding that had been in place, which was certainly taking away from the reverence due to this most holy site.

  5. And you call yourself “Christians?” whilst you can’t wait to crucify each other with your tongues…
    Please beloveds, don’t argue about these things. It is not our jobs to convince people about the existence of Jesus Christ – it’s the work of the Holy Spirit to convince! We should let our lights shine for world! Remember, all eyes are on us!

    May God bless this world that we live in!

  6. So amazing. I was blessed to spend a few weeks in Jerusalem and visited the Sepulcher multiple times. In my first trip, I found it beautiful but didn’t know enough about the site to feel confident it was truly built on calvary and the tomb. Then I visited a museum with a scale model diorama of Jerusalem at the beginning of the first century, and with a little work discovered that the location of the Sepulcher is indeed most likely to be the true site; it was certainly the only place that fit all of the characteristics as recorded. My later visits meant so much more to me after that.
    I’m also loving that National Geographic was allowed to photograph inside the edicule. As a student of anthropology and an amateur photographer, I love taking many photos of historic sites and recording the details, and I was disappointed I couldn’t take any pictures inside – especially since the line was rushed through so quickly I didn’t really have enough time to form a solid memory. Mostly I just have an impression of the lamps hung inside. It will be wonderful to look through the NG photos and rebuild that memory.

  7. I was so blessed that I’ve seen the holy land. Never doubted to what I saw.BECA– USE I am a believer of Jesus Christ. BLeas are those who believe but didn’t see .I’m more blessed because I saw his tomb. Sepulchre is the best place I’ve been in my entire life. .Thank you Jesus. . Forgive my sins

  8. We Christians all follow a religion that was merely passed down from generation to generation through storytelling, until the Bible was written, which in itself is a collection of stories hand chosen by those in power at the time. Even the Bible itself has been rewritten many many times. There is likely to be many differences between any actual historical account of what happened over 2000 years ago and what those stories suggest had happened. Whether or not a man named Jesus, the son of God, was born to a virgin woman named Mary, and was truly our savior for eternal life will never be scientifically proven. With that said, there is more and more evidence everyday that a man like Jesus really lived during this time. For those of us who believe in life after death, this is truly an amazing event. One which begins to validate some of our beliefs. Whether this is an effort by the church to mislead us into believing fiction (as some have suggested in this thread) or an archeological expedition to uncover more details of the historical truth of a real man those stories are based on, is up to each to decide on his/her own. Regardless, this is a historic event unfolding. One which I am proud to be able to witness during my life.

    • I don’t believe in mean people?
      I do believe God loves each and everyone of us.
      Farmers know God exists! Who else can take something that is the size of a seed and have it grow into a big beautiful fruit tree which then makes more beautiful fruit trees.
      Catholics pay more attention thus believing is easier. Knowledge is power and faith is a gift from God.
      Ask and you too can receive…

    • During Easter Mass I had a very short vision. Out of bright diffused light came Jesus whom I did not see, only surrounding light did I see. Somehow a.shroud was handed to me. I knew what it was but what I was to do with it was another question entirely. It was a gift, of this I was certain.
      In memory I remembered the long prayer shawl Carmen had crocheted for me when my son died.. I had wrapped this shawl snuggly around my shoulders and then girded It.loosely around my.waist. Once again, full of wonder,
      Through no merit of my own I had been greatly blessed..

  9. Why oh why cant we all love and respect one another and respect each others faiths and beliefs. Thisworld could be such a better place. I pray that one day we will all live in peace with each other ,and treat each other as the good Lord would wish .May God bless and keep us in is blessed heart.

  10. god and believe is in our heart what does I matter what name is over your church the lord never gave
    anyone a label we did that. If that is the tomb if Christ then it must be believe and faith will be the truth.

  11. What anybody who dosent believe the catholic Faith’s Revelations is doing reading them,is beyond me.if you read for enlightenment or curiosity, doesn’t simple common sense dictate that you shut your mouths when those who devote their lives on the the talk?!? And doesn’t the wise seek further to know,instead of making statements that simply confirm their ignorance?! May GOD grant us mercy.amen

  12. Even the holy Muslim book Quran agreed that Jesus was born by a virgin and lived as a prophet of God. Jesus and Mary’s names is mentioned more than 25 times in the holy Quran more than the prophet Mohammed that is mentioned only about 4 times in the Quran. Jesus lives!

  13. Saint Aaron, Satan teaches that Jesus was Resuscitated using the adrenaline gland of a goat. He (Jesus) was basically in a coma for 3 days while the apostles kept his lips wet with the adrenaline glad of a goat and on the 3rd day was resuscitated. He then under cover of darkness was spirited away to Europe to live out the rest of his days. England (End-the-Gland)

  14. Ever since I visited the Holy land some times last year honestly my life have changed am proud to be a Catholic and am proud to have Christ as my lord and saviour

  15. Jesus never buried because he never die. According to Islam, Jesus soul and body araised to the sky, why he never die because he is going to come back alive, no human can live after life. Jesus will come back to unite the whole religions of God. peace will stay against evil until the end of life. God only can and return Jesus to finish his massage to humanity. NO evidence that his body was found anywhere. If you don’t have an approval, please open your heart about Islam to study and learn about complete God religion. May peace be upon humanity…

  16. We have a choice to believe or not but to me it’s just more proof of Christ in our times, but we really don’t need anymore proof . There is without doubt a supreme God, a designer of all things and a Creator of life. Science is providing more proof from the extreme complexity of DNA to the wonders of the universe. Amen

  17. we live on this earth to be tested and be obidient and be perfect if you think hell doesnt exsist or that the gospel isnt true give it a try nevermind that we live in a world where perfection is everything and if you dont believe just try to apologize our whole system and laws turn around apologizing becoz we have a body of bones and flesh if you dont trust in the gospel or in truth becoz it means love what else is left i dont get it dont come up whit fake stories on what nobody cares about we know life is about been a rock and lazyness and freedom on this planet if you can help someone do it the governement does it already they are people too if you live something thats isnt right dont believe that there will always be someone to help you out sometimes you have to suffer for what you believe in it might be hard or verry easy no one should harm you in anyway and by this i mean no one life is to beautyfull to be wasted on worthless people

  18. Comment:why are people so quick to throw words? Jesus is real and his tomb exist whether you believe or not let’s stop critisizing religions yet our hearts aren’t clean neither….stop blaming religion for everything Jesus will not judge religion but you personneally…..i believe in thé presence of that tomb and pray that as jesus proved to magdalene that hé resurrected hé will do thé same to atheists !

  19. Somethings we know about what we come to believefrom what we have heard and place our faith there upon. This is a good thing and according to God’s plan. For some with special needs He comes as sonas we are enabled to receive Him willingly into and as King of our heart and life. He Loves us

    There are others as mentioned, I suspect not as many, maybe not many at all, however I am so blessed to be one who can speak from first hand experience. It makes little diffference what others may say or think as I know and I know that I know that my Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus, came into me in my heart at my weakest time, alone and empty of all this world had to offer. I did not qualify by this worlds standards. Just after I called upon the Lord with a complete, full and heartfelt confession of my lostness and inability to save myself now or ever, I placed it all in His hands as my only hope, not expecting, but a plea based on hopeonly for any Mercy He might wish to showto me.

    Immediately it happened with power, majesty, and clrarity; He came upon me in the power of the Holy Spirit and I was changed, loved as never before, and in a state if ectasy for three days .

    I had come out of myself , opened my heart to Him and to this day He lives in my new heart as King and allows me to live there beside Him as a new creation with such love as all fear is gone. Yes, when you sincerely pray from the heart He will hear you and on His time table He will comee to you. Praise the Holy Name of our God, the Holy Trinit,y Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,for all Erernity. My spirit is with Him now; my body and soul will be with Him when my work on Earth is complete. He lights my path always, but my yet to be redeemed body still struggles, but I know how it will all end. I love Him so much. Praise God forevermore, Amen.

    • During Easter Mass I had a very short vision. Out of bright diffused light came Jesus whom I did not see, only surrounding light did I see. Somehow a.shroud was handed to me. I knew what it was but what I was to do with it was another question entirely. It was a gift, of this I was certain.
      In memory I remembered the long prayer shawl Carmen had crocheted for me when my son died.. I had wrapped this shawl snuggly around my shoulders and then girded It.loosely around my.waist. Once again, full of wonder,
      Through no merit of my own I had been greatly blessed..

  20. Stop teaming on Mr. Art he is sharing his own opinion. I am a christian and I just saw this article so I will not come to a fast conclusion that this is in fact the tomb where My lord was in. Don’t condemn an athiest that’s not how being a christian works. Love your neighbor. Love the lost.

  21. In my own perspective, i believe there is a creator of all existence and beyond what we can conceive, but i’m trying to think since the time i wonder of how to connect somehow a scenario of great diversity and nationality w/each appearance if literally at the start were from Adam and Eve any idea?(: like they says only time of faith can answer(:

  22. Some of the comments above deeply saddens me because they are living without hope. It may be ok when you are young and healthy But what happens to you if that becomes not the case, an accident you lose your health or someone dear to you. What happens when old age creeps in with its problems and diaabilities What a terrible thought. The greatest discovery that will ever be made is to know God’s love which was fully demonstrated by his son’s sacrifice on the cross for us. If your hope and faith is not in Christ then consider what he did for you through his death and resurrection and place your faith in him today

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