Our final stop for the day was at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which is actually owned and operated by several different churches. This is the traditional site for the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and all catholic and orthodox churches point to this location as a fact.
It’s not really a fact. It certainly could be the place, but I kind of hope not. The place gives me a really bad feeling.
I’m sure the Temple Mount was once a bustling place filled with passionate worshipers, but by the time that Jesus came along it had become a lifeless den of thieves, and he had to toss a few tables to get their attention. Perhaps that is the same thing that happened with the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Perhaps it was one day different from what it is now. Now it just feels like religion.
For me, it was a fairly suffocating place. Maybe that was the point since it commemorates the place where Jesus excruciatingly suffocated to death, but somehow I fail to believe that this was the effect that they were going for. Yes, some people were pretty passionate about slobbering on the stones, but is that really what Jesus would ask of his followers?
I don’t think so.
Tomorrow we will visit an alternative site for the death, burial, and resurrection. By the time that Protestantism came around, they were too late to get a slice of the Holy Sepulcher pie. No worries! (And no loss!)
Protestants have declared another site to be where they believe it may have happened, and for sure where they prefer to visit in memory of the fact that it did happen somewhere here in Jerusalem, just outside of the city walls.