I saw the Tomb of Christ when I was in Israel. It’s inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
The Tomb itself is quite small – or at least much smaller than I expected it to be. And yet, its huge in respect to its importance and holiness. Those who have visited the tomb – including myself – say that they could “feel” the presence of Christ there.
Yet, for me even more profound than the tomb was the Rock of Anointing, just around the corner from it. The Rock of Anointing is a rectangular slab of rock on which Jesus’ body was laid while it was anointed for burial.
It’s very unassuming, and if you didn’t know it was there or what it was, there’s a good chance you’d just pass it by. I was grateful our guide pointed it out to us.
Drawing near, I could sense what had happened there, not because I was told but because the stone itself heralds it sacredness.
As I prayed there, I imagined the Blessed Mother kneeling next to it, working over her Son’s tattered, dead Body. I imagined her tears, but also her peace in knowing that Jesus’ suffering finally, finally had ended.
It is not in Scripture, but I often wonder if our Lord spoke privately with Mary at some point, explaining to her all that would happen and giving her the promise of the Resurrection.
Regardless, the stone itself still tells the tale of great torment and great love. The Body that was anointed there had been given up for you and for me.
Beaten. Broken. Surrendered.