Thursday, January 26, 2012

He is not Here, for He is Risen

 Last Saturday we took a class trip to the Garden Tomb to celebrate the Sabbath. The place of Jesus’ actual crucifixion site and burial place are well contested here in Jerusalem, with the two most prominent claims being the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and Garden Tomb. But, as our tour guide said, it doesn’t matter where it happened, it just matters that it does. We weren’t there to worship a place, we were there to worship the Living Christ. That’s an especially neat thought when we consider going back to the states and having to cope with the loss of all these holy sites. Because, the truth is, God is just as much in Provo, Utah or Dillon, Montana as he is in Jerusalem, Israel.

Anyway, it was such an incredible experience. After touring the garden we got to actually go into the tomb and look around. It was so much smaller than I had thought it would be. I guess there’s no need for it to be really big, but I guess I always assumed that it was. It all reality it was pretty tiny.


The inside of the tomb
The sign on the door - a good reminder to not worship places, but rather, Jesus Christ
Kaylie, me, and Crystal in front of the entrance to the tomb

After seeing the tomb, we sat back in the middle of the garden and began to sing hymns. We sang a bunch of Easter songs, celebrating the Resurrection, before ending with “I Believe in Christ,” one of my favorite hymns. It’s funny how you can sing a hymn so many times without actually fully appreciating the words. We got to the last line, and “I believe in Christ, so come what may…” really hit me. Everyone goes through hard times, but regardless of what happens, Christ died and rose for us, so the hard part is already over. We have a Savior who loves us and who we can depend on. At that moment all the crazy experiences of the last month and the significance of the Atonement hit me and I cried all through the closing prayer. It was one of the most intense witnesses of Jesus Christ I’ve ever had, and it was a very welcome experience.

Then, on Sunday, I volunteered to help with the mural painting at the school for disabled children that BYU helps sponsor. Every semester some of the students here spend free time painting a wall for the kids, and so I spent from nine am to noon of my free day painting the mural at the school. Last semester they did the map on the top, so we’re doing some children and some more decorations on the bottom half. Things went so fast though that we might try to do another one as well before the semesters finished.

The tracing in progress (thank goodness it was just tracing, otherwise I wouldn't have been much help...)

Us with the finished (or as finished as we could get for that week) product

Next week, more students will go back and continue our work

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