The Garden Tomb
Visiting the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem was my highlight of our tour to the Holy Land. Our site guide gathered the group and before the tour started and gave a clear gospel message interspersed with cultural facts and archeological information. Walking through the well-groomed gardens brought amazing clarity to my previously fuzzy impressions of the biblical setting of the resurrection.
Earlier in the day we stopped at Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives and read the scriptures describing Christ’s agony in prayer as He anticipated the cup of suffering and separation from the Father facing Him. Such a sobering reminder of His submission to the plan of redemption for mankind!
What a blessing it has been to hear messages on each of the seven sayings from the cross these past few weeks! The reminder of Christ’s fulfilling Old Testament scriptures and considering the needs of others, all while experiencing the humility and excruciating pain of crucifixion, helps us to better reflect on the great price that was paid for our redemption.
He is not here; for He is risen!
Though seeing the garden and the hill of Golgotha was impressive, the most joyous moment was stepping down into the empty tomb. ‘He is not here; for He is risen!’ My heart overflowed with gratitude as I stood inside that empty tomb and realized anew that Christ had broken the bonds of sin and death on my behalf!
One of my favorite newer hymns is ‘His Robes for Mine’ by Chris Anderson and Greg Habegger. The hymn, full of rich theology, speaks to the heart of every believer who has accepted this undeserved exchange. Hallelujah! What a Savior!
His Robes for Mine
His robes for mine: O wonderful exchange!
Clothed in my sin, Christ suffered ‘neath God’s rage.
Draped in His righteousness, I’m justified.
In Christ I live, for in my place He died.
I cling to Christ, and marvel at the cost:
Jesus forsaken, God estranged from God.
Bought by such love, my life is not my own.
My praise-my all-shall be for Christ alone.
His robes for mine: what cause have I for dread?
God’s daunting Law Christ mastered in my stead.
Faultless I stand with righteous works not mine,
Saved by my Lord’s vicarious death and life.
His robes for mine: God’s justice is appeased.
Jesus is crushed, and thus the Father’s pleased.
Christ drank God’s wrath on sin, then cried “‘Tis done!”
Sin’s wage is paid; propitiation won.
His robes for mine: such anguish none can know.
Christ, God’s beloved, condemned as though His foe.
He, as though I, accursed and left alone;
I, as though He, embraced and welcomed home!