We walked out of the hot, bright Israeli sun and were immediately surrounded by darkness, cool stone corridors, clouds of incense and candle smoke, richly colored paintings, haunting music, and hordes of crying pilgrims. There is something about this place that makes it one of the more emotionally charged places I’ve ever been.
As I entered the tomb where Christians believe Jesus’ physical body was laid to rest, I even found myself wiping away some tears. As a long time atheist, this makes no sense. I cannot explain why an emotionally saturated atmosphere would have caused a semi-religious experience in an absolutely not religious person. But I think it’s okay that there are still some things in this world that I don’t understand.
Here are a few photos from in and around the Church, for those who are interested. I feel privileged to have gotten to visit this important place.