One of the biggest surprises to Christian pilgrims in Jerusalem occurs when they step inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The site of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection falls short of the expectations of many Christians accustomed to Western worship.
Gold drips from icons. Chanting fills the spaces. Incense rises between cold stone walls. Six sects of Christendom betray jealous rivalries over the goings-on within. Territorial fistfights even occur on occasion.
Without proper mental preparation, a Christian pilgrim may see only the distracting depravity of religion that has affixed itself to this site like barnacles on sunken treasure.
But if we look past today’s traditionalism to history’s tradition, we find an unbroken connection to the central event of all time—the redemption of the universe.
For in this place, Jesus Christ died for your sins and rose again.
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