The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is believed by most scholars to mark the actual tomb of Jesus. This church was built in the 12th century a.d. on top of the ruins of the original church, built around a.d. 326 by Roman Emperor Constantine. Why did Constantine pick this particular spot in Jerusalem? Because that’s where Emperor Hadrian built a pagan temple to his gods around a.d. 135. And why did Hadrian build his temple in that spot? Because he wanted to cover up the very location where Christians claimed that their God, Jesus, defeated death.
I love that history. It points to the real place back then where Easter happened and the real places today where Easter is still happening. As Jesus later put it, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Just like Jesus appeared in a real place to Mary, Peter, and John, he also is really present where we spend the minutes and seconds of our days. We are never alone in our homes, offices, or morning commutes. The Jesus who defeated death is present to offer us eternal life.
Today, take some time to acknowledge the presence of Jesus in your personal space. And thank God that Easter is more than another story. Easter is history!