The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is arguably the most sacred site in the Christian religion. It is, after all, believed to be the final resting place of Jesus Christ. If you believe what is written in the Bible, then Jesus was buried in the Holy Sepulchre after his crucifixion and resurrection. Of course, with Jesus Christ’s resurrection, there were no bones to find, so there have always been doubts about the veracity of the claims. We do know that the church on the site was totally destroyed in 1009 A.D. and that it has been damaged by fire, and earthquakes since the time of Jesus Christ.
As reported by National Geographic, modern scientists have been trying to find a way to prove or disprove that the Holy Sepulchre is Jesus Christ’s tomb. The Roman Emporer, Constantine the Great, is known to have sent an expedition to the Holy Land in around A.D. 326. Constantine, who is widely credited with spreading Christianity throughout Europe, tasked the expedition to locate the tomb of Jesus Christ.
Constantine’s expedition discovered a limestone cave that they believed to be the tomb of Jesus Christ. Constantine ordered that the cave be restored, enshrined, and consecrated as a memorial to Jesus Christ. As reported by the Independent, previous archeological information had suggested that the site only dated back to the crusades. However, new research by archaeologists from the National Technical University of Athens has conducted new tests which appear to show that the tomb does in fact date back to the time of Constantine’s search for the tomb of Christ.
Using a new technique called optically stimulated luminescence, the scientists were able to measure when the quartz sediment samples taken from the tomb’s mortar were exposed to light. These tests apparently reveal that the mortar dates from around A.D. 345. This, the scientists claim, dates the limestone bed, thought to be Jesus Christ’s resting place, to the period of Constantine’s search for Christ’s tomb.
Of course, these tests do not actually prove that the Holy Sepulchre is the tomb of Jesus Christ, but that doesn’t stop the Daily Express from claiming that the discovery is a “truth bomb.” We do however now know that the Holy Sepulchre “could” be the tomb of Jesus Christ. Those who are believers will continue to believe. Skeptics will continue to be skeptical.