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Premier/Alex Williams
World News

Garden Tomb services delight Easter pilgrims

Speaker and author R.T. Kendall delivered a message in which he urged guests not to end their time in Israel without accepting Christ as their Lord and Saviour.

One woman, who had arrived from the Netherlands, said: "The resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is the most important moment for me, as a Christian.

"I've been here two times before to celebrate this day because we come here with people all over the world and it's such a great place to give praise and thanks to the Lord."

An Arab Christian from Bethlehem commented: "This place is special not only because of its history, geography and archaeology but it is special because we commemorate the resurrection of Jesus.

"It's not about a place but it is about God's love."

Sunrise and mid-morning services in English were followed by one for Scandinavian believers at 11.30am.

Before inviting guests to pray that they accepted Jesus, R. T. Kendall asked during his message: "If you were to stand before God [today] and He were to ask you... 'Why should I let you into my heaven?' what would you say?

Mr Kendall, who pastored Westminster Chapel in London for 25 years, continued: "If, a moment ago when I asked that question, what came to your mind was not 'because Jesus died' or 'because of His blood' – we can sort that out right now."

A male guest told Premier: "It's great to be here in the Garden Tomb and just to have a sight of the garden and the tomb, and just to be conscious that... it is a place where one can have a sense of where Jesus walked and lived."

A woman who visits the Garden Tomb each year said: "There are people who sleep outside so they can come into the first service.

"You can't help but feel their passion and really get excited."

Located a short distance from the city walls of Jerusalem's Old City, the site was purchased in 1984 by the UK-based Garden Tomb (Jerusalem) Association charitable trust.

Some Christians dispute whether the Garden Tomb is where Jesus Christ was buried and resurrected.

It is also alleged that Christ was buried at a location now marked by the nearby Church of the Holy Sepulchre - a landmark which has also been hosting Easter celebrations.

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