Hope that Redeems!

Bonnie and I went to Israel about a year after Scott died. Our most meaningful experience was our visit to the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem. I never realized just how much we would be impacted by that spot.

Before we left for the trip, I asked God to show me hope while I was in Israel. God gave me a theme verse for the tour: Hebrews 6: 19, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”

As an answer to my prayer, God showed me hope.

When we were at the Garden Tomb site, an older English gentleman gave us a tour. He lectured on the significance of certain artifacts in the area of the tomb. As we listened, our small group of friends stood in front of Jesus' empty tomb carved out of rock.

The Englishman told us, “While we cannot know for certain that the Garden Tomb was in fact the very tomb where Jesus was buried, we have found many Jewish and Christian symbols in the area.” He turned our attention to the outside wall of the tomb and started to trace a carving with his finger and said, “For instance, carved in this wall is an early Christian symbol of an . . . anchor.”

I don’t think I heard anything else he said. There was the answer to my prayer! God showed me a symbol of hope – an anchor carved into the side of the tomb of Jesus. This was my symbol of hope. The tomb is empty! Death is not the end! There is hope in Jesus Christ and His empty tomb proves it. This is my anchor of hope!