Garden Tomb - Outside the Tomb
There is little doubt that this tomb belonged to a wealthy man who lived around the first century. The beautiful gardens and wine press outside the tomb serve as an indication for this. Moreover, the groove in front of the tomb was probably used for a rolling stone to make it possible to shut and open the tomb, which was a privilege of the rich at those times. These facts strengthen the claim that this is the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea who contributed his own tomb, which lay in a garden, to bury Jesus. As it is written in the book of john: "At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no-one had ever been laid" (John 19:41).Furthermore, the farther burial niche is visible from the outside which supports the Gospel texts which describe the Tomb of Jesus as visible without needing to enter: Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb” (John 20:11).