Summer 2017

The GARDEN TOMB of Berea Bible Church by DR. BRIAN MILLER Senior Pastor, Berea Bible Church In a quiet, secluded spot tucked into the hillside on the grounds of Berea Bible Church sits a tomb. Now this may not seem uncom- mon to many church people as there are many churches that have cemeteries sur- rounding them and historically the church and the cemetery were connected but this tomb is unique! First, it is a tomb and not a grave site and secondly, it is empty and not occupied. The tomb situated on the property of Berea Bible Church is in accordance with Jewish burial customs. Tombs were frequently hol- lowed out on a side of a hill with a doorway that was low and quite small, which required those entering to stoop. Frequently, a large stone called a GOLEL fitted into a groove or track that was rolled in front of or away from the doorway to seal the tomb (Matthew 27:60; Mark 15:46). The interior of the tomb was large enough for an individual(s) to sit or stand. (Ap- proximately 16 ft. long, by 8 ft. wide, by 6 ft. tall) Usually, a chamber was cut out of the rock in which a body could be laid which measured 78x25x20 inches and some had a vaulted arch over that shelf. Depending upon the family and number of people expected to be placed there, the tomb varied in size and chambers. The tomb located in Berea’s prayer garden was created as a result of a dream by the for- mer pastor (Dr. Glenn Greenwood) to bring to life an important truth from Scripture. Pastor Greenwood traveled to Israel many times and each time learned important facts and features about the culture and region. One of the truths that fascinated him and countless others was the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. After several trips to Israel, he desired to give a life-size example to the congregation and the Springfield community. While in Isra- el, the tomb was measured and diagramed so it could be recreated here in Clark County. In addition, the tomb is empty! The empty tomb indicates that He is alive and there is no 10 | Summer 2017 ON A MISSION