Cliff at the Garden Tomb

Cliff at the Garden Tomb This cliff face is located just outside the garden tomb. It was originally a quarry, but the rock quality was poor. It is just outside the city of Jerusalem, near the main gate. The area in front of the cliff was probably the place where people were stoned according to Jewish law. (Some suggest this is the place where Stephen was stoned. See Acts 7:54-60.)

While there is no archaeological evidence that indicates this was the crucifixion site, this place can help us picture the location where Jesus was crucified, for it fits the biblical description. It is outside the city and in a public place, as Roman law demanded. It is near a garden and tombs and probably was a place of execution.

The caves in the face of the cliff remind some people of a skull, two eyes with the bridge of a nose between. Though Jesus was crucified at Golgotha, the place of the skull, there is no certainty that these caves looked the same then or that the hill was called Golgotha because it looked like a skull. It is likely that if Golgotha was a hill, Jesus was crucified at its base, not on top, because the Romans wanted to keep victims as close to passerby as possible so they might serve as examples.