Easter is the holiest of holidays observed by billions of Christians who worship Jesus as the son of God and the Messiah. On Good Friday, Christians remember the torture and crucifixion of Christ some 2,000 years ago, as described in the New Testament.
According to scripture, Jesus carried his cross from Ancient Jerusalem to the hill Calvary, where he was crucified among two criminals.
Calvary, also known as Golgotha or the place of the skull, is believed to have been located outside of Jerusalem.
But there has been some debate over the hill’s exact location over the years.
According to Tom Meyer, a college professor popularly known as the Bible Memory Man, the Romans tried to erase all “recent memory” of Jesus Christ to curb the rise of early Christianity.
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But Professor Meyer told Express.co.uk there is evidence to show the true location of Christ’s crucifixion has been preserved.
Traditionally, The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Old Jerusalem’s Christian Quarter is believed to have been constructed on top of Golgotha.
Alternate theories suggest Golgotha was located in a different part of ancient Jerusalem, near the Jaffa Gate, or a quarry from the First Temple Period.
Professor Meyer said: “The Roman emperor Hadrian visited Jerusalem in 129 to 130 AD some 60 years after the Roman Emperor Titus destroyed Jerusalem and the Second Jewish Temple.
“In a vain effort to erase the recent memory of Jesus Christ, whom Hadrian saw as a threat and competitor to the Roman way of life, Hadrian built a temple honouring the Roman goddess Aphrodite over the place where Jesus was crucified and resurrected: the present-day Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
“Hadrian also tried to erase the memory of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem by building a temple honouring the Roman god Adonis over the cave where Jesus was born and where the Church of the Nativity now stands.
The memory of the true location of Calvary lived on despite Rome’s best efforts
Tom Meyer, the Bible Memory Man
“Fast-forward 200 years and the memory of the true location of Calvary lived on despite Rome’s best efforts.”
In 324 AD, the Roman emperor Constantine adopted Christianity and became the first Christian emperor of the Holy Land.
According to Professor Meyer, his mother Helena was heavily involved in many construction efforts related to Jesus’ life.
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Constantine is also credited with the construction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
But the Church visited by millions of pilgrims today is not the original construction raised in Jerusalem.
Professor Meyer said: “Consecrated in 335 AD, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was destroyed by the Persians in 614 AD but partly rebuilt.
“The church was destroyed and rebuilt several times by Islamic invaders until the Crusader Period.
“The Church of the Holy Sepulchre visible today was constructed in the 12th century and is built on top of the church built by Helena in the fourth century which was built over the rock of Golgotha where Christ was crucified, and the tomb where he was buried for three days and three nights.
“More than 2,000 years later, despite wicked man’s best efforts to destroy his memory, Jesus Christ continues to be the focus of the human race and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre commemorating his passion lives on.
“All of the armies that ever marched, all the politicians that have ever legislated, all of them put together have not come close to impacting life on this earth so powerfully as this one man: the resurrected Jesus Christ.”
Today, The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is managed by a number of different Christian denominations, including the Catholic and Orthodox churches.
Professor Meyer is a lecturer, author and public speaker who has memorised more than 20 books from the Bible.
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