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Chapel of Adam


Within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Chapel of Adam sits directly under the rock of Golgotha. The Chapel is maintained by the Greek Orthodox Church.

Description

When approaching the Chapel of Adam, the visitor sees an unadorned chapel that sits back in an alcove. A short wall that has four posts with red marble between them. The marble is inlaid with a white square. The doorway is covered by a set of wooden doors that rise to meet at a point. An extremely simple altar has nothing on it. A single lamp hangs from the ceiling. nothing is on the walls except one unexpected feature. Cut into the back wall of the chapel is a window that is covered by glass. Through the glass can be seen a part of the rock that is known as Golgotha. Since this chapel sits directly under where Jesus was crucified, the rock that is exposed through the opening is the lower part of the same rock.

ooking closely at the rock through the window, one can see that there is a significant crack in the rock. Tradition maintains that this fissure in the rock was caused by the earthquake that occurred when Jesus breathed His last on the cross.

50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many (Matthew 27:50-53, KJV).

When Jesus died on the cross on the rock above this chapel, the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom, an earthquake hit, and rocks were split. Looking through the window in the Chapel of Adam is believed to be one of those places where the rocks split.

Significance

The teaching of the church says that the placement of this Chapel of Adam is significant. Tradition holds that this is where Adam was buried and the when the blood of Jesus was spilled on the cross, and when the rocks were split from the earthquake, that the blood of Jesus ran down to where Adam had been buried. This brought the salvation of God through the blood of Jesus to Adam and symbolically to all those who preceded Christ in the Old Testament. The separation from God that had come from Adam and Eve’s sin in the garden when they ate from the tree that God had instructed them not to eat from had the possibility now to be removed. With the forgiveness of sin, Adam could be reconciled back to the Father through the blood of Jesus. Through the cross, Jesus spanned the chasm of separation that was there because of sin and made it possible for the relationship between God and man to be restored.

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