JERUSALEM — Christians are celebrating Easter, marking the day they believe Jesus rose from the dead.
Christians came out on a wet and chilly morning in Jerusalem to usher in Easter at a Sunrise Service at the Garden Tomb. They sang hymns of the resurrection in a biblical setting, facing an ancient, empty tomb carved into a rock.
Jorg Tishelstein, a pilgrim from Germany, says the message about Jesus is clear. “In the Bible, the most important sentence is: He is not here; He is risen.’ He has resurrected.”
The actual site of the resurrection is believed to be the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem’s Old City.
Priests and monks in festive robes celebrated Easter Mass in the cavernous church, as fragrant incense rose above the ancient stone tomb where tradition says Jesus rose from the dead.
Pilgrims came from all over the world, including Tomas Zilenkowitz of Poland.
“It’s very spiritual emotions for me. It’s important because I can feel the places where Jesus lived, where he walked, where he taught people,” said the pilgrim.
Jewish people also flocked to Jerusalem to celebrate the weeklong Passover holiday, which coincides this year with Easter. Ohad Tal is an Israeli.
“It’s a unique day. [For] me as a Jew, it’s too see another culture, another different way of life to see Christianity. And it’s good to see that those two religions are living together in peace,” said Tal.
And it was a peaceful Easter in the Holy Land.