What Beauty Does The Tomb of Christ Reveal? (By Lindsay Fullerman)
My time in the Holy Land was filled with immense beauty and transforming grace. The experience in itself personified the beautiful and through it the scriptures have come alive and now have deeper meaning in my life, but, one instance in particular captured my heart and pierced it.
There were many astounding places that captured beauty, though, it was at the Holy Sepulchre where Christ revealed His particular love for me. The Holy Sepulchre is in the Christian quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. Inside is a stone monument that encloses the tomb where it is believed that Jesus Christ lay buried for three days and rose from the dead. Several feet away is a narrow staircase that leads up to Calvary. Upon entering Calvary, my heart was invited into one of the most lavishly decorated parts of the Church- the crucifixion site. While there were lengthy lines waiting to enter both the crucifixion site and the tomb, my heart was drawn to the anointing slab of Christ.
Walking down the narrow staircase from Calvary, I encountered this anointing slab of Christ. There was a long piece of marble and underneath it was believed to be the stone where the body of Jesus laid after His crucifixion. While our group venerated it and quickly headed to wait in line to see the tomb. Yet, the Holy Spirit kept tugging on my heart to go back to the anointing slab to be with the crucified Christ and His body. Upon arriving, I completely wept at the sight of the reddish stone with eight white hanging candles over it. It was an outpouring of my heart entering into the crucified Christ – the pain of Christ and His wounds, both physically and emotionally. The Lord wanted me to be with Him and stay there to journey into His wounds. He wanted to show them to me – to touch them, feel them, and enter into them. What did Christ feel? What did He think? What was His physical and emotional pain like? What did He do with it? It was here at the slab that I laid the top half of my body over it and wept in silence.
Through the tears, the Lord gave me an image of Jesus kneeling on the ground and washing my feet. He looked upon me with eyes of love, mercy, and compassion. As I sat in silence with this image in my mind, I recognized that it was an invitation from the Lord. He wanted me to allow Him into those ugly, wounded parts of my “feet” so that He could continue to get the junk out and clean them.
In this moment, I felt somewhat confused because I didn’t know what past pain Christ wanted me to dive into, after all, I am at a place of peace and freedom in my life and there doesn’t seem to be any big issues that need to be worked through. Being attentive to Jesus in this image challenged me to be mindful with the people I encountered and the places I visited, yet it also empowered me to not be afraid to visit old wounds that have now turned to scars because there was beauty in those scars that He wanted to reveal to me.
This transformative encounter with the crucified Christ probed me to look more deeply at my own wounds and scars. Several weeks later the Lord revealed the scar He wanted me to open and take a closer look at. This revelation brought a calm sense of peace to my spirit and it reminded me of the importance of sitting with the pain of my own scars and wounds. It’s in being vulnerable before Christ and revisiting old wounds that we can allow Him to continue to love us in these places. When we are open to His love in the ugliest parts of our hearts, healing happens and we grow into holier Disciples of Christ.
This experience was a constant reminder that my scars and past challenges are beautiful. While they never fully disappear, Christ wants to clean out our wounds and transform them over and over again so that through them He is glorified and we become more whole.
Lindsay Fullerman was a fitness model and strength coach for nearly ten years, she struggled with her own body image, dieting, and living in extremes with food and exercise. It was only after developing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and understanding her Catholic roots that she began her healing journey towards interior freedom and balanced living. Lindsay created Fit from Faith and now educates Catholics on healthy and balanced living. She is eager to give back and help others do the same.
Lindsay recently commissioned the above painting of Mary Magdalene meeting Christ at His resurrection, very poignant to her personal encounter with Him in the Holy Land and all He is doing in her life.
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