This flute reminds us that it would be the occasion of people to come and visit the tomb for a whole week of the funeral wake. In fact, remember in the resurrection Sunday narrative that Mary tells the disciples that she has had a vision of the resurrected Christ. Peter and John run to the tomb. John gets there first, stoops and looks in the tomb, but he can not see. Peter crawls in and can see the arrangement of the gravecloths. That makes him know that a mystery has occurred. The resurrection has taken place.
The gospels mention an alabaster jar with annointing oil used by the women of Bethany. After a quiet Sabbath, early Sunday morning they come to Jesus' tomb bringing ointment and gravecloths. You can see in this replica of a tomb at our museum why they wondered who would help them roll back the stone. Remember that Joseph of Arimathea was one of the elders, which means it would be a very wealthy tomb. And as to the certainty of the mystery of the resurrection, the stone was already rolled back helping them to believe that God raised Jesus from the dead.
Archeologists have discovered mosaics from the time of Jesus that come from reclining tables in the first century. Did you know that the rabbis taught that Passover must be observed at a recling table to show that you are free? Free people eat reclining. Passover would have been at a three-side reclining table such as we see here. The new testament says they reclined at the table. The beloved disciple leaned on Jesus' chest. So we have shown reclining tables like this to learn about Passover in the time of Jesus.
This silver amulet is a replica of one found in this old testament tomb that we have made in our museum. Jesus in speaking to the Sadducees who had difficulty believing in resurrection said God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that God remembers them and makes them alive. We should believe in the resurrection. You know friends of this loved ones put the amulet in this repository. It says on it "the Lord's face will shine upon you, be gracious unto you, and grant you peace."
This is a sickle used to cut the grain and bring it in to your threshing floor. Behind me you see threshing equipment that is used to harvest the grain. When you bring in your first handful of grain, called the firstfruit, it is supposed to be after Sabbath following Passover early in the morning on the first day of the week. Notice we put our rolling stone tomb right behind our threshing floor because the women go there that same day of the week which means the resurrection story—let the harvest begin.
This shows you a fig branch in the spring. Passover is in the spring. And in March you notice that the leaves begin to come out and strangely, simultaneously we get the early figs. There's a story during Jesus' last week in Jerusalem where he warns a fig tree when he looks through the leaves and there's no figs. People wonder why is this such a big deal or how could that be a lesson. Leaves are the signs of figs. It was a hypocritical fig tree.
Millstones are mentioned in the story of Jesus' journey to Jerusalem. You put grain in the middle and you turn it around. Flour would come out on the outside. When we have this story is when he is in Capernaum and his disciples are trying to keep children away. And to show how important children are, Jesus said it is better for you to go for a swim with a millstone around your neck than to cause a child to stumble. He mentioned donkey-turned industrial-sized millstone. Look how important children are to Jesus.
Crosses at the time of Jesus were probably not the milled lumber we associate with church art but natural trees rooted along the side of the road, and the criminal carried only the cross beam to the place of judgement. Pontius Pilate probably liked using trees because it was a tradition in Judaism that "cursed be the one hanging on a tree." If a cross looked more like a tree, that would mean that kind of death would make someone particularly cursed in Jewish tradition.
Coins from the time of Jesus have been found that show the image of the emperor on them but also with geometric and floral designs. It was very important for Jews to have a place at the temple to exchange their coins from the Roman coins to proper Jewish coins. They were against images. In fact, even their altars could not be the squared stones of the Canaanite altar but had to be field stones. The altar was to not have anything that would look like as image. You are to worship the altar in purity of heart.