The ladder that must not be moved
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is one of the most remarkable experiences on the planet. Begun in A.D. 326 by Helena, the mother of Constantine, it is believed by most Christians to be the site of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. When our Israel study tour came here during our day in the Old City of Jerusalem, we were overwhelmed with the size, grandeur, and historic significance of the building. The Greek Orthodox Church, Roman Catholics, and Armenian Orthodox Church all have rights to worship here. Under an agreement known as the “Status Quo,” nothing can be moved without permission of all three groups.
As a result, the wooden step ladder in the picture next to my blog has been in its current location since 1854. Franklin Pierce was president; Abraham Lincoln would follow him two administrations later. Thirty-one presidents have come and gone. The Catholic Church has seen 11 popes. The world has fought 165 wars since. The ladder has seen the invention of the light bulb, the vacuum cleaner, the paper clip, the typewriter, chewing gum, the telephone, and the stapler (just in the 23 years since it last moved).
The ladder at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre may not be moved until Jesus comes back. Or the Status Quo may change tomorrow. But the God worshipped in this magnificent structure never changes. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
A church sign once displayed the question: “If you don’t feel close to God, guess who moved?”