A legacy garden for preserving your name.
Pennsylvania’s most beautiful burial estate is also the home of the area’s premier option for families who choose cremation. Alto-Reste Park has officially finished phase 1 construction on our Garden of the Empty Tomb. Prime spaces are now available for purchase.
The Story of the Death of Jesus; The Empty Tomb and the Resurrection can be
found in Matthew 27:57-65 and Mathew 28:1-20; Mark 15:33-47 and Mark 16;1-19; Luke23:44-49; Luke 23:50-56 and Luke 24:1-49 and John 19:28-37 and John 20:1-30. The following story is taken from Luke.
The Death of Jesus
It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the
ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining and the curtain of the temple was torn in two, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat
their breasts and went away. But all those who knew him, including the women
who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance watching these things.
The Burial of Jesus
Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea and he was waiting for the kingdom of God. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took it down, wrapped in it linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. It was Preparation Day and the Sabbath was about to begin.
The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. Then they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment. (Luke 23:50-56)
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again. Then they remembered his words.
When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the Mother of Jesus, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.
On the Road to Emmaus
Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.
He asked them, What are you discussing together as you walk along?
They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
“What things?” he asked. About Jesus of Nazareth, they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.”
He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
When he was at the table with them, he took break, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
Jesus Appears to the Disciples
While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Tough me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They fave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.
He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothes with power from on high. (Luke 24: 1-4)
Many flowers and plants are native to Israel – the red poppy anemone; the corn poppy (also red); the hyacinth, which has blue flowers, the crown marguerite, which is yellow; the myrtle shrub, which has white blossoms; the mandrake, which produces aromatic yellow fruits in the spring. Who can say which of these, and many others, including various fragrant herbs were planted or not planted in the grounds around Joseph of Arimathea’s personal tomb?
Joseph, a follower of Jesus, was one of the elite, a member of the Council, or Sanhedrin. The tomb itself would be another indicator of his status — well made, cut out of the rock, sealed with a stone like a wheel. And unused. Usually tombs were used repeatedly, and the bones of the dead were gathered up and reburied in an ossuary – an urn or vault for bones – after a full year. The pristine nature of Joseph’s tomb is unique. That it was in a garden also makes it special. (Murray Andrew Pura, Rooted).
The tree of life turns out to be a cross. But the cross itself becomes the tree of life and Christ’s wounding its leaves —-“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed” (1st Peter 2:24 NIV). The gardens connect, there is a common path between them all, the cuttings from one thrive in the soil of another. We are included in the final garden because of the Lamb but the Lamb is in the final garden only because he was in the other gardens first. The gardens are not just symbols or metaphors of the truth. They are truth itself. What happens to us when we enter into them and pray makes all the difference in the world.
The decisions Jesus made in Gethsemane affected all of us. Gethsemane is more than a symbol. What happened to Jesus in the Garden Tomb affected our entire universe. The Garden Tomb is more than a metaphor. What will happen to humanity and all heaven and earth in Second Eden impacts everyone and everything. Second Eden is more than an image. The biblical gardens are physical realities and spiritual realities but they are also decision realities, vision realities and encounter realities. When you go to them they will work on you. If you stay in any one of them long enough you will dream dreams and see visions. You will pray prayers you’ve never prayed, make choices you’ve never considered. You will encounter good and you will encounter evil, not only in the space around you but in the space within you. You may come face to face with summer lightning and realize it is an angel. You may come face to face with Jesus but at first think you are seeing a gardener. The gardens are volatile places. You may find rest in one or two of them but nothing in any of the gardens is at rest. Flowers are opening and closing. Seeds sprouting. Fruit taking shape. Those who come to the gardens cannot expect to remain untouched. If everything around you is growing you will eventually come to grow yourself. What that will look like God only knows. But if it is God you are looking for it is God you will find. For these are His gardens. He waters and cultivates and prunes them. It is your soil he has turned. Your seed he has planted. The gardener will never neglect or fail to cherish what is his own.
(Taken from The Five Gardens of God by Murray Andrew Pura).
My Lord and My God
Murray Andrew Pura
Let me rise from every death
mind, body and spirit
the dead words and dead dreams
the dead faith and dead love.
Bring me back from every dark
and every tomb
from everything that cuts me off
from the living
everything that seals out
Let me rise out of every stupor
out of every sleep
my soul stronger
my fire rich with color
my prayers sky and stream
and overarching green elm.
I do not crave a resurrection
when my body is cold
as much as I crave a resurrection now
and every tomorrow
I am chill
to your touch.
In the name of Jesus.
For those families who choose cremation, we offer numerous choices on where and how you can tell your loved one’s story. Contact us today to secure a space and create an exceptional memorial that will preserve your loved one’s name and legacy.
The Garden of the Empty Tomb was recently completed in 2020.
Below are photos of the construction progress from Late 2019 – Mid 2020.
About Alto-Reste Park
Our mission is to honor and celebrate life by providing clarity and guidance during times of sadness and pain by offering a place of peace amidst scenes of cultured beauty. Regardless of whether someone chooses our park as their final resting place, we want everyone we counsel to be comfortable and satisfied with their final arrangements. We offer choice, compassion, and comfort before, during, and after each service. We do this to ensure every lost loved one is memorialized in a meaningful way.