Hello weekend readers. I want to share a “unique” thought about landmarks. Out west we have a lot of history of those who came out to explore/tame the west, as well as our First Peoples who inhabited the land already. One of our favorites is at Boot Hill Cemetery in Tombstone, AZ where it says “”Here lies Lester Moore, Four slugs from a .44, No Les, No more.” We often find a lot of old horse shoes, nails/spikes, broken wheel struts from the covered wagons, etc. It’s pretty neat to find a piece of our history.
Famous landmarks abound throughout the globe as well. Some of the most sought out are the pyramids of Egypt where recently, another archaeologist group discovered mummified bodies in their sarcophagus. Thinking of our late Queen Elizabeth—imagine how many kings and queens are reposed in Westminster Abbey! Here in the USA, Arlington Cemetery is revered for it honoring of those brave soldiers who fought for freedom around the world.
I love all this history and it continues every day with new finds from the ancient ones who walked before us. It’s like our past meets our future because, at some time, we, too, will be gone and our caskets or urns will have our remains. Who will discover us and why? We don’t know, but the prospect is certainly interesting. Like the latest find in some tombs in Greece that uncovered more Biblical history. It was an incredible find of hundreds of skeletons that seemed untouched. Now they are using DNA to discover who these people were and the part they played in their time on earth…another new discovery of history will be in the books.
All these finds remind us of a planet that has been inhabited for eons! They are born, they have contributed to their societies, and then they die, leaving just their bones or ashes. And that includes Jesus. He was human, born of a woman, yet he was God in the flesh. It’s never been easy to explain all that but explanation isn’t what is important—it is what God did for us by coming and living amongst us through his Son. Like us, Jesus also died. His body was wrapped and laid in a tomb. And this is where archaeology ends because, unlike you and me and the millions who have lived on this planet, our tombs/urns hold our remains. The tomb Jesus was laid in is empty!
Jesus’ tomb is one of the most visited landmarks in the world and it is not because they want to see some mummified body—they want to see well, ‘nothing’ there are no bones, no ashes, not even an epitaph–simply nothing, period. It is said “this is why Jesus stands alone among the most revered people in all of history—he is not here!”
Let that sink in for a minute. While many great men and women have come and gone, Jesus is different. He wasn’t just a great moral philosopher or religious leader—he was God in the flesh. Many before him had great teachings and insight, they were builders, architects, sages, philosophers, etc. Yes, they did shape the world and many for the good. Yet, when death came they didn’t walk out of their tombs. Their resurrection for eternity was because of Jesus’ resurrection and his empty tomb.
For many in our world today, the virgin-birth, death and resurrection of Christ is a huge stumbling block. Our finite minds have their limitations yet the Triune God remains infinite. That is why Jesus’ resurrection proves his teachings are above all others and following his teachings is the cornerstone of our faith, keeping us on the right path, and giving us the full assurance of his love, mercy, grace and forgiveness. All these things we need when we have our stumbling-block moments. What a gift that never stops giving!
I think the Apostle John best sums up this “empty tomb” devotion in his Gospel (3:13 Voice) “No one has ever journeyed to heaven above except the One who has come down from heaven—the Son of Man, who is of heaven.” That is our “proof” –everything we need. And it is in that proof we have life today and the best is yet to come—eternity with Jesus. Reading on to vs. 14-15 we see Jesus’ promise: “Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness. In the same way, the Son of Man must be lifted up; then all those who believe in Him will experience everlasting life.”
I love archaeology, I love it when we learn more from our past—it helps us not to repeat what is bad and it reminds us of so many that have paved a way for us in our journey of life on this planet. But no one but Jesus got it right all the time. So yes, we can enjoy all this learning and discovery because it is the Lord’s doing, and it will continue until we land safely in his arms in heaven. Gosh, that gives me confidence and goose-bumps all at the same time. ‘Gives us cause to daily celebrate what a great Savior we have, don’t you think? AMEN!