The story underneath had to do with a surprise discovery made inside a 2,500-year old Egyptian coffin at the University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia. First uncovered in Egypt and then acquired by the University of Sydney some 150 years ago, the coffin was long thought to be empty.
In truth, it had simply been erroneously classified. As a result, late last year, when it was reopened, experts were stunned to find the remains of a mummy when they opened the coffin’s lid.
A bevy of scientific test later, including the harnessing of scanning technology, the remains inside have now been identified. According to the article…
“The coffin of an ancient Egyptian priestess called Mer-Neith-it-es, which had most recently sat in our education room, underwent a series of scientific and visual analysis,” the University of Sydney’s Nicholson Museum explained, in a Facebook post. “The coffin and the mummified remains were scanned and the damaged remains of the body excavated.”
It appears that at some point in its history, the coffin had been targeted by tomb raiders. Nonetheless, a CT scan and thorough investigation, performed last week, have together revealed bones, bandages, fragments of resin, and over 7,000 beads from a funeral shawl.
As Easter week unfolded, I could not help but think of another surprise having to do with a burial. Only this time, people were not surprised to find someone in a grave, but rather to find no one in a grave!
This episode occurred some two thousand years ago in a tomb outside Jerusalem. At that time, people had thought that this tomb contained the remains of a man from Nazareth, who had been buried on Friday. But when people began gathering at this tomb early on Sunday morning, they were amazed to discover that the tomb was in fact empty!
For the One Who had been buried there, Jesus Christ, was no ordinary man. He was, instead, the very Son-of-God. He had earlier prophesied on several occasions that He would rise from the dead (Mark 10: 32-34; John 2:18-21); and His resurrection proved that He was indeed exactly Who He said He was!
This is what the Christian world has been celebrating for the past twenty-four hours. This is what Easter is all about! And this is why the testimony of those who follow Jesus Christ has been put so beautifully captured by the hymn writer Alfred H. Ackley...
I serve a risen Savior; He's in the world today.
I know that He is living, whatever men may say.
I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer,
And just the time I need Him He's always near.
He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life's narrow way.
He lives! He lives! Salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.
In all the world around me I see His loving care,
And though my heart grows weary I never will despair.
I know that He is leading, thro' all the stormy blast;
The day of His appearing will come at last.
Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian! Lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ, the King!
The Hope of all who seek Him, the Help of all who find,
None other is so loving, so good and kind.
So, my friend, please do not be mistaken, about the empty tomb of Jesus Christ! The Bible tells us that all those who accept the fact of His resurrection and embrace Him as God’s Son will also experience resurrection to life everlasting. But those who do not will have no part in the resurrection to life, and are doomed to everlasting death.
I have personally been to that empty tomb (at least the place commemorated as such in Jerusalem). But long before, and far more importantly, I accepted the fact of that empty tomb in my heart. I hope you have also accepted that same fact in your heart.
If not, then I invite you to ponder the significance of that empty tomb this very day! You might just be pleasantly surprised at what you discover! And even more at the significance this discovery will have for your life!
HYMN LYRICS SOURCE: http://www.greatchristianhymns.com/he-lives.html.
SCRIPTURE SOURCE: http://biblehub.com/niv/john/2.htm and