What do you see? Wonderful things.

When British archaeologist, Howard Carter, first gazed inside the recently discovered tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922, he was asked by Lord Caernarvon, who has funded the dig, what he saw. ‘Wonderful things’ came the reply. In fact, he had discovered several rooms’ worth of precious statues, gold sarcophagi and thousands of furnishings. Most Egyptian tombs had been robbed and desecrated even in ancient times. To find a tomb intact and dripping with gold renders Carter’s discovery one of archaeology’s greatest moments. Tutankhamun became Egypt’s most famous Pharaoh, not because of his short life and reign, but because of his tomb.

This week, after months of pressure from Israel, the denominations superintending Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre, allowed in the archaeologists to examine the tomb over which it was built. It was last opened in 1500. You can read more about it via the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/04/world/middleeast/jesus-tomb-opened-jerusalem-constantine.html?_r=0 . It claims to be built on the site of Christ’s tomb, or sepulchre.

There is dispute as to where Christ’s tomb actually lay. I understand that evangelicals generally prefer the ‘Garden Tomb’ site without its attendant shrines and clutter. Regardless of its location, its visitors will never find there anything of note. It was only used for three nights before being rendered redundant by the Lord’s resurrection. So our Saviour’s tomb is wonderful not because of its things, but its very emptiness; unlike the Pharaohs, He’s not dead.