This is our God
By Mike Waine
When I was in year three at School, we studied the Ancient Egyptians. I was blown away by the incredible artistry of their hieroglyphics, the elaborateness of their decoration and the creativity of their mythology. Ever since, I’ve held a love of ancient history and have been fascinated by the continual unraveling of the mysteries of our global past.
Last night, I caught a TV show called ‘Secret of Egypt’s Valley of the Kings’. For those who don’t know, the Valley of the Kings is a location in Egypt where, for nearly 500 years, the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt were buried. Each individual chamber and tomb that have been discovered is ornately decorated, with evidence of incredible effort being put into the burial place of the Kings.
Since first hearing of it, I have been captivated by the story of the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun. Though only 18 or 19 when he died, this young Pharaoh was found to be buried with around 5000 artifacts, including a solid gold coffin, weapons, instruments and fine clothing – a burial fit for a king.
What a contrast, then, we find as we reflect on Easter week and the burial tomb of Jesus, 1358 years later.
The Kings of Egypt were enshrined in monuments befitting someone of their significance; the Pyramids of Egypt remain a hugely popular tourist attraction, re-educating us on the lives and reigns of Ancient Egypt’s Pharaohs.
Yet when we read the accounts of Jesus’ death and burial, there is nothing of this extravagant nature. Though he was crucified under the title of ‘King of the Jews’, his crucifixion was punishment, his title aimed to bring shame upon him. His trial and death were a spectacle.
His burial place, a simple tomb fit for the criminal he was portrayed to be.
Of course, this is only half of the story. The journey of Easter weekend takes us through grief and loss, into darkness and bursting forth into renewed hope and life with the triumphant resurrection of Jesus.
Much is made each Christmas of the king born in a stable rather than a palace. The same should be said about Jesus’ tomb – what kind of king is buried in such a manner?
Then again, Jesus didn’t follow convention from day one.
So, as we enter Holy week and approach Good Friday, think about what kind of king Jesus is.
As often is the case, I’m reminded of some lyrics which paint a picture of the beauty that lies in the apparent contradiction of Jesus’ life and death.
Freely you gave it all for us Surrendered your life upon that cross Great is the love poured out for all This is our God
Lifted on high from death to life Forever our God is glorified Servant and king rescued the world This is our God