Leonard Woolley and his fellow diggers couldn’t believe their eyes. There, lying in neat rows in the ancient tomb they’d just uncovered near the ancient city of Ur, were six men and sixty-eight women. The women wore fine clothes and were decked out in expensive jewelry, their hair done up with colorful ribbons. It looked as if everyone was going to a party!
You might expect that people would fight tooth and nail when told they must get ready to be buried with their king. But they didn’t run. They didn’t hide. Instead, they got dressed up and gladly walked into the tomb, perfectly willing to be buried with the monarch. Evidence showed that once everyone was in place in the tomb, someone passed a powerful poison around. As the lethal drug took hold, they grew sleepy, lay down next to each other, and died. Why? They thought their king was a god and would live forever in some other world beyond the grave, a world filled with happiness and peace. So they dressed up and drank their poison, fully believing that they’d live again in Paradise.
They weren’t totally wrong. There is a Paradise filled with happiness and peace. But those men and women followed the wrong king to the grave. He was just a man.
We know better. Our King, Jesus Christ, is the one true God. All who die with Him will live again in heaven. Yet many of us are still afraid of death and wonder what’s beyond the grave.
Could it be that the pagans in Ur’s royal tomb had more faith in their king than we have in ours?