Today we commemorate the centennial of one of history’s most significant discoveries. On February 16, 1923, English archaeologist Howard Carter entered the sealed burial chamber of ancient Egyptian leader Tutankhamun, better known by the name King Tut.
Comedian Steve Martin may have distorted some of the facts about the former leader dancin’ by the Nile. No, he was not born in Arizona, nor did he move to Babylonia. Instead, scholars teach us the young pharaoh was a lifelong resident of ancient Egypt. Born in 1341 BC, he ascended to the throne at age nine, where he reigned for ten years. Although his reign as king was relatively benign, Tut remains symbolic of ancient Egypt today. He became famous when Howard Carter discovered his tomb one hundred years ago today in 1922 among the Row of Kings, a resting place of many ancient pharaohs. While the other grave sites had been ransacked or destroyed over the years, Tutankhamun’s tomb remained undisturbed. As a result, Carter discovered this tomb filled with thousands of treasures, including a golden mask, a chariot, and a dagger made of meteorite iron.
This open tomb reveals much about ancient Egyptian culture thanks to Carter’s discovery. Today, King Tut and the mummified body affirming his final resting place remain a source of fascination for millions of people who have visited his grave or seen his artifacts in museums and exhibitions. So what is it about an open tomb that captivates us so? Is it because it serves as a peek into a preserved piece of history, or is it something deeper?
On this centennial day, we remember the open tomb discovery of King Tut. Every Sunday, we remember another open tomb – an empty tomb. Sunday, the Christian sabbath, is the day we celebrate Mary Magdeline and the other women’s discovery of the risen Christ.
This Sunday, February 19th, we commemorate the Transfiguration of Our Lord. Our scriptures tell us how Jesus, the one missing from the empty tomb on Easter morning, before his death, meets on the top of the mountain with two other Biblical characters, Moses and Elijah, who also have uncertain earthly resting places. The Bible says Moses’ burial place is unknown, but somewhere atop Mount Nebo (Deuteronomy 34:6), and Elijah was taken to heaven in a chariot of fire (2 Kings 2:1-18).
King Tut may have given his life for tourism (according to Steve Martin) but celebrate the one who gave his life for us, our Savior Jesus Christ. Join us for worship this Sunday at 8:00 AM (spoken liturgy), 10:15 AM (traditional liturgy), and 6:00 PM (Taizé liturgy) as we give thanks for the empty tomb.