We all know what the graves of people look like, but there are other kinds of graves as well. The graves of cities lie scattered in mounds across the lands of the Bible. These ancient mounds are called tels, meaning “heaps of ruins” in Hebrew, cities built upon the ruins of another, stacked up higher and higher over time.
Jeremiah describes this reality in his prophecies regarding Jerusalem. First the Lord says, “I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins,” (Jeremiah 9:11) which is followed by another prophecy, “the city shall be rebuilt on its mound, and the palace shall stand where it used to be.” (Jeremiah 30:18).
As with Jerusalem, so with many other cities of Israel—disobedience and destruction, repentance and rebuilding. Today, we can see those ancient stories played out in the dirt, a cycle repeated over and over through thousands of years, dead and buried cities forming layers of stratigraphy which archaeologists now dig.
Today’s video short gives you a bird’s-eye view of the excavations of some of those tels. Their existence and locations speak to the historical accuracy of the Bible. But, those dug-out mounds of dirt point to a much deeper Biblical truth—the inevitability of destruction, death and burial. Once-powerful cities, great kingdoms and vast empires, are now gone, buried under the dust of time.
Archaeology reveals the harsh reality of death in its piles of excavated bones and ash and broken pot sherds. But, the gospel teaches us that there is a solution. Jesus Christ gives imperishable life that cannot be destroyed. What is buried with him is raised up into new, eternal life. Death is destroyed. All is made new!