The Mysteries of the Pyramid

Among the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Egyptian Pyramid of Cheops ranked first. Even the ancient Romans admired this largest pyramid building of the pharaohs. The fascination for the building has not diminished since then, on the contrary. For hundreds of years, the pyramid has not only been admired, but also explored. In fact, there is still something new to discover. A research team from Cairo and Munich announced a minor sensation earlier this month. He had succeeded in proving a new, previously undiscovered burial chamber inside the pyramid. According to the Technical University of Munich, the chamber, which is said to be large enough to accommodate several burial sites, has probably been closed for 4,500 years. Their secrets are now to be revealed in the coming years using the latest technology. It is truly amazing that the ancient Egyptians apparently managed to keep part of their structure hidden from archeology at the Cheops Pyramid for hundreds of years. And whether this is the last secret of the pyramid cannot be said for sure.

The mysteries of Egyptian tombs and temples, their hidden chambers and tombs, their buried or walled treasures, their elaborate paintings and inscriptions have always stimulated people’s imagination. Entire generations of scholars have endeavored to decode the scriptures, to understand the Egyptian beliefs expressed in images, and to understand their cult of the dead. The pyramids are slow to reveal their secrets. Are the hidden structures just there to keep grave robbers from finding the chambers and the peace of the dead, or are there other reasons for their existence? In the 17th and 18th centuries, Egyptologists suspected that the holy sites of Egypt were more than mere burial sites. They assumed that the buildings served to keep cults, wisdom and certain religious rites secret. Only the initiated knew how to navigate the secret passages. Only they were allowed to fully experience the wisdom and truth of the Egyptians. Secret priesthoods ensured the transmission and preservation of secrets. Wisdom as such remained hidden. (By the way, this theory is based on the plot of Mozart’s “Magic Flute”.) The pyramids and temples thus closed off wisdom, were treasuries of a secret knowledge that had to remain hidden from the outside world. It is only when the burial chamber opens that the truth is revealed to the knowledgeable, i.e. it can be deduced by him.

This brings us to the gospel of the resurrection of Lazarus (John 11:1-45). A burial chamber is also opened here. More than a mere miracle happens here. The opening of the burial chamber reveals the truth. The gospel tells of this by taking the reader on a quest for the truth. When Jesus comes to the village of Bethany and speaks to Martha, he tells her: „I am the resurrection and the life“. Then he asks her: „Do you believe that?“ (John 11:25f.). Martha confesses her faith in Jesus. When he later stands at the tomb, he says to Martha: „Didn’t I tell you: If you believe, you will see the glory of God?“ (John 11:40). Jesus then has the stone removed from the tomb and the dead man comes out. For those standing around, this is simply a miracle at first. For Martha, however, it is at the same time a confirmation of her faith: in Jesus is the glory of God. He is really the resurrection and the life.

Christianity knows no hidden mysteries of faith. Everything is revealed in Jesus, that is, open to all. God does not address a few initiates, but reveals himself to all who will see. The empty tomb is accessible to everyone. It contains nothing that has not been made known. So the question “Do you believe that?” is crucial. It is given to all who hear and read the gospel. The gospel puts me in the place of Martha, who in her desperation is asked about Jesus. It puts me in the place of Lazarus, who is to come to life from death.

Two weeks ago I celebrated the requiem for the deceased pastor Horst Gollnick in Rostock. He himself had wished that one of his sermons should be given as a sermon. It was a sermon on today’s gospel. It contained a creed. Horst Gollnick wrote: „Sometime, on an unknown day, I’ll be my last song. Someday I’ll see the sun for the last time. At some point I look out at the lake in Sternberg for the last time. At some point, on an unknown day, I hear the voice: Horst, come out. Come out of your dying, come out of death, come out of your fear. Someday I will meet Lazarus, a nice young man. I will ask him: How did you die so young? He will say: That is unimportant. What is important is the friendship with the man from Lazarus and his call: Lazarus come out. That’s what HE will say to all of us, someday, some unknown day.“

Nothing is hidden anymore. The grave no longer knows any secrets. It doesn’t need initiates. Everything is out in the open. Here is truth and wisdom, resurrection, life. The only question that remains is: „Do you believe that?“





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