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Notre Dame Fire Restoration Uncovers Ancient Medieval Tombs

Nearly three years after the devastating fire at Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral, reconstruction efforts have led to some extraordinary discoveries. As the restoration team was checking the stability of the ground before installing new scaffolding this past March, they stumbled upon several ancient tombs and a lead sarcophagus.

The tombs and other objects, including statues, sculptures, and medieval ceramic furniture, likely date back to the 14th century. It's believed the sarcophagus, made of lead, and shaped like a human, may have belonged to a high-ranking church official of the time. It is buried about 20 meters (65 feet) underground (*) — ‘six feet under’ was apparently not enough for this person!

The lead sarcophagus discovered in the floor of Notre Dame Cathedral © AFP/Getty Images
The lead sarcophagus discovered in the floor of Notre Dame Cathedral © AFP/Getty Images

A Better Covering

Being covered by a famous cathedral may be the epitome of a resting place for some, but it will never match the incredible covering we already have in Christ Himself.

Ancient graves offer a particularly striking reminder to us of how temporary our time is here. Since creation's first day, both light and darkness have covered the earth. It’s no great wonder that our earth-bound souls would also know both the sunshine of blessing and the midnight of adversity – both the joys of living and the pain of suffering.

While we walk here we are being taught to be content with both; to know the warm glow of the Father’s smile as well as the firm training of his hand. There is beauty in both the sunrise and in the sunset, and He makes both the evening and the morning rejoice when we praise him for the night as much as for the day. We are meant to learn… truly learn… that whatever He ordains is wise and good.

So when we suffer, let it be with the knowledge that “He will cover us with his pinions, and under His wings we take our refuge. ” We are never alone in the day or in the night, yet think of the difference -- in daylight He watches over us while we fly, but in our night He embraces us!

His covering continues day and night – in joy and sorrow, as faithfully as the rising and setting sun, for as long as we dwell in our earthly houses. But the day is coming when only the joy will remain: when we reach the land of which it is written, “There is no night there.


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