1 The Graving Yard in Port Angeles

The economy in Port Angeles in Western Washington has been based on logging and fishing for years, but recently with the closing of the big Rayonier Lumber Mill the town has gone through hard times. When the state announced it was going to build a huge graving yard in Port Angeles, many residents were pleased about the money it would bring into the local economy. A graving yard is a long trench dug next to the sea where construction projects can be completed on dry land and then the trench flooded and the work floated out to sea. The graving yard was necessary to build large replacement pontoons for the aging mile long Hood's Canal Floating Bridge

The twenty-two acre site was purchased, and the contracts for the work were signed, but trouble began almost at once when contractors started excavating the trench. They unexpectantly discovered an unmarked, ancient, burial ground. For perhaps thousands of years before the town became a Spanish outpost, and then later a logging center, the Native Americans had buried there dead in the site. It seemed as if workers could not excavate any amount of dirt without locating a skeleton or some ancient artifact. Archaeologists were called in to professionally assist in the digging. Excavation of the trench slowed to a snail's pace. There seemed to be no end to the archaeologist's findings. After many months of delay, and the state spending upwards of fifty million dollars, the project that meant so much to the community in the way of jobs ground to a halt.

Building on such an extensive gravesite seemed unconscionable and there was no other choice but to call it quits. It was a difficult decision indeed, but the officials couldn't continue the project as if the graves didn't exist. There are just some things that can't be ignored without doing damage to yourself.

The Graving Yard in Port Angeles 2

Nearly two thousand years ago the Lord Jesus was slain and buried in a grave. Many people today would like to continue on with their lives as if the death of Christ has nothing at all to do with them. But like it or not, it has everything to do with them, and if they ignore it they will end up doing great damage to themselves.

Other men in the history of the world were unjustly slain and then buried, but the case of Jesus Christ is vastly different. You see he wasn't just a man; he was the world's only thoroughly Just man. He was God's beloved Son, the One who always did the will of his Father, the One who so fully revealed the Father's love and wisdom in all that he did, that he could say to one of his disciples, "Have I been so long a time with you, and yet hast thou not known me Philip? He that hat seen me hath seen the Father." (Jn.14.7) He was the One whose coming was foretold by countless prophecies from the Old Testament. He gave sight to the blind, healed the lame, and raised the dead. When Jesus Christ came to earth it was God fully revealing himself in grace and truth to mankind. "Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ," a verse from the Bible reads. (Jn.1.17)

However, men loved darkness instead of light. Instead of receiving him and his words, a great multitude gathered together and called out, "Crucify him."(Luke23.21) The hands that did so much good, the feet that tread so many weary miles in order to spread the message of God's love, were nailed to a cross of wood. While he hung in the air suspended between heaven and earth men walked by and mocked him. In excruciating hours of torture the only perfectly Just man the world ever knew hung on the cross as an object of derision. What was the reaction of this Perfect One to his mistreatment? He prayed, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." (Luke23.34)

After being nailed to the cross for nearly six hours, he dismissed his own spirit, and died. A rich man named Joseph of Arimathaea went to the Roman Governor and asked for the body that he might bury it. The governor consented. There you have all that the world ever gave the Lord Jesus Christ, which was a cross and a grave.

Stop, and consider your life in the light of what happened at Calvary. Can you go on living your life as if Christ never died at the hands of sinful men? In a world that is guilty of the torture death of God's dear Son can you seek to find all your pleasures as if all is well and he was never rejected? Can you seek to find your happiness in this world that gave him a grave? Can you close your eyes to the truths of the rejection, and death of this great Person without wanting to know more about him?