Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments calls for the repatriation of up to 136 objects stolen by armed Britons during the Benin (Punitive) Expedition of 1897 and which are now housed at the University of Cambridge’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. A handful of other museums throughout the United Kingdom are also involved in repatriations of Benin artifacts.
Meanwhile, Buddhists and archaeologists fear that Afghanistan’s Bactrian Treasure and Mes Aynak (the ruins of an ancient Buddhist city) are at risk of being looted and/or destroyed by the Taliban.
Inanimate artifacts, even everyday objects imperfectly formed by human hands, are now considered priceless because they speak to historical, cultural and religious values. Yet, when the world dies away, these treasures will lose all meaning.
The act of creation is a beautiful thing, as it mirrors the creativity, intelligent design, and ability of our own Creator who formed us and gifted us with the Spirit. God’s creations are even more valuable than anything we could ever form. All that God created was found to be good and without fault, especially humanity which was crafted in God’s image.
When sin cracked the veneer of Creation and Satan threatened to destroy all that was good, God already had a divine plan of restoration. For we were so beloved that Jesus gave up His own life as surety so that whoever should believe in the Sacrifice should not perish but have everlasting life (paraphrase of John 3:16).
Although sin threatens the good remaining in the world, we need not fear, as our heavenly repatriation is assured by our loving Creator.
Connecting: Imagine how archaeologists and anthropologists 2,000 years from now could decipher your life based on the treasures currently in your possession.
Sharing: Historical corroborations with Scriptural references…
- Prove nothing, as the authors could have been excellent historical fiction imagineers
- Prove everything, because it would be too difficult for authors across centuries to keep the fictional plot straight
- Give us reason to continue searching for even more historical verifications
- Seem to corroborate the Scriptures but no real solid leads have yet been found
- Are impertinent, as we do not need to rely on archaeological evidence to know the Scriptures are true
Applying: We’re all a little guilty of “stealing” something, whether it be someone’s time or a couple of dollars. Attempt to make repatriations where you can—let those you care about know that their kindness is appreciated and not taken for granted!