For Millennia human beings have been concerned about what happens after they die. We have been aware that we cannot just leave our bodies to rot and be eaten by a larger predator but need to be cared for with respect.
The Native Irish from almost 5000 years ago knew this as well. They built difficult and elaborate burial tombs for their dead and had concern for their afterlife experiences. When someone says this concern for Heaven or Hell is purely because of Christian influence, they have little understanding of general widespread human history. (I am NOT claiming to be at all an expert in this area. I am simply looking at the facts presented by different cultures.)
I was both sad and excited to find this yesterday on our drive around the Irish countryside. Sad because it is a burial tomb. Upon further study on www.ancientireland.com when I got home, I read :
“Excavation in 1938 found the remains of both unburnt and cremated human remains of at least eight adults and four children in the main chamber, with evidence of further remains in a cist in the portico, gallery walls and immediately outside the gallery. A considerable amount of pottery was also excavated from the tomb and immediate surrounding area, the majority being of the Beaker type, with some Neolithic shards as well as flint scrapers.”
So I was sad because this was the resting place of at least a dozen human beings. I learned that the average life expectancy of the people of this era was only 30 years. So these people could have been our children and grandchildren. I was also saddened because I don’t know what understanding they would have had of God. But I must leave that concern to His care as He did those with Noah’s extended family. Europe’s largest Stone Circle is not very far from this Tomb. So something of a religious nature occurred here. The Druids reigned over the Celtic peoples for many, many generations with a limited understanding of life and death. We don’t know what concern they really had for life, but these massive tombs show evident concern for the afterlife.
I was excited because it was obvious they cared for these people. These stones are HUGE! I do not know how they could have moved them but it was certainly not a singular person’s effort. We humans have always cared for one another! We have both rejoiced with and mourned deeply over each other. It excites me to know people lived here, died here, and we cherished here. As best they knew how.
It excites me to think that we have been welcomed to this ancient land to share the secret it’s people have sought for so long! “What happen’s after we die?” We have Almighty God who will determine our destination. But we must tell people about Him and hopefully introduce them to Him before they stand before Him.
There is so much more that could be said and probably a lot I have said naively, But suffice it to say, this find made me think.
This is a Wedge Tomb at Lough Gur, co. Limerick. Its locally known as “the Giant’s Grave”.