Don’t Dig Up a Grave :: By Dr. Thomas J. Miranda

Don’t Dig Up a Grave
When a human body dies, it takes three days before putrefaction sets in. Two of the products of putrefaction are cadaverine and putrescene, both of which are diamines. (An interesting aside is that either of these compounds can be used as a starting material for making nylon.)

When Jesus set out to revive Lazarus (Jn. 11:39-44), Martha complained that he had been dead for four days and there would be a stench! These compounds have a terrible odor; and that is why when the Jews buried their dead, they would place the body in a tomb until complete degradation occurred and the bones could then be transferred to an ossuary. Most humans and animals avoid exposure to these chemicals, but carrion and flies are attracted to the odor. Another danger from the grave is pathogens that result from decay of proteins.

When I was growing up in Hawaii, I would go swimming in the Nuuanu Stream that included a number of ponds suitable for swimming. At one pond, Lilly Pond, there were some caves left over from lava flows where the Hawaiians would bury their dead. We did not spend too much time in these caves, but I was told that if a native Hawaiian enters these burial areas and disturbed them, they would die! This is because the pathogens present have a deadly effect on native Hawaiians.

My stepfather was a native Hawaiian who refused to even step in a Hawaiian graveyard. When his relatives would care to visit a Hawaiian grave site, some which contained a Heiau, he would not even leave the car because of fear of violating a grave site, as local lore was that the area is cursed and those native Hawaiians who did so experienced a violent death!  A Heiau is a rectangular form of stones in which human sacrifice was carried out.

With the above information, one would not want to dig up a grave!

However, we as Christians are the best grave diggers. How much time do we spend brooding over past events that we have no control over and are impossible to change?

I can recall worrying about things that happened to me years ago, and even get upset over a situation that is now graveyard dead and something over which I have no power. The effect or resurrecting old wounds is very similar to grave digging! The mental effect of bringing up old wounds is worse than that of encountering cadaverine and putrescene!

Worse yet, is that by resorting to this type of grave digging, we reject the suffering and death on the Cross that Jesus endured for our Salvation. It must be a disappointment to Jesus that, after all He did for us on earth, we still cling to grave digging instead of looking forward to the eternal reward He offered on that Cross.

The best advice that I can offer is to stop entertaining past hurts and think forward to what He has promised and will do for us for eternity.

What a precious gift we have. Let us not squander it on digging up old graves, and instead look up to our coming Salvation (2 Cor. 2:9).