The Parallels of Easter and Notre Dame Fire
This past Monday, I was mindlessly tapping through Instagram Stories, when I noticed one of my favourite authors had a picture of Notre Dame, in Paris, France, on fire. I could not believe my eyes. The very first historical place I had visited on my study abroad in France, with priceless artifacts, was burning to the ground. Many asked me why I was so upset over it, “After all,” they stated, “it’s just a building.”
First, the history. It has stood over 850 years and has gone through several wars, restorations, and other cultural mile markers. Second, it houses several historical artifacts that are irreplaceable. A majour one being the Crown of Thorns that was claimed to be on Jesus’s head during the Crucifixion, along with a piece of wood and nail, said to have been part of Jesus’s cross. Lastly, sentimental reasons. Not only is it the first majour landmark I visited in France, but it is a place of worship.
Then I got to thinking how interesting it is that this tragedy happened the week of Easter. Which lead me to thinking how nothing done by God is by accident and the parallels I saw between Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection with the burning and reconstruction of the Notre Dame cathedral. The aftermath photos show how God stands through trials all of sorts; steadfast and unchanging.
Life of Jesus parallel: Both Jesus and Notre Dame have brought people to God. Jesus was sent by God to come and give us eternal life. Jesus brought people to God in such a personal way. Just like Jesus, the Church is meant to reach out and share the good news of Jesus Christ. The church can provide help, comfort, compassion, acceptance, kindness, love, forgiveness, guidance, and so much more, but their actions are modeled after Christ. God wants to know us and have a personal relationship with us. During the life of both Jesus and Notre Dame, they have both come under attack whether it is people yelling blasphemies at them or physically attacking them. Jesus for his ministry and his teachings. Notre Dame for the way they have handled situations or failed to react to situations and for symbols they have in their cathedral. However, both have endured through great persecution and still do.
The Crucifixion Parallel: Jesus was crucified on the cross. A brutal, long, and agonizing death. A death he did not deserve. Even though his physical body died, his message still endured, along with his gift of the Holy Spirit. Notre Dame, even though not hung on a cross, suffered a horrible fire this past Monday. Even though some of the outside structure was destroyed, much of the inside was left untouched looking like almost nothing happened there. Seeing that much of the inside of the cathedral endures as it was gives us so much hope that things can be resurrected and brought back to life.
The Resurrection Parallel: Jesus rose from the dead three days after he was crucified. Just like Jesus Notre Dame will be rebuilt and resurrected for future generations to see, know, and appreciate. With the life of both entities, the Gospel will continue to spread for future generations.
Other Parallels: Just like the Christian community comes around to support each other, so did the community in Paris this past week, along with communities from around the world. Things progress much better with the support and love of our communities. We were meant to be in community with each other.
One last note: Jesus, His Gospels, and the Word of God have stood the test of time and will continue to, even with the constant attacks from the enemy. Notre Dame has stood for hundreds of years. The cathedral has been attacked and destroyed on numerous occasions for numerous reasons, and sadly, it will probably continue to happen. God’s story preserves through it all to hopefully one day reach each of us in a unique and special way.
Photo Credit: Sara Kay Hill (Roberts)