It didn’t hit me until today the connection between the two passages yesterday – the end of Deuteronomy and the reading from the Gospel of Mark. In both cases, they were the stories of one dying. In Deuteronomy, we read of the death of Moses – him being gathered to his fathers (I wrote about that a few weeks ago too in fact) and the death of Jesus. There is a finality to both as there always is with death. The final breath, the final heart beat, the final electrical impulses in the brain, the disappearance of vitality and energy when one passes away. With both Moses and Jesus, there is so much that has come before that its hard to come to the endings for them. For Moses, it is a bitter end as he is not able to enter the Promised Land that he has sought for so many years, but just able to go and look over it before Joshua would lead the people in across the Jordan (in another parting of the waters). For Jesus, it is a weight of not just his own death, but as Christians have held for their history that it is also the weight of the sins of the world upon him as he dies upon the cross. Yet in both cases, there is good news to follow – the people do finally enter the Promised Land after decades of wandering and they wouldn’t have come close to this far if it wasn’t for Moses. With Jesus, we know the amazing news that follows of resurrection. Bitter. Sweet.
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