“There on the mountain that you have climbed you will die and be gathered to your people…” (Deuteronomy 32:50, NIV)
Near the end of Moses’ life, as the next generation of Israelites prepared to enter the Promised Land, God told Moses to climb atop a high mountain east of Canaan and view the Promised Land from a distance. Because of Moses’ insufficient faith in the desert, he would not be allowed to enter it himself.
Moses, as the man who climbed Mt. Sinai to receive the Law from God, knew that his actions would have consequences in this life. And by keeping Moses out of Canaan, God was sending his people a clear message that even great leaders (like Moses) will be held accountable to the standard he gives us.
Moses died without ever setting foot in the Promised Land. But the story doesn’t end there.
A millennium and a half later, Jesus took three of his apostles and climbed atop a high mountain in the middle of that Promised Land. His face transformed with a magnificent light. His clothes suddenly became pure white. And shockingly–Moses and Elijah appeared atop the mountain!
In an era defined by the law, Moses died atop a mountain outside the Promised Land, because his sin kept him separated. But in an era defined by the cross, Jesus invited Moses to stand with him on a mountain in the Promised Land.
What Moses was not capable of achieving through his own merit, Jesus gave him as a free, undeserved gift.
No one can climb the mountain on their own. We all need the grace of God to help us in our weakness. The power of God to when our legs grow weary. The comfort of God when our hearts becomes heavy. The protection of God when our enemy attacks. The peace of God when anxiety floods our mind. And the companionship from God when our friends desert us.
“14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:14, 17 (NIV)
Today, may we all rejoice in the presence of God’s lavish grace.