My boys are attempting to do a Bible-reading plan for their morning devotions. While this sounds picturesque, its execution is far more harried and humorous. Usually one of them is reading the day’s Scriptures aloud while the other two are scurrying about shouting, “I can’t my water bottle, or “Where are favorite socks?”
As often happens when someone else reads a familiar Scripture aloud, I was struck with a concept I had never really pondered before. As my oldest son read the account of Moses’ last moments on earth, I marveled at the fact that God Himself buried Moses.
A few of our dear friends have lost beloved family members recently, reminding me of both the intensity and the intimacy of burials. God, the author and authority of all life, the One who had breathed His breath into the humans He had shaped and formed, attended and presided personally over Moses’ funeral. He knew death up close. He dug a grave in which to lay his faithful friend. What a shocking, paradoxical thought.
I imagine God responded to Moses’ death much like Jesus responded to his good buddy Lazarus’ death: with weeping and great resolve. This is not how I intended life to be, yet I intend to personally and sacrificially end death as the end.
As I meditated this week on the death of Moses, I realized that Moses’ life story was bookended by burials: one early on at a critical juncture of his life and one when God Himself buried him after years of long and faithful service. I imagine that as God buried Moses, He did so with the death of His own self/Son on the forefront of His mind.
He had a kingdom at his fingertips,
A future of potential lay ahead;
In a moment of anger at injustice
He struck an Egyptian down dead.
Realizing what he had done,
Frantically looking left to right.
Young Moses’ dreams derailed
As he buried a corpse in fright.
Fast forward to a different burial,
A different Moses on a different hill.
One hundred plus twenty years old,
Moses finally resting in His God’s will.
From heir of Egypt to humble man,
From served royalty to servant of God,
His undimmed eyes had finally seen
Promised land his people would trod.
Humbled, hallowed by heavy service,
Having talked with God face to face,
God Himself did bury His friend
In a secret plot, without a trace.
The one who’d buried his old life
and had given Himself to God,
Finally completed his long circuit,
No more weary steps to plod.
‘Twas a strangely sobering scene
When Yahweh buried his friend;
For only He knew the next chapter
When His own Son’s life He’d end.
Another life marked by burial,
The One to whom Moses pointed.
Then death itself would be undone,
Just as the same God had appointed.