Passed Over, Not Away


Today in my daily reading I was in the book of Joshua. I read about when the children of Israel crossed over the Jordan river. Chapter 3:17 says: “And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.” I was reminded of an old hymn called On Jordan’s Stormy Banks. The song likens the Jordan River unto that valley of death that we cross before we enter into heaven, our¬†eternal Canaan land.¬†The first verse will explain it well, it goes: “On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand, and cast a wishful eye. To Canaan’s fair and happy land, where my possessions lie. I am bound for the promised land….I am bound for the promised land.” I think its a great spiritual type that the song writer has drawn from the scriptural account of Israel crossing the Jordan river. As I thought about this I took notice of a couple of things in our verse mentioned above. One, the priests were in the middle of the Jordan river with the ark of God, which represented the presence of God. Jesus is our High Priest and when we face the valley of the shadow of death, He will be right there with us! Two, I noticed how that it says that the “Israelites passed over.” Often when our loved ones die we will say that they have “passed away.” What I’m thinking is that if we are confident that they are one of God’s children that we should now say, “They have passed over.”