That last river which we all must pass over!
(Thomas Sherman, "Divine Breathings; Or, a Pious Soul Thirsting after Christ")
The Israelites were necessitated first to pass over the Jordan River, before they could enter Canaan, the promised land. But no sooner had the feet of the priests, who bore the ark of the covenant, rested in the water — but the proud waves saw it and fled, and the swelling streams were driven back, and congealed in heaps to enable them to pass over with safety.
Every child of God resembles an Israelite in this respect; he is passing through the wilderness of this world, and traveling to the land of promise. DEATH is that Jordan River which runs between this wilderness world — and our heavenly Canaan. Death is that swelling stream which overflows the banks of every mortal creature. It is that last river which we all must pass over!
But this is the happiness which believers have — that Jesus Christ, our High Priest, who bears the everlasting covenant upon His shoulders, has already dipped His feet in the streams of this water, so that the streams of bitterness are diverted, the sting of death plucked out, the waters of the salt sea dried up; yes, the power of the curse cut off, so that death is but a sure step to glory!
Why then am I afraid to die? The channel is dry! I see the footsteps of my Savior at the bottom — and Heaven and happiness on the other side! The waters cannot overwhelm my soul!
They may go over my sins,
they may go over my foes,
they may go over my miseries,
they may go over my troubles,
but my soul shall pass over to its eternal rest!
Lord, therefore fit and sanctify me for death — and then take down my earthly tent. I cannot be with You too soon!
"I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far!" Philippians 1:23