Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho. And the Lord showed him all the land, Gilead as far as Dan, all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the western sea, the Negeb, and the Plain, that is, the Valley of Jericho the city of palm trees, as far as Zoar. And the Lord said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, ‘I will give it to your offspring.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.” So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord, and he buried him in the valley in the land of Moab opposite Beth-peor; but no one knows the place of his burial to this day. Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated. And the people of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days. Then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended. Deuteronomy 34:1-8 ESV
And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. I Corinthians 15:17-22 ESV
Have you ever heard of a bucket list? Some people make lists of things they want to do before they die, or “kick the bucket.” These lists are often ambitious, full of things like traveling to exotic places or having exciting adventures like hang-gliding or bungee jumping, or learning new things like a foreign language or getting a college degree. Bucket lists can be fun, and they can be a way to enjoy the blessings God gives on this earth. But in the end, our lives are not our own, and we can’t guarantee that we’ll get to everything on our bucket lists.
Moses had only one thing on his bucket list. He wanted very badly to enter the promised land. He had wandered in the wilderness for many years, waiting for the time to lead his people home, but God didn’t allow him to go there. Instead, God allowed him to see the whole land from a mountaintop, and then he died. Moses didn’t enter the promised land on earth, but he came into the presence of God in heaven, which is even better.
In a way, bucket lists can be a little bit foolish. Having a bucket list can make people start thinking that there’s nothing good to look forward to beyond this life. We should have all the fun we can, they think, because after we die there isn’t anything at all to enjoy. But that’s not true. Jesus came to die for us, and he rose again on the third day. Everyone who believes in Jesus will also be raised to a new life with him at the end of the world. We will live forever in the promised land of heaven. When we die, we will see Jesus and be with him. Even if we don’t get to do all the fun things we hope to in this life, we will have an even better life with Jesus forever!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to die for us and rise again, so that we can live with him in the promised land of heaven forever. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.