The Dead Sea (John 14:5)
After 40 years of wandering the desert, the Israelite’s were finally surrounding Mount Nebo and on the threshold of the promised land. It was just to the west of them past the Dead Sea and the Jordan River. Moses had gone up to Mount Nebo to plead with God to let him lead the people into the land. Though, due to his sin, God would not allow him to go (Deuteronomy 3:21-29). Instead God told Moses to have Joshua lead the people across the Jordan River, directly north of the Dead Sea, and into the promised land. This story does not seem to have much meaning at first, until you see its greater context.
Moses is a representation of the spiritual leaders throughout the world. A person of great significance, moral standard, and considered a righteous person. Though, not even he, or others such as Mohammad, Buddha, Moses, Abraham, Krishna, or any current or past world leaders, not even ourselves, have the ability to save us and to bring us into Heaven (the promised land). We have to go down to the deepest and lowest place on Earth to die, to pay the price for what we have done wrong. We have to be cleansed of our sin(the living water from the Jordan River), and let this sin go to a place where nothing that has life can live, not even our guilt and shame.
Only until we have died to ourselves can we be given a new life and be allowed to enter the promised land. As Jesus said, “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it (by trying to find some other way around the Dead Sea), but whoever loses their life for me will find it (following Jesus through the Jordan River so that our sin can be cleansed into the Dead Sea)“ (Matt 16:25).
Though, how? How can we do this? Someone has to be the one who can lead us across the Jordan River and who can cleanse us from our sins. We need someone to lead the way to the promised land. Who could do this?
Only Jesus would have the power, being fully human and fully God. Someone with the power to lead us out of death and into life. To be the living water to cleanse us. How can this metaphor be so close to the crossing of the Israelite’s? The significance is in the word and name of Joshua. In Hebrew, Joshua, is another pronunciation of the name Jesus. So even by reading the story of the crossing of the Israelite’s through the Jordan River at the northern tip of the Dead Sea, we have a leader that God chose to do it with. Not even a great person such as Moses had the power, only someone appointed by God, someone who was God Himself, a beacon in history that pointed towards Jesus.
John 14:5 reads, “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way (across the Dead Sea) and the Truth (only real answer to our meaning on Earth), and the life (whom all good things were created from). No one comes to the Father (the promised land..Heaven) except through me.‘”
This story could only point to one conclusion, one major event in history and a plan that God had put in place way before the beginning of time. The coming life, death, and resurrection of the Son, Jesus Christ. He died on the cross and took our sin with him into the Dead Sea and came out of it alive and into the promised land. We will as well if we believe in Him and what He did for us. Let the washing of the living water (Jesus) cleanse you from your sin and send it into the dead sea so that you can enter the promised land (Heaven).
(Original excerpt taken from my personal blog: https://thoughtsonlifesj.blogspot.com/2016/06/reflections-on-israel-dead-sea.html)