In a previous post, we saw that the first mark of his mountain is a supernatural justice that transforms us to live in a new kind of peace with the world around us. Today we see where this unique justice and peace come from: the end of death. Isaiah says,
“On this mountain he will destroy the veil that veils all peoples, the web that is woven over all nations; he will destroy death forever” (25:7).
Mountains are places of life and death in the Bible. The “veil” of death was cast over the human race on the mountain of Eden [remember how the book of Genesis says four rivers flow from Eden, including the Gihon?]. The prophet Ezekiel (28: 13-14) calls Eden “the holy mountain of God.” Jews also imagined that hill where Jerusalem sits to be that same place [guess what river flows from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem? Yup. The Gihon!].
This same mountain is where Jesus goes up to battle and defeat death through his own death and resurrection. The “mountain” of Jerusalem is where God himself rose from the dead. Isaiah promises that “The Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces” (25:8).
What a consolation that this end-times promise was—we can easily surmise—literally fulfilled when the risen Jesus wiped the tears from the eyes of his stunned disciples, and perhaps his own mother.
Climbing the mountain of the Lord is indeed marked by justice and peace. But the uniqueness of this divine justice and peace is rooted in the dense fact of the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. We constantly look back at his resurrection so that we can keep our eyes on his mountain—where he will definitively “destroy death forever” and “wipe away the tears from all faces,” including ours. God’s vision for his creation is nothing less than the eradication of death. Imagine the confidence and bravery of people who know that death has been conquered. The challenge for us is to keep this hope constantly before our eyes as we keep climbing!