Death a Sleep
Mark 5:21-43
And when Jesus was passed over again by ship to the other side, much people gathered to him: and he was near to the sea.…

Homer fittingly calls sleep "the brother of death"; they are so much alike. On the lips of Jesus, however, the word sleep acquires a richer and mightier import than it ever possessed before. Amply has His use of the term been justified in the last hour of tens of thousands of his devout followers. They laid themselves down to die, not as those who dread the night because of the remembrance of hours when, like Job, they were "scared with dreams" and "terrified through visions," but like tired labourers, to whom night is indeed a season of peaceful refreshment. And how imperceptibly they sank into their last slumber! Their transition was so mild and gradual, that it was impossible for those who stood round their dying pillow to say exactly when it took place. There was no struggle, no convulsion. The angel of death spread his wide, white wings meekly over them, and then, with a smile upon their pallid countenance, serene and lovely as heaven itself, they closed their eyes on all terrestrial objects, and fell asleep in Jesus. And that sleep is as profound throughout as it was tranquil at the beginning. The happy fireside and the busy exchange — the halls of science and the houses of legislation — the oft-frequented walk and the holy temple — are nothing to them now. Suns rise and set, stars travel and glisten; but they see them not; tempests howl, thunders roll and crash; but they hear them not. Nothing can disturb those slumbers, "till the day dawn and the shadows flee away." Then will the voice of the archangel sweep over God's acre, and awake them all. Oh, wondrous awaking! what momentous consequences hang on thee!

(Edwin Davies.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was nigh unto the sea.

WEB: When Jesus had crossed back over in the boat to the other side, a great multitude was gathered to him; and he was by the sea.

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