Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Joshua: Where Christ is found

Christ in Joshua: Where Christ is found:

1. “Moses my servant is dead” –Moses represents the Law. Joshua represents Christ. Moses (the law) must be superseded by Joshua (Jesus) to lead us into inheritance. The list of conquered kings in Joshua 12 show how Joshua superseded Moses. Moses conquered two kings, Sihon and Og, while Joshua conquered 31 kings (12:24). Moses, who received the Law, could not command the obedience of the people. Joshua, who was a man of faith, easily commanded the obedience of the people. What the Law was powerless to do, Christ did (Romans 8:3; 7:7-13).The Law instructs us on God’s standards and promises and demonstrates to us our sinfulness. Christ alone can lead us into the inheritance that is ours. “Not by works so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:9). Christ longs to lead us into all that He purchased for us on the cross. If only we would fully follow Him! It takes both Moses and Joshua together to show us by types the finished work of Christ.

2. Joshua’s death – Joshua in his death is compared to several who went before him. His obituary in Joshua 24:29-33 compares the man Joshua to the prophet Moses, making Joshua to look like a prophet. Joshua is also compared to Joseph (Joshua 24:32). Like Joseph, Joshua died at age 110, and Joshua buried Joseph’s bones in the Promised Land. Therefore, Joshua in his death is portrayed like a Royal Joseph, that is, a king (Genesis 49:10). Eleazar the high priest stood with Joshua when the land was divided among the tribes (Joshua 14:1; 21:1). Eleazar’s death and burial place are similar to Joshua’s (Joshua 24:33). Therefore Joshua’s obituary includes the idea of a priest as well. Therefore the text leads us toward Someone beyond Joshua who was like Moses, a prophet; like Eleazar, a high priest; and like Joseph, a king, directly pointing to the Man Yeshua who fulfilled all those roles in one.

3. The scarlet cord which provided safety for Rahab and her house (Joshua 2:17-21) shows the safety provided through the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 9:19-22). And Rahab is found in the genealogy of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:5).

4. Epiphany Appearance of Christ to Joshua as Captain of the Lord of Hosts. (Joshua 5:13-15). .While reconnoitering the first target bastion called Jericho, Joshua a military general ran into a man wielding a sword. Joshua saluted him: "Friend or foe?" The answer startled the officer: "Neither, but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come" (Joshua 5:14). Joshua's salute then changed to a bow to the ground, asking the commander's orders. They were surprising: "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy" (Joshua 5:15). Joshua willingly obliged and learned two important ground rules of waging war YHWH's way: First, God does not side with anyone. He creates his own side and demands everyone else to submit to his person and purpose. "This heavenly leader owed no allegiance to any people or city. He served the Most High. He outranked all skirmishing factions of earth. Joshua had not recruited God. God had recruited Joshua." He comes not to take sides, but to take over. We, therefore look for the purposes of God. (Joshua 5:13-15).

5. At the crossing of the Jordan River (Joshua 3), it was the time of its annual overflow. The people of Jericho must have thought it impossible to cross or they would have marshaled an army to oppose them. There were no bridges and only a few fords that were impassable during that time of year, the spring, the time of Passover and of the death and resurrection of our Lord. It was in this impossible crossing situation, during the Passover season, that the Ark of the Covenant leading the children of Israel all passed over the Jordan, its waters being stopped, reminiscent of the Red Sea crossing. The waters backed at a place upstream called Adam (Joshua 3:16). Meanwhile just opposite Jericho, a type of the gates of hell which cannot stand against Him, of strongholds to be demolished (2 Corinthians 10:3-5) the Israelites crossed over on dry ground to the Promised Land. It was in that spot on the Jordan that John the Baptizer would chose to preach and baptize for repentance, preparing the way for the Lord. It was here that Jesus was baptized by John, opening his ministry to stop the flood of the sin of Adam against people so that they can now “cross over” to the Promised Land of new life in Christ.

6. The Ark of the Covenant went before the people across the Jordan river bed first to prepare the way and “open the gate” for Israel to take possession of that which God had given them. Then the Ark watched over them as a shepherd as the children of Israel came into the Promised Land. In the same way, Christ is the gate and the shepherd, going before us in baptism and becoming “sin for us,” so that we can follow Him in safety and provision to take possession of that which God has given us.