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The Crossing of the Jordan
Joshua 3:11-13 “Behold, the
ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing over before you
Yes, that was the promise the priests were relying on as they stepped into those raging waters.
Quite literally, it was a step of faith.
In the absence of an absolute miracle, those brave men would have been swept away.
And that would be the principle that must prevail throughout the entire
They must trust the Lord in the face of impossible circumstances.
And it is a principle that must prevail in the life of a Christian if he is to experience any meaningful victories.
He must step out in complete dependence upon the Lord’s enablement, rather than his own.
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But this marvellous crossing also paints another picture.
It is a picture of a Person rather than a principle.
In fact, it is a picture of our Lord Jesus Christ as He hung upon the cross.
Let’s continue reading in Joshua 3:14-17.
“So it was, when the people
set out from their camp to cross over the Jordan, with the priests bearing the
ark of the covenant before the people, and as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the
priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan
overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest), that the waters which came down from upstream
stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan. So the waters that went down into the
Sea of the Arabah, the
On the one side of the ark, the
On the other side, the riverbed was completely empty, all the way
It was as if a mighty dam had been placed across the river.
And if you look at the ark as a type of the Lord Jesus Christ, a picture begins to form.
Yes, here we see our blessed Lord holding back that tremendous weight of sin that had piled up way back to Adam.
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V17 “Then the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until all the people had crossed completely over the Jordan.”
Yes, the priests “stood firm on dry ground.”
And when a believer takes his stand on the solid rock of Christ’s salvation, not one drop of judgment will ever fall upon him.
All of his sins, indeed, the sins of the whole world have been borne by his blessed Saviour.
And the ark remained in the middle of the
Not a single member of God’s chosen people would be left behind on the other shore, or would be engulfed in that mighty flood.
That is also true of every believer who has trusted in Christ’s salvation.
Yes, in John 10:28-29, Jesus has given us this double assurance.
“And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand."My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.”
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Joshua 4:11 “Then it came to pass, when all the people had completely crossed over, that the ark of the LORD and the priests crossed over in the presence of the people.”
No, the ark did not remain at the bottom of the
It rose out of that river of death to lead God’s people from one victory to another.
And Christians also serve a risen Saviour - a Saviour Who ever liveth to make intercession for them . . . their mighty Joshua Who is able to lead them from one victory to another.
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But there’s more.
Before the waters of the
Joshua 4:1-3 “And it came to pass, when all the people had completely crossed over the Jordan, that the LORD spoke to Joshua, saying: "Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from every tribe, "and command them, saying, ‘Take for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet stood firm. You shall carry them over with you and leave them in the lodging place where you lodge tonight.”
It wouldn’t be long before the place where the priests had stood would be covered, but it wouldn’t be forgotten.
No, the very stones on which the priests’ feet had rested would be piled up upon the shore as a perpetual memorial.
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And even though many years have rolled by since the Lord Jesus hung on that cross, His sacrifice is not forgotten.
Every Lord’s Day, as believers celebrate the breaking of bread, His broken body and His precious blood are remembered until that glorious day when He will return to take them home.
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