Jesus in Joshua
(based on Joshua 1:1-2)
ever noticed how ticket agents at the airport don't trust
us to be who we claim to be? They want to see photo IDs.
When Christ showed up claiming to be the Messiah, a lot
of people didn't trust Him, but He had a picture of Himself
drawn with remarkable accuracy over hundreds of years in
the Old Testament. He appealed to fulfilled messianic prophecy
to demonstrate the validity of His claims (John 5:39-47).
It was His photo ID. Even in the Book of Joshua, for example,
we see at least three glimpses of Jesus.
book, Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Josh McDowell
states, "The Old Testament contains over 300 references
to the Messiah that were fulfilled in Jesus," which,
he says, "establishes the fact of God, authenticates
the deity of Jesus, and [proves] the inspiration of the
Bible." McDowell lists 61 specific messianic prophecies
and shows how they were fulfilled hundreds of years after
they were spoken, and he points out that Peter Stoner, in
his book Science Speaks, says that according to scientifically
accepted laws of probability, the odds against just eight
of the prophecies being fulfilled are one chance in ten
to the 17th power (100,000,000,000,000,000 -- one hundred
Jesus and Joshua shared the
same name. Jesus is the Greek version of the Hebrew Joshua.
According to Numbers 13, Joshua was originally called Hoshea,
but Moses changed his name. Why? Hoshea in Hebrew means
May Jehovah Save. Joshua means Jehovah Is Salvation.
Moses was led to strengthen Hoshea's name to make it more
solid, more durable, and more certain as a personal name,
perhaps for the coming Messiah (Matt. 1:21).
two men not only shared the same name; but they also had
a similar task. Joshua took over after the Law-giver had
died and led the people into the future that God had planned
for them. Bible teacher Paul Van Gorder says this, "The
book begins with the words, 'Now after the death of Moses'".
. . . Moses represented the law.
could not enter the Promised Land until Moses was dead.
what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the
flesh, God sending His own Son
in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin
in the flesh, that the righteousness
of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after
the flesh but after the Spirit'
(Rom. 8:3, 4).
Joshua led the children of
Israel to victory after crossing the Jordan. He was their
advocate in time of defeat. It was Joshua who allotted them
their portions within the land. All of this beautifully
pictures the work of the Lord," without the death of
Whom we cannot enter our Promised Land or claim the portion
allotted to us.
II. Rahab's Crimson
The second picture of
Jesus is found in a coil of scarlet rope in Joshua 2. In
that chapter, two spies secretly entered Jericho and were
hidden by a prostitute named Rahab. She had a crimson cord
that she tied to the window of her house, which was on the
city wall, so the men could rappel down and escape. She
said to them, "I know you're going to capture this
city. I know God is with you. Please spare me and my family."
In reply, the two spies told her to tie the scarlet cord
to the window and to bring her family into that room.
It would be the only place
of safety during the invasion. What a picture of Christ!
This world will be invaded by the judgment of God (Acts
17:30-31), and there is only one place can we find deliverance.
Just as the Israelites in Egypt were told to remain in their
houses with the crimson blood of the lamb on the doorposts,
just as Rahab was told to remain in her room with the crimson
cord in the window, so we must be under the power of the
crimson blood of Christ; only then will we be safe from
the coming onslaught that will fall on those not hidden
behind the crimson blood of the Lamb.
Can you imagine how diligently
Rahab sought to get her loved ones into that room? The invasion
was imminent, and nothing else mattered to her except to
get her father and mother, her brothers and sisters and
their children, into that upper room.
It's the same sort of diligence
we see in the apostle Paul as he scurried about the Roman
Empire, begging everyone he met to come to Christ for salvation.
It's a picture of the burden we should have for our own
loved ones who do not know Christ.
The Captain of the Lord's Host
We also have a special pre-incarnate
appearance of Jesus in Joshua 5. Joshua meets one who calls
himself the "Captain of the Lord's Hosts." When
Joshua realized he was speaking with the Lord Himself, he
asked, "What message do you have
for me?" Instead of imparting military advice,
the Captain said:
off your shoes. The place where you are standing is holy.
That harkens back to Joshua
1:3, where the Lord promised to be everywhere that Joshua
set his feet. The pillar of cloud may vanish, and the column
of fire may be extinguished, but God's presence was just
as real as ever. Your living room is holy ground, for Jesus
is there. Your bedroom is holy ground. Your office is holy
ground. Your classroom is holy ground, for everywhere you
go, Jesus is there.
When Brother Lawrence, a Carmelite
mystic, was assigned to the monastery kitchen, he was unhappy
until he realized one day that even the most menial tasks,
if undertaken for God's glory, are holy; and wherever the
Christian stands -- even in a hot, thankless kitchen --
is holy ground, for the Lord is there, too.
It was said about Brother Lawrence:
"In the great hurry of business in the kitchen, he
still preserved his recollection and heavenly-mindedness.
He was never hasty nor loitering, but did each thing in
its season, with an even, uninterrupted composure and tranquility
Joshua went forth with
a newfound confidence, knowing that even if he could not
see the Lord, the Lord was hovering near with His divine
armies, ready to fight on his behalf, even as our Lord Jesus
Christ said as He ascended into heaven,
Lo, I am with you
always, even to the end of the world