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Seeing Jesus in Joshua
(based on Joshua 1:1-2)



Have you 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.



In his 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 quadrillion).


I. Joshua Himself

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).



These 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.


The people could not enter the Promised Land until Moses was dead.


'For 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 Cord

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.


III. 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:


Take 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 of spirit."




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
(Matthew 28:20)










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Copyright 2011. Faith Matters by Dr. Ken Lovelace. All rights reserved.


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