We see in Joshua a type of Christ. What does it mean to be a Type of Christ? Join me on this journey and allow the Bible to come alive to you. Throughout scripture, there are many types of Christ. Some of those types are people who walked this earth thousands of years before us. The events in their lives pointed forward to the new covenant and to Jesus Christ.
You don’t need to know these things to be a Christian or to live in the power of God. Yet, understanding the foreshadowing helps us understand what God is really about. Understanding gives us insight into His character and the way God does things- past, present, and future. Understanding increases our faith and our hope.
Joshua became the leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses. He was appointed by God, as was Jesus. Both the name Jesus and Joshua mean Savior. Joshua was a savior to the people as they advanced to their final conquest. Today, Jesus is Savior to those who follow Him to their final conquest.
Servant, a type of Christ
Joshua was a servant to Moses, for the purpose of becoming his successor. He was a faithful servant. He was submissive and obedient to the will of God. Just so, Jesus became a servant in order to lead His church. He submitted to and was obedient to the will of His Father. Joshua was a servant leader to the people.
Under Joshua’s leadership, the people crossed the Jordan River. It is in this river that Jesus Himself was baptized thousands of years later.
This river is symbolic of death. Through the blood of Jesus, we will also cross the Jordan River, where we will reach the Promised Land. When the feet of the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant touched the waters of the Jordan, the waters parted. The people passed over the Jordan at the time of year when its water was at its highest. Crossing the River symbolized freedom to the people.
Just so, crossing the Jordan River symbolizes eternal rest at last, provided by Jesus Christ.
Under Joshua’s leadership, the people conquered the walled city of Jericho. In this way, we see Joshua a type of Christ. It was not by their might or by their power that the walls of Jericho came down. It happened by the power of God. Just so, Jesus tears down the walls that surround us and have made us prisoners of our own making.
Through Joshua, Rahab and her family were saved. Rahab was an abandoned person, and symbolized the lost Gentile people. Rahab obeyed the instructions of the spies sent by Joshua. Through her faith and obedience, her entire household was saved. Joshua provided salvation and safety for her. Just so, we see in Joshua a type of Christ, for it is in Jesus Christ that we find redemption and safety.
Joshua led the people during the final days of desert-wandering, through the Jordan River and into Jericho, then on to Canaan. This is the land they had longed for those many years. As their leader, he led them triumphantly to their final conquest. Jesus has done the same for us. He leads us through turbulence, trials, turmoil, and strife straight to our Promised Land.
Conqueror, a type of Christ
That scarlet thread continues on in the life of Joshua – pointing to redemption for anyone who responds. Joshua led the people to the promised land and then gave the land to the tribes of Israel. Just so, at His resurrection, Jesus took possession of Canaan – where He is preparing mansions for each of us. Joshua was a shadow of the coming Savior. Jesus is the fulfillment of what Joshua was picturing.
Joshua came after Moses, who symbolized the law. Joshua completed what Moses set out to do. Jesus completed the law. He came to fulfill the law, to lead us daily into the Promised Land, In doing so, He conquers our enemies and gives us life. That is what Redemption is all about. Joshua symbolized redemption to the Children of Israel. Jesus is Redemption for everyone who believes on Him.
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