Joshua 4:9 And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day. :10 For the priests which bare the ark stood in the midst of Jordan, until every thing was finished that the LORD commanded Joshua to speak unto the people, according to all that Moses commanded Joshua: and the people hasted and passed over.
Yesterday we talked about the 12 stones that were carried out of Jordan and set up in the promise land. Today we find that there are another 12 stones mentioned that Joshua took down into the river Jordan and left there. I want to Illustrate a New Testament truth with this Old Testament story. It's been said that the Bible is its own best commentary and I couldn't agree more. When rightly divided, the Word of God explains its self and also illustrates its self. Today we find another Illustration of Jesus through the life and ministry of Joshua.
Let us contrast the the differences between the ones coming out of Jordan and the ones going into Jordan. Notice that the ones that were brought out were brought out by 12 men of Israel, notice: Joshua 4:4 Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel,...
These were 12 men, one from each tribe, that Joshua called out for the specific purpose of pulling out the 12 stones to build a memorial in Canaan. It was their divine purpose and ministry to pass through Jordan with their Captain and pull out these stones.
This first set of stones remind me of the ministry of the Apostles,can you see the resemblances? Jesus at the beginning of His ministry here on earth went and called out 12 men. These twelve were called out for the divine purpose of building a memorial to God's deliverance. You say what memorial did they build? The church dear friend. They are our church fathers. What is the church if it is not a memorial and a testimony to the deliverance of God threw the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus. These Apostles are the foundation stones of the church, notice: Ephesians 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; :20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; :21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: :22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
I see the ministry of the Apostles in the 12 men passing threw Jordan. They passed threw the death waters to build a memorial for the generations to come. The 12 Apostles Jesus called, passed through the death waters to set a foundation for the church.(When I say church I'm referring to every born again believer from any denomination). All the Apostles died as martyrs except John, and it was not for lack of trying. They dipped him in boiling oil and stranded him on the isle of Patmos where he wrote The Revelation Of Jesus Christ. We know Jesus is our chief cornerstone but the apostles ministry isn't forgotten in heaven and we shouldn't forget it here on earth. It was through their preaching that the gospel got to where you were. Every generation has passed on the story of Gods deliverance from death threw Jesus Christ, down to where you are today and that is the work of the church. We are the building fitly framed together on the chief cornerstone and foundation of the apostles and prophets.
Look now to the ones placed in the Jordan. There were not 12 men that took and buried them in the Jordan but it was the ministry of their captain to bear a stone for each tribe. He had no help but he bore the load of twelve stones one after another into that river of death and left them there never to be seen again. I see the ministry of Jesus in this account. Just like Joshua carrying the load for every tribe represented, Jesus took on himself the sins of the whole world, he bore our burden to Calvary and not just for some but for every tribe represented not only in Israel but in the whole world. Jesus passed through the death waters because there was some things that needed to come out(the church) and some things that needed to go in(our sins). Twelve stones came out for the whole world to see and twelve stones went in never to be seen again. Jesus passed trough the death waters bearing the sins for every man woman boy and girl and He left them there. He cast them into the sea of forgetfulness. Our sins where buried with Christ. Joshua came trough Jordan but left the stones there. Jesus came through death but left our sins there. When we are saved we are buried with Him and raised in newness of life. Our old man dies(sin) and the new man resurrects. Notice:
Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Collisions 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
Jesus buried our sins never to be seen again. That's the work that only He could do.
Joshua was there until it was finished."For the priests which bare the ark stood in the midst of Jordan, until every thing was finished that the LORD commanded Joshua to speak unto the people, according to all that Moses commanded Joshua: and the people hasted and passed over."
He passed through keeping the commandments of God and Moses(the law). Our heavenly Joshua passed through death keeping the commandments of God and the law never once breaking one. He said on Calvary "it is finished." Jesus brought us out and then went in with our sin and shame and wickedness and left them there. Then He rising from the grave defeated death, hell and the grave.
I hope I've not labored these verses to much but I can't help but see the ministry of Jesus burying our sins in these buried stones.
Praise God my sins are gone!!
Onward Christian Soldier!!