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March 7 Today’s Reading: — Joshua 2-5
“The Waters of Jordan”
How often God the Holy Spirit inspired holy prophets and apostles to remind us of “the waters of Jordan.” Surely he intends for us to associate “the waters of Jordan” with our God and his great salvation wrought out for us, purchased for us, and bestowed upon us by our Lord Jesus Christ, that One of whom Joshua was a type.
In his name and in his work Joshua was an eminent type of our almighty Joshua, the Lord Jesus Christ. As we read this portion of Holy Scripture, covering a period of just a little more than twenty years, let us always read it with this in mind. Joshua typified our Lord Jesus, who saves his people from their sins. The conquest of Canaan and the division of the land to Israel by the order of God portray the accomplishment of our salvation by the grace of God and the ultimate gift of heavenly glory awaiting every chosen, redeemed sinner.
When the Lord God dried up “the waters of Jordan” and Israel crossed over on dry land, “On that day the Lord magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel.” So it was with our mighty Joshua, the Lord Jesus. It was at his baptism in “the waters of Jordan” that the triune Jehovah first began to magnify our great Joshua on the earth. Coming up from the watery grave, by which he symbolized the fulfilling of all righteousness in his death and resurrection, God the Father spoke from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” At that very time, the Holy Spirit descended from heaven.
Thus began the public ministry of our Savior, as Joshua began his by the crossing of the Jordan. In exactly the same way every believer should commence his new life in Christ, confessing the Lord Jesus in believer’s baptism. By our burial with Christ in the waters of baptism, we confess our death with him upon the cursed tree. Rising up from the watery grave, we confess that we are his, henceforth, to walk with him in the newness of life.
There is a double view of our Lord’s ministry in “the waters of Jordan.” Not only do they speak of our baptism in Christ, introducing us into the wilderness-state of temptation, warring with the world, the flesh, and the devil, “the waters of Jordan” also speak of the close of this wilderness journey. In the Jordan of death our Joshua, Jehovah-Jesus, will lead us through to our immortal possessions, prepared for us from the foundation of the world, for which he fits us by his blood atonement and his saving grace. Soon, very soon, our great Savior will graciously cause each of his own to fully inherit and possess the heavenly Canaan.
In this river, in “the waters of Jordan,” the ark of the covenant of the Lord of the whole earth once rested. Here the Lord Jesus Christ, whom the ark represented, was baptized. Here Israel passed over; and here you and I must pass over in the hour of death. How sweet and blessed in the swellings of Jordan to behold the Lord Jesus and hear his well-known voice, — “Fear not; for I have redeemed thee; I have called thee by thy name: thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee!”