I find it really neat to read Old Testament stories and see physical representations of spiritual realities, which is really what the Old Testament is all about for us today.1 One such place there are such parallels is in the book of Joshua. In Hebrew, Jesus’ name is what we would translate as Joshua – they’re the same name! Therefore I looked for parallels between how God dealt with Joshua and how Joshua dealt with Israel, and how God deals with Christ and Christ deals with us. Below, in black, is the first chapter of Joshua. In blue are related New Testament scriptures which show the spiritual fulfillment of the physical representations and words that God gave to Joshua. I intend to look at more of the book of Joshua in future posts. I hope you find this as cool as I have.
(Joshua 1:1-9 WEB (R)): Now it happened after the death of Moses the servant of Yahweh, that Yahweh spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ servant, saying, “Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you, and all this people, to the land which I give to them, even to the children of Israel.
- (Galatians 4:4): “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.”
I have given you every place that the sole of your foot will tread on, as I told Moses. From the wilderness, and this Lebanon, even to the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your border. No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not fail you nor forsake you.
- (Hebrews 2:7-8): You (Father) made him (Jesus) a little lower than the angels. You crowned him with glory and honor. You have put all things in subjection under his feet.” For in that he subjected all things to him, he left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we don’t see all things subjected to him, yet.”
- (Luke 10:22): “Turning to the disciples, he said, “All things have been delivered to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is, except the Father, and who the Father is, except the Son, and he to whomever the Son desires to reveal him.”
Be strong and courageous; for you shall cause this people to inherit the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.
- (1 Corinthians 1:30): “But of Him (God) you are in Christ Jesus, who was made to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption…”
- (Romans 8:2): “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death.”
- (2 Corinthians 1:20-22): “For however many are the promises of God, in him (Jesus Christ) is the “Yes.” Therefore also through him is the “Amen,” to the glory of God through us. Now He who establishes us with you in Christ, and anointed us, is God; who also sealed us, and gave us the down payment of the Spirit in our hearts.”
- (1 John 5:11): “The testimony is this, that God gave to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”
Only be strong and very courageous, to observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded you. Don’t turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.
- (John 6:38-39): “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. This is the will of my Father who sent me, that of all he has given to me I should lose nothing, but should raise him up at the last day.”
- (John 13:34-35): A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just like I have loved you; that you also love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success.
- (John 8:28): Jesus therefore said to them, “…I do nothing of myself, but as my Father taught me, I say these things.”
- (John 4:34): Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work.”
- (John 15:4): “Remain in me, and I in you. As the branch can’t bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you, unless you remain in me.”
Haven’t I commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Don’t be afraid, neither be dismayed: for Yahweh your God is with you wherever you go.”
- (John 8: 29): “He who sent me is with me. The Father hasn’t left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.”
- (Acts 2:22): “Men of Israel, hear these words! Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved by God to you by mighty works and wonders and signs which God did by him in the midst of you, even as you yourselves know.”
- (John 6:57): “As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father; so he who feeds on me, he will also live because of me.”
Israel under Joshua “crossed over the Jordan” almost immediately, but they didn’t drive out their enemies immediately. There’s a lesson in there too. Stay tuned, I hope to be posting a bit more regularly soon. God bless you.
1. The laws and stories of the Old Testament were physical representations of spiritual realities to come later, in Christ. For a simple example, think of the lambs that were sacrificed according to Old Covenant law. These lambs had to be of a certain age and without any blemish, defect, injury, etc. Why? Because they were representative of Christ, who was sinless and represented God perfectly.
Scripture testifies to this idea in several places, such as Hebrews 8:4-5 (ESV), which says: “Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. In other words, the priests who ministered in the physical temple and followed laws and rules were acting out a physical representation of the true temple and law, which are spiritual. The true reality arrived in Christ and was fully instituted when the temple was destroyed in AD 70.