You might be surprised to see Jesus being described as a man in these ways, but He was and is truly man, even as He has always been and always will be truly God. As the Messiah, our Anointed One, Jesus stood in our place as our representative and champion in every aspect of His life. He was and is our prophet who speaks the truth of God, our priest who intercedes for us and our king who reigns over us.
|Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1794-1872), |
The Battle of Jericho
Joshua was a remarkable man, one of the few men in the Old Testament who doesn't have any shameful sins recorded of him. In so many ways, he is an admirable example and a type, or foreshadowing, of Christ. He was empowered by the Holy Spirit to lead God's people to victory over fierce enemies - walled cities, giants, powerful alliances of Canaanite kings. He was provided by God for His people after an extended period of wilderness wanderings, and he brought them into the Promised Land. Joshua spoke powerful truth to the people of God, calling them away from sin and idolatry and challenging them to serve the Lord wholeheartedly.
Jesus came and fulfilled the role of Joshua but in a much better way. As wonderful as Joshua was as the leader of God's people, he did not succeed in bringing them into God's true rest. As Hebrews 4:8 says, "For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on." God still spoke and promised His people rest after Joshua was long dead and gone.
The true rest for God's people, the true Promised Land, was secured only by Jesus, after He had won victory over the true enemies of God's people. The real obstacles keeping God's people from true rest with God were not the inhabitants of Jericho or Ai but Satan and sin and death. These are far greater and deadlier enemies than the giants of the land of Canaan. For Jesus to defeat them, He had to suffer and die and unimaginable death.
Whenever we read the exciting stories of the conquest of the Promised Land under Joshua, we need to remember that Jesus is the real champion of God's people. Joshua may have seen the walls of Jericho come down, but Jesus leads His church in triumph over the very gates of Hell itself.
Lord Jesus, we thank You for Your great victory over all of our enemies. You have paid for all of our sin, defeated Satan, overthrown death and secured entrance for us into the true, eternal Promised Land. Thank You that You are our rest and our very great victory! Let us always and only rest in You. Amen.
The victory that Christ has won for us gives us every reason to rejoice this Christmas and always!