WITH warm interest and abiding faith and love we have seen that Moses, the mediator of the first covenant, and Christ, the Mediator of the last covenant, as type and Antitype, died in their flesh because of sin, and slept in the silent tomb. There we left Moses, who then ceased to be a type of Jesus. The only hope of the children of the promise and heirs of the covenant depends upon the resurrection of the buried Christ, as the Head and Life of the people of the everlasting covenant. But we rejoice in faith that David said, that this covenant of God is ordered in all things and sure. And so the dear Son of man told his chosen disciples that he must die, and the third day rise again. The last was as sure as the first. For both the death and the resurrection of the dead were ordained of God. It was the disobedience of man that brought death upon him. This death includes the whole man, his body. God buried the body of Moses, and he gave the body of his beloved Son an honorable burial. So likewise it was the obedience of Man that obtained the resurrection of the dead. Where no sin is, death cannot hold its prisoner. The law of justice will certainly bring the imprisoned debtor out of the prison house, when his debt is paid. Well, when the spotless Man on the cross cried, "It is finished," his righteous obedience was full, the debt of all his brethren was paid, and sin was ended for ever. The righteousness of God, and the justice of his holy law, demanded that Christ and all his people shall be raised up out of the graves in newness of life. The power of God, by which he is able even to subdue all things unto himself, will perform this glorious work, in which God and his Son will be glorified world without end. For as sin brings us in our own bodies down into the grave, our last prison house, so it is just as certain that, because Christ made an end of our sins, having put them away by the sacrifice of himself, he will raise up our sleeping bodies out of death, by the power of his resurrection. To deny this would be to make his righteous obedience less in its extent and power than our sin of disobedience, and would be equal to saying that his payment was less than our debt. With holy Paul we exclaim, 'God forbid." For this would be a clear denial of the perfection and efficacy of our dear Lord's atonement. Paul assures us that we shall be raised up in the likeness of Christ's resurrection. And we know that it was his buried body that revived and arose, and was received up into glory.
Now this leads us to see if it is not true that the God of salvation has graciously given his people a man to succeed Moses, as a type of the risen and living Christ. Yes, this is true! and this one is Joshua. His name means, Jesus, Jehovah is salvation. "And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it. And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be discouraged."
"And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses. Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. * * * There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee."
The Lord thus raised up Joshua, and made him the successor of his servant Moses, to lead his people out of the wilderness, through Jordan, and give them their inheritance, according to the promise of God. In this office Joshua was faithful. In all the above words of Moses, and of the Lord to Joshua, we see in him a blessed type of the risen and living Christ. O how faithfully the victorious Jesus fulfilled all these words spoken to Joshua, his type!
It is remarkable, that in the life time of Moses Joshua was his minister, and often he only went with Moses into the presence of the Lord, to hear his words to Moses. And when the Lord called Moses up to him on Sinai the first time, he called Joshua his minister with him. And they were there in the holy presence of God forty days and nights. So when the Lord God wrote the ten commandments upon the two tables of stone with his own finger, and gave them to Moses, Joshua was there with him as his minister, and he heard all the laws and instructions of the Lord to Moses. How greatly Joshua was thus favored and honored of God, in being taken into this sacred communion with him as the faithful minister of Moses! Not Aaron himself, the brother of Moses and the high priest, was thus honored. And how sacredly the Lord thus qualified Joshua to lead his people over Jordan into Canaan, after the death of Moses. In all this ministry of Joshua we have a beautiful type of Jesus, and are shown that he was with Moses in the holy mount Sinai, and in all the way, to minister to him. And because the Lord, the minister of the true tabernacle, was with Moses, the leader of Israel, they were safe.
Then, after the death of Moses, the living Joshua, Jesus the Savior, triumphantly brought the people of God into his kingdom, to worship him.
"And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee." That day Joshua and all Israel passed over Jordan, its banks being overflowed; but the Lord divided the waters, and they went through it on dry land; then the waters returned, as before. This was another wonderful deliverance, as at the Red sea. Each of them shows us a great truth in type. The baptism unto Moses in the sea teaches the deliverance of the Lord's people from the bondage of Satan, sin and death through the blood of the atonement, as we have seen. Their baptism unto Joshua in Jordan, and going up out of it with him to serve the Lord in the promised inheritance, is the divine assurance that, as we passed from death unto life through the death of our spiritual Joshua, as shown at the Red sea, so now we shall be saved by his risen life; that, being dead with Christ unto sin, we shall live with him unto righteousness.
Therefore, the passing through Jordan of the Israelites under the authority of Joshua, their new and living leader, represented gospel baptism under the divine authority of the risen and reigning Christ. And gospel baptism is God's promise and assurance to every believer in Jesus that, having raised up Christ from the dead, and quickened us together with Christ, he will also quicken our mortal bodies by his Spirit of life that dwelleth in us. These are God's sure promises, and they are glorious truths and divine realities, which will not disappoint us.
Thus we see that, in the persons of Moses and Joshua, God has blessedly shown us the wonderful power, faithfulness and victory of his glorious Son in the salvation of his people.
Joshua organized and established the kingdom of God in Canaan, and under him the Lord put his redeemed people in the possession of their rich inheritance. In this he was a worthy type of the Head of the church, the Lord Jesus. But Canaan was a militant kingdom; for the Canaanites still dwelt in the land, and they fought against the Israelites; but Joshua was the captain of the Lord's hosts, and the God of Abraham gave him the victory, and their warring enemies were subdued. Those of them that were not slain, were subjected to the children of Israel, and made to pay them tribute. But it came to pass, that when Israel was weak, and the Canaanites were strong, they vexed Israel; but again, when the Israelites were strong, they then put the Canaanites under tribute, and made them hewers of wood and drawers of water; yet they could not utterly drive them out of the land.
Now these were our examples, for all this was typical, and it is fulfilled in the gospel Canaan. We have followed the children of Israel from their worst of slavery in Egypt to their happy inheritance in the liberty of Canaan. How great the change in their state! Dark Egypt, the fearful Red sea, the great and terrible wilderness, the fiery Sinai, the bitter lamentations, hunger and thirst, the alarming unbelief, the merited judgments and correcting chastisements of their faithful God, and the overflowing Jordan, were all behind them, while inviting and beautiful Canaan spread out before them, now their own home, and their beloved Joshua was with them. Thus viewing them, when he had led them to the border of the good land, Moses in his wonderful song said, "Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency! and thy enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places."
How happily this is fulfilled to the Lord's saved people in the gospel kingdom of grace, where, not Joshua, but Jesus reigns. The beloved apostle John says, "And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer." This is the crowned Son of man.
"O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom." This is our gospel Joshua, and this is our Beloved.
So did Joshua, his type, rule in Israel by the mighty power of the Lord of hosts, and fed the flock of God in Canaan upon the fat of the land. And as the Lord was with Moses, to honor and bless him, so was he with Joshua, his successor, whom he exalted in Israel. and subdued their enemies by him.
"And it came to pass, that when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a Man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as Captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant? And the Captain of the LORD'S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so." This was the Messenger of the covenant, the Man whom God made strong for himself, the Captain of salvation. He appeared unto Moses in the burning bush, type of the church; he was with Moses and Joshua in the mount Sinai; he was with Joshua in the war in Canaan, and made him victorious over his adversaries; and he is in the midst of the church, and reigns in Zion.
The Lord gave his saved people rest in the promised land, a blessed rest from cruel bondage. And they were happily made to say, "The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad." But Canaan was not heaven, and their warfare was not ended, but they must war a good warfare under their conquering deliverer, their honored captain, Joshua, whom God had given them to save them.
Much more is this true in the gospel kingdom, under the righteous reign of Grace by our Lord Jesus Christ, who "must reign until he hath put all enemies under his feet" - under the church. When the children of Zion are baptized in the faith of their living Savior, the risen King in Zion, so great is the mercy and favor of God to them, that they are ready to think that their fightings and fears and troubles are past; that, being made free from the dominion of sin, their worst foe, and justified from all things, they shall be carried above all sin and temptation and pain. This is indeed a sweet foretaste of the joys that await us beyond the valley of the shadow of death, when that which is in part is done away, and that which is perfect is come.
But how sorrowful the realization that the Canaanites still dwell in the land, and that we are now soldiers of the Cross, and must endure hardness and fight the good fight of faith, before we enter into glory. It is in this militant state of the kingdom of God, and through this great fight of afflictions, that he teaches his children that where sin abounded, grace did much more abound, and that Christ is able to save to the uttermost them that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. Paul assures us that in all the warfare, perils and dangers, we are more than conquerors through Christ our Savior, who loved us. And so his strength is made perfect in the weakness of his people. He reigns victorious over heaven and earth.
So the Lord was with Joshua, and he gave Israel the victory over their enemies. The time having come when he should depart, he called for all Israel, and gave them his last words, among which we read: "Cleave unto the LORD your God, as ye have done unto this day. For the LORD hath driven out from before you great nations and strong: but as for you, no man hath been able to stand before you unto this day. One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the LORD your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you. Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God. * * * And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one good thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof."
In all this is seen the power and faithfulness and loving kindness of the Lord unto his people, whom he hath redeemed. This was true under Joshua, and it is blessedly true under Jesus. His last words to his brethren are full of encouragement and comfort, as were the parting words of Joshua, and he said, in closing, "These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
Elder David Bartley
"The Christ-Man in Type