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January 1, 2017

"A SPECIAL PASSOVER"

TEXT: Joshua 5: 10-12
READING:  John 1: 19-34

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SUBJ: The Passover that was celebrated following the crossing of Jordan into the promise land and the fact that it initiated the new life wherein the promises of the Lord were to be realized thus pointing to Christ our Passover and the life that is ever renewing in Him.

AIM: That we might ever be looking to the task ahead undergirded by the faith of God’s elect and claiming the spiritual holding that is given us in Him.

INTR: The book of Joshua truly marks a new beginning for the children of Israel in that the promise given them is brought to fruition and a new way is introduced.
1. We are ever reminded of the long journey which returned them to the land where Abraham had sojourned hundreds of years before.
2. They had come from being tent dwellers in the land, to prisoners in Egypt, to sojourners in the wilderness and now, at long last, to the entrance into the Land of Promise.
3. It is here we pick up the story and try to connect it with the pictures it suggests in the life of believers and the life they have in Christ our Lord.

THESIS: Every day in Christ is a new beginning and His compassions are new every morning. Even as these, we are led by one fully capable of carrying out the necessary duties to a land fully furnished with all that we shall ever need.

I. Encamped at Gilgal (v. 10)
1. They had been in the area for some time as they waited for the passing of Moses and the institution of Joshua as their leader.
1) Promise was made: Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. Joshua 1:3.
2) Instructions were in place: This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Joshua 1:8
3) Encouragement was offered: Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9.
2. The crossing of Jordan
1) The role of the priests, the Ark, and the distance of the people from the Ark (2000 cubits)
2) The stones that were removed and the message regarding them.
3) The return of the waters
4) The fear of the inhabitants of the Land
5) The circumcision of the males that had come through the wilderness.
3. It had now been forty years since the Passover meal had been eaten in Egypt and now, on the same day it was observed for the first time in the Land.
1) They had been redeemed from out of Egypt and into the Land of the Lord’s design
2) May we be reminded that every day forward is one purchased to us by the Blood of the Lamb.

II. The food from a new source (vv. 11-12)
1. They entered the Land preparing for battle (we are reminded that Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh came armed for battle).
1) Provisions were waiting following the Passover – they partook of the abandoned food of the Land – after all it was theirs for the taking.
2) The life of faith comes with the promise of all that is needed to pursue assigned tasks.
2. The manna ceased:
1) It had been a precious type of Christ as He acknowledged (see John 6).
2) But, it was there day by day – they needed only to pick it up.
3) It was no longer needed as the Land was one flowing with milk and honey.

III. Eating of the fruit of the Land (v. 12)
1. They were, no doubt reminded of Moses: 10 And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, 11 And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; Deuteronomy 6:10-11
2. Many suggest that the picture is that of entering Heaven and the glorious provision it holds and that is not without merit as a thought.
3. But, we are likewise provided with supplies for the journey and nourishment to finish the course: (from Gill)
1) The eternal love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
2) Electing grace and the provisions of grace and the providing which is of grace in every way.
3) The everlasting covenant of grace sealed by the Blood of Christ our Lord.
4) All the attendant blessing of Grace that assure and comfort our hearts in every way.
4. But, above all is the promise of His presence to protect, to preserve and to bring us everlasting delight as we share in His joy and peace.