DAY ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTEEN : Joshua 3 v. 1 – 5 v. 12; Luke 22 v. 1 – 38; Psalm 50 v. 1 – 15
Crossing the Jordan – the Israelites camp by the Jordan, and Joshua give instructions for them to follow the Ark of the Covenant (at a healthy distance). The Israelites consecrate themselves, ‘for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.’
Joshua is given the promise that he will be exalted as leader among the people, and that God will prove He is with Joshua just as He was with Moses.
The priests are instructed to carry the Ark to the water’s edge and stand in the river.
The Israelites are told that, as a sign that they will inherit the land they are about to enter, the Ark of the Covenant out in front, the waters of the Jordan river will part, as the priests enter it.
The waters part, from a town called Adam (mmm, the first man), and stop the flow right down to the Dead Sea.
‘So the people crossed over opposite Jericho.’
The priests stand firm in the centre of the river Jordan, as the people passed by; so, all the nation of Israel cross the river.
Just as God had parted the Red Sea, now the Jordan is parted, so God’s people can cross – God is with Joshua ‘as He was’ with Moses.
One person from each tribe (twelve in total) is charged to bring a stone (from the middle of the Jordan), and lay them where all Israel then spend the night. These stones are to be a permanent reminder of God’s faithfulness and their crossing the Jordan.
‘The stones are there to this day…’
Around 40,00 men, ready for battle, crossed the Jordan that day.
As God had promised, Joshua is exalted as their leader, ‘and they revered him all the days of his life, just as they had revered Moses’.
As soon as the priests set foot on the other side of the Jordan, the waters return to their place.
The people walked up to Gilgal, on the eastern border of Jericho, camped there, and set the twelve stones in place – the permanent reminder of God’s faithfulness :
‘so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.’
Circumcision at Gilgal – the generation of Israelites that entered the Promised Land had not been circumcised ‘on the way’; the previous generation, who were denied their Promised Land, had been circumcised in Egypt. So, once in the land, Joshua has all the men circumcised, and they stay in the camp at Gilgal (which means ‘ ‘until they were healed’.
Wow – what a painful start to life in the Promised Land.
Then the Israelites celebrate the Passover, and enjoy, for the first time, the produce of the land, and from that day, the manna stopped.
The manna has been a constant supply from the Lord throughout the forty years – time for a change of diet!
Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus – The feast of unleavened bread is approaching….the temple leaders are looking for a way to ‘get rid of Jesus’….Judas is gripped by Satan who leads him to the chief priests and temple guards and he discusses with them ‘how he might betray Jesus’….there’s an exchange of money, and the stage is set for the ultimate betrayal….they look for a time when Jesus is away from the crowds, for they ‘fear the people’.
The Last Supper – it’s the day of the passover celebration, and Jesus sends Peter and John ahead of Him to ensure all is prepared. They are to follow a man carrying a water jar (pre-arranged sign, or prophetic God-incidence?) – and are led to a furnished upper room which is set aside for ‘the Teacher’ and His disciples.
Jesus reclines at the table with the apostles – He indicates this is His last supper (until ‘its fulfilment in the kingdom of God’).
Jesus takes the cup, gives thanks and shares it amongst them with the words ‘I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’
Then Jesus takes the bread, gives thanks, and breaks it : ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’
Then Jesus takes the wine, and says : ‘This cup is the covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.’
Jesus also reveals He is about to be betrayed : ‘The hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table.’
How inappropriate that around this table they argue amongst themselves about which of them is the greatest !!
Jesus’ response : ‘the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules likes the one who serves’, for Jesus Himself, The Greatest, is amongst them as a servant.
‘I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.’ WOW !!
Then there’s an interesting little paragraph about Simon Peter – Jesus tells him that Satan has had his eye on him, but that Jesus is praying Peter’s faith will not fail him. Peter swears allegiance to Jesus : ‘I am ready to go with you to prison and to death’. Then he has to hear Jesus predict his three-times denial ‘before the cock crows’ (i.e. before this night is truly done).
The last section truly puzzles me – I’ve never really noticed what seems to be a ‘call to arms’ by Jesus, that they’ll need their swords with them as they leave. ‘If you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one’. The disciples count up and discover they’ve only got two swords between them, and Jesus says, ‘That’s enough’.
I find my study bible helpful here :
‘The situation of the disciples had completely changed from the days when Jesus sent them out in the flush of popular support (10 v. 1 – 7). Then they could expect hospitality. Now they must support themselves and face hostility. Jesus’ instruction to buy a sword was not to be taken literally. It was a grim way of emphasizing the opposition they would face. When the disciples misunderstood Him, Jesus did not try to correct them. He simply made the ironic statement, ‘It is enough’ (that’s how the KJV finishes this episode, rather than ‘That is enough.’), perhaps meaning ‘Enough talk about swords’!
God is a mighty God, who owns the every animal of the forest, and the cattle on a thousand hills…
‘Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honour me.’