Remembering Baptism: Israel’s, Jesus’s, and Yours (Joshua 3–4)
So far in Joshua, we have seen connections between Joshua and Jesus, as well as Rahab and the Church. These connections remind us how this book of history is written for us on whom the end of the ages have come (1 Corinthians 10:11; cf. Romans 15:4). Incredibly, the inspired words of the Old Testament are not just Israel’s historical chronicles; they are prophetic messages leading us to Christ (1 Peter 1:10–12).
This week we will see this pattern again.
Widening our gaze to see Israel cross the Jordan River, Joshua 3–4 shows us how God exalted Joshua by parting the waters and bringing all of Israel into the land. As we saw in this week’s sermon, the memorial of twelve stones is meant for future generations. And for us, we will see how this water passage not only reveals the character of God but also foreshadows the baptism of Jesus and our own baptisms.
You can listen to the sermon online. Response questions and further resources are available below.
- What do you see God accomplishing by these wonders? (3:5)
- How does Joshua describe the character of God? (3:9-13)
- Read Joshua 4:1–10. What do we learn about God in his emphasis on making a memorial for future generations?
- What role do God’s people have in passing on the traditions of the faith? How can we do that today?
- What are the stones of remembrance that God gives to us today? (See Matthew 26:26–29 and Matthew 28:19–20)
- Why does God dry up the Jordan River? (4:23-24)
- What is the significance of crossing the Jordan River? What images, stories, and themes are connected to this event?
- How does this “baptism” teach us about our own faith? (Hint: consider the warfare that comes after being baptized)
- What other truths are visible in this story? What might application of this narrative look like?
- Getting to Know Joshua, Son of Nun, and Joshua, Son of God: Or, 10 Things About Joshua 1
- Rahab’s Redemption: 10 Things About Joshua 2
- Reading Joshua with the Early Church: Ten Quotes from the Patristics
- Did Rahab Lie? An Exegetical Answer
- Baptism in the Jordan River: 10 Things about Joshua 3–4
Soli Deo Gloria, ds