Follow the High Priest

By: David Stephens
When the Israelites arrived at the Jordan River as recorded in Joshua 3, it was their second time. Forty years earlier, their parents and grandparents had been at that place. And things didn’t go well. Instead of trusting in the Lord for safe passage into their promised land, they wanted to go back to Egypt. They had heard that the people living there were big and rough and mean. Even though the produce from the land was amazing - grapes so big it took two men to carry one cluster - they could not see past their fear.

And I guess I can’t really blame them. Their freedom was still pretty new. Their memories of slavery, of living each day in fear and defeat, still occupied space in their heads. So, God sent them back into the wilderness. They needed to learn what it meant to walk in freedom. They needed to unlearn what it meant to live as a slave. They needed to learn to lean on their Father.

So forty years later, a new generation of Israelites stood at the Jordan River. The flooded, swollen Jordan River. Some accounts say that, when at flood stage, the Jordan may be two miles wide. From that vantage point, it might as well have been the Red Sea, all over again. 

But this time, God chose to send a high priest ahead of them. As soon as the feet of the high priests, carrying the Ark of the Covenant, touched the water, the waters were pushed back. Back to the City of Adam. 

And the Israelites walked into the Promised Land on dry ground. 

Isn’t it just like God to keep reminding his children of the redemption yet to come? Isn’t it just like God to keep giving us these beautiful pictures of the redemption we have received?

Just like the Israelites, we have a Jordan to cross…every day. We have challenges, barriers, and obstacles that can keep us from the place where God is calling us. Our sin, our brokenness, our fears - they all are like a massive flood that we can’t get through.

But our Great High Priest, Jesus Christ, steps into our brokenness first, and pushes all of that mess back to the City of Adam…back to the Garden. Back to the beginning of brokenness.

His redemption covers it all.
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