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MinistryMessages
October 26, 2011
This entry is part 935 of 3099 in the series Daily Words for the Christian Life
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“Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from every tribe, and command them, saying, ‘Take for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet stood firm. You shall carry them over with you and leave them in the lodging place where you lodge tonight.’”
— Joshua 4:2-3

Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
— Romans 6:4

The Lord told Joshua to have twelve men, one from each tribe, pick up twelve stones from the river where the priests who were holding the ark stood and to bring them to the shore (Josh. 4:1–3). The stones were brought out of the river to be a testimony at Gilgal. Then Joshua set up another twelve stones in the dry riverbed where the priests bearing the ark were standing (v. 9). Thus, there were to be two memorials of twelve stones each. Once the priests bearing the ark came up out of the riverbed, the water returned.

Our experience of this is expressed by Paul: “We were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). We should experience death and burial, represented by the stones set up in the riverbed. We should also experience resurrection, represented by the stones brought out of the river and set up in Gilgal.

Baptism is a symbol of both burial and resurrection (Col. 2:12). Being placed in the water indicates being buried, and coming out of the water indicates being brought into resurrection. When it comes to the spiritual warfare to gain Christ as our good land, however, resurrection is first, then death (Phil. 3:10).

Adapted from Joshua: A Life of Service, page 46.

Tomorrow: “Two Memorials (2)”

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