Old Testament Reading: Joshua 7 & 8
Psalms Reading: Psalm 98
New Testament Reading on Jesus: John 20
Remember what Jesus accomplished today and all that that entails. Remember his faithfulness to finish the work God gave him on earth.
Now remember what God did. Remember that it was God’s plan of salvation to save us through his son. His right hand and his holy arm have gained the victory for Him!
God has made known to us our salvation!
The Seas and all that is in them know it and resound! The rivers know it and clap! The mountains know it and sing together for joy at his marvelous works!
Do we know it?
Do we realize that God’s plan of salvation is fulfilled through Jesus? Do we fully grasp what that means?
It means that if we are his, we are kingdom bound, and no one can snatch us out of his hand.
Salvation has been made known by God, and he’s done it through covenants. God offers the opportunity for his people to be saved by remaining faithful to the covenants he makes with them. The last, final, “goal” covenant God has made, and will make with his people, is the New Covenant through Jesus.
Before Jesus’s covenant, bringing the hope of entering into the Kingdom of God, God worked through other covenants with his people to give them good things.
It is no surprise to me that God chose Joshua (Jesus), whose name means, “Yahweh is salvation,” to bring his children into the land promised. Although it was Moses who was the mediator of the covenant that God made with them, the plan of salvation for Israel was fulfilled through Joshua.
Just prior to delivering Jericho over to them, God made another covenant with his people through Joshua. This covenant involved being faithful to refrain from taking the devoted things from the city, so that God’s people would not covet. If they violated this command, God said they would have trouble.
One man did violate this covenant, and through this one man’s sin, all the children of Israel were held liable for destruction (hmmm, sounds familiar).
God was faithful to do what he said he’d do regarding the breaking of this covenant. He turned away from his people because of the sin of one man amongst the many, and trouble ensued. But another man, Joshua, led the people to repent (hmmm, this also sounds familiar). God accepted this repentance through Joshua’s leadership, but with requirements to destroy the sin and the violator of the covenant.
After sin was removed from the people, God told his people to consecrate themselves. If they were devoted to him, he would be devoted to them (covenant language). The plan of salvation was restored for a time.
Eventually, the covenant through Moses, and most of the additional regulations that came to be through others came to an end because the people continued to violate God’s covenants over and over again. Every time God offered to make a covenant with his disobedient and obstinate people, it was an act of his mercy and grace because they rarely remained faithful to it, and he knew that. All of God’s covenants were grace covenants out of his love for his people and his desire for all to be saved.
But because of man’s constant violation of his free gift, their unfaithfulness to the covenant, or their unfaithfulness to fulfill their part of the plan, God made a New Covenant, with all mankind, with better promises, that would be fulfilled through his son, Jesus. That is what we are celebrating today.
But remember. God’s plan of salvation through the blood of Jesus is the last covenant he will offer to mankind.
To partake in the plan of salvation, we must freely choose to enter the covenant through Jesus and remain faithful to our part in the plan, as Jesus was faithful to his.
Our part in the plan is to imitate our Lord and Savior, Jesus Messiah, by keeping ourselves free from sin, and repenting when we do sin, so that we can live out a life of self-sacrifice of our will, to whatever extent is needed to save others, just as our leader Jesus did, which is God’s will.
If we do that, we will be one (in the plan of salvation) with Jesus and God. To be one with God and Jesus means that you know your role in the plan of salvation, and you remain faithful to it. Be devoted to him through his son. He will be devoted to you.
I’ve come to realize that most people don’t know the plan of salvation that God has revealed, at least not in its entirety.
There was a time when Jesus’s own disciples did not fully grasp what the plan of salvation was. In John 20:9-10, we’re told that his disciples did not even understand from scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead, even though he had been telling them all along!
Jesus revealed this part of the plan plainly by first showing himself in his resurrected state to Mary Magdalene. He then told her more about the plan and told her to go and tell his brethren.
She was faithful to believe and do whatever her Lord required of her. Remember her character.
Jesus then revealed his resurrected self to his disciples. When those who saw him finally understood this part of the plan, they rejoiced!!!
Jesus instructed and empowered his disciples through the gift of the holy spirit to fulfill their part in the plan of salvation, which includes forgiveness of sins.
God’s plan of salvation begins in Genesis and ends in Revelation. It is fulfilled through our Messiah Jesus.
The people who know the plan of salvation live it out and preach it, so that all may be saved. They join in the purpose and plan of God through his son to save humanity, by choosing God’s will over their own.
Remember Jesus today, and that God’s plan of salvation is through him.
Let’s shout!!! Hallelujah to our God, and Hosanna to our King!
Question 1: Do you know your role in the plan of salvation?
Question 2: What other parallels between Joshua and Jesus do you see, especially related to the covenants God made with them?
Question 3: Look into the phrase, “One with God.” Do you think it means what I think it means (one in understanding and fulfillment of the plan of salvation)?