“And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap. And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over Jordan, and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant . . . of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan” (Joshua 3:13-14, 17).
Crossing the Jordan is a type of entering into freedom in Christ. God always brings us out of something in order to bring us in to Himself! It is not enough to escape from Satan’s power, out of the prison house of bondage; we must also enter into the resurrection life of Christ. Here, Canaan does not represent heaven, because this land is a place of spiritual warfare. But it is a place where Jesus wants us to enjoy the goodness of His victory, a place of enjoyment, gladness and fullness.
When Israel came to the Jordan, they no longer were led by the cloud during the day and the fire by night (see Exodus 13:21) but by the Ark of the Covenant. We see the Ark—a type of Jesus—going down into the Jordan, immersing itself in death, saying, “Follow me!” It is Jesus inviting us to be baptized into Him.
Coming out of the Jordan, the children of Israel entered into the Promised Land, which is a type of abiding in Christ. “And the people came up out of the Jordan . . . and encamped in Gilgal” (Joshua 4:19). At this point, they were blood-secured, delivered from the enemy’s power, and raised up into newness of life in God’s land of milk and honey.