Moses led the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery to the promise land. Unfortunately, Moses died while viewing the promised land from Pisgah. In his place God appointed Joshua to lead Israel into Canaan. “The LORD was angry with me (Moses) for your (Israelites) sakes, saying, Thou also shalt not go in thither. But Joshua the son of Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go in thither: encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.”—Deut. 1:37-38
As Israel’s leader, Joshua resembles our Lord Jesus Christ. “But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.” (Matt. 2:6) Jesus will lead Israel and all mankind to inherit God’s promise kingdom.
During his time leading Israel, Joshua chose 12 individuals, one from every tribe to assist. (Joshua 4:4) These individuals gathered 12 stones out of the Jordan River in remembrance of God’s miracle in drying up river to allow Israel to cross over. Similarly, Jesus selected twelve disciples to assist him in proclaiming the foundation truths of the Gospel message, “And he goeth up into a mountain, … And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils.”—Mark 3:13-15
Joshua and Jesus share the same name. The English name “Joshua” is a rendering of the Hebrew word “Yehoshua,” meaning “Yahweh” is Salvation. Jesus is the English word for the Greek translation of “Yehoshua” which again means Salvation.
Finally, both Joshua and Jesus, began their earthly lives as meek, unknown individuals who would rise up and become great leaders. In that role, each would fulfill God’s promise and lead the Israelites to the land that was promised. In his closing exhortation to Israel, Joshua said, “Choose you this day whom ye will serve; … as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15) It came to pass that “after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old.”—Joshua 24:29