Saturday, March 9, 2024

Easter Eggs Part I – The Church


For years we have read the Bible searching for overlays and discovering parallel truths which highlight the plan of God for our lives today. Those of you just joining us may be asking, “What is an overlay?”

An overlay is an attempt to reinforce the truth of God’s Word in our minds by inserting ourselves into a Bible story to help identify the characters and the outcome. Once we see ourselves in light of God’s Word and the truth He wishes to highlight in our lives, it is easier to know what we need to do in order to please Him in any scenario. Hidden truths are all around us.

For example, Jesus used parables to highlight truth. He intended we insert ourselves into the parable as the farmer or the seed or the soil or whatever else He was talking about. Once we discover who we are in the story, we can know if we want to continue as that character on that path or if we need a character change. I mean, who wants to be the foolish man who built his house on the sand? Worse yet, who wants to offer sand for others to build their houses on?

With this thought in mind, we know there are many Bible stories which highlight The Resurrection and the Great Commission. Today we will make use of one of the accounts from the book of Joshua, which teaches both. Follow along with me as we overlay Joshua 1 with the account of the first Easter and discover the continuing plan of God for our lives today. 

Joshua 1 NKJV

1 ¶  After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, it came to pass that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying:

·        Today we will overlay Moses with Jesus. So that will make Joshua the disciples of Jesus, which today is the Church.

·        The Disciples became the Church:

o   In the Gospels

§  Church = is mentioned 3 times, twice in one verse.

§  Disciples = is mentioned 226 times.

o   In the Book of Acts

§  Church = is mentioned 22 times.

§  Disciples = is mentioned 29 times.

o   In the Epistles and Beyond – Romans through Revelation

§  Church = is mentioned 90 times.

§  Disciples = 0

·        The New Testament covers a period of approximately 40 years … one generation. It is a snapshot of what every generation should do.

·        Disciples are intended by God to become the Church.

·        It is the only Biblical pattern we have been given.

·        What parallel truths do you think God is trying to reinforce by giving us this account of Joshua taking the place of Moses?

o   God did not speak to Joshua at all until Moses was in heaven.

o   God did not speak to the Disciples until Jesus was in heaven.

2  “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them — the children of Israel.

·        Both Moses and Jesus taught people who were wandering in this world, outside of the promise land, outside of the Kingdom of God.

·        It’s someone else’s turn! The Bible says Jesus went to heaven, He sat down, and they, the Church, went forward. (Mark 16:19-20)

·        The Church in Jerusalem; Antioch; Ephesus; Rome … always taking ground.

3  “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.

·        Jesus said, “As the Father has sent Me, so send I you.” (John 20:21)

4  “From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory.

·        The boundaries were also delineated in the New Testament’s Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20): “Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations.”

·        Jesus said to become power-filled witnesses in “Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the world.” (Acts 1:8)

5  “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.

·        He will never leave us or forsake us so that we might boldly say... the Lord is my Helper, I will not be afraid of men. (Hebrews 13:5-6)

·        Behold I give you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions. (Luke 10:19)

·        The gates of hell shall not prevail against you … (Matthew 16:18-19)

There is a boldness made available to us through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are Soldiers of the Cross, Members of the Church, and Children of the Most High God. We have been filled with the same Spirit of God.

This is not a job we have been called to do but rather a privilege and a position to which we have been born. Did you find any easter eggs hidden in the Word of God today? Here are two things I hope you will take away from this morning’s message?

1.  God has His victory already planned.

a.   And He has planned your victory as well.

b.   Everything is right on schedule and according to God’s plan.

c.    Don’t be afraid of men or of any demon from hell.

2.  Our part is to make disciples.

a.   This is done in everyday life.

b.   It’s not a job … it’s a joy.

c.    And it’s simple, just talk to your friends about Jesus.

d.   BTW - make sure you invite them to Church.

e.   God’s plan depends on them.

Joshua 1:6  “Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.”

Next week we will pick up right here and continue hunting for easter eggs as we dig deeper in Part II which is entitled: Strong and Courageous.