The Crossing of the Red Sea and the Crossing of the Jordan River: What New Testament Truths Do These Crossings Symbolize?
The crossing of the Red Sea by the children of Israel speaks of an essential New Testament truth. Similarly, the crossing of the Jordan River by the children of Israel also pictures another vital New Testament truth. One general observation we can make right from the beginning is that in crossing the Red Sea, the children of Israel were coming OUT OF something bad. In the crossing of the Jordan River, the children of Israel were coming INTO something essentially good, but not without its challenges. And in between, there was a desert or wilderness. The reader can look up Exodus 14 and read about the great deliverance out of Egypt that God wrought for the children of Israel when He parted the waters of the Red Sea.
13 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see no more forever. 14 “The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” 15 And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. 16 “But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. 17 “And I indeed will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them. So I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, his chariots, and his horsemen. 18 “Then the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gained honor for Myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.” Exodus 14: 13-18
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. Exodus 14:21-22
The entire Passover account that includes the above story, serves as a picture of many benefits the New Testament believer has in Jesus Christ. One would naturally think that the crossing of the Red Sea would symbolize a major truth in the New Testament believer’s life. One would be right in thinking so.
There are actually two fundamental truths of the cross of Christ that can be found pictured and symbolized in the Passover story. This fits right in with the apostle Paul’s teachings when he wrote, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1Corinthians 11:26). It takes two elements, the bread and the cup, to adequately and fully proclaim the Lord’s death. The bread and cup, of course, are the bread and cup of Communion.
Regarding the Passover story, Protestant theologians and teachers generally teach on one message of the cross that is seen in the blood on the doorposts and lintels of the Hebrew homes. The blood of the Passover lamb was smeared on the door posts and lintels of the Hebrew homes so that the angel of death would see the blood and pass over their homes; thereby not killing the first born of every household that had the blood so displayed. This part of the Passover story speaks of the deliverance we have in Christ from death and even curses. The blood of the Passover lamb is a picture of the blood of Christ shed for our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins. Because of the blood of Christ, we believe that spiritual death can’t hurt us. Some believers even rely on the power and authority of the blood of Jesus to rebuke and break earthly curses on their lives.
Regarding the Passover story, there is another message or truth of the cross of Christ that is symbolized by the children of Israel crossing the Red Sea on their way out of Egypt. The Lord opening the Red Sea so that the children of Israel could escape out of Egypt is a picture of how the New Testament believer has been crucified with Christ by grace through faith, so that he can walk out of his sin and self-centeredness, and follow Christ (Romans 6:1-11; 2 Corinthians 5:14; Galatians 2:19-20; Colossians 2:11-12; Romans 6:18; Romans 7:4-5; the meaning of Baptism; the meaning of the Bread of Communion as seen in 1 Peter 2:24, 1 Corinthians 6:6-8, and elsewhere; and many, many more New Testament scriptures). On the cross, Jesus paid the penalty for our sins; and we died with Him (2 Corinthians 5:14); both truths were and are by grace. Both of these truths or acts of grace happened at the same time on the cross.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread
The meaning of The Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is celebrated with the Passover (Luke 22:1, 7), also fits in with the above discussion and interpretation of the crossing of the Red Sea. The unleavened bread in Exodus 12 and 13 is usually accompanied by the phrase, “out of Egypt.” The Unleavened Bread is also eaten by Jews to remember that very “day” that God delivered the Israelites out of Egypt. This “day” reminds us of the “day” Jesus set all humanity free from their bondage to sin. Consider the following scriptures:
3 And Moses said to the people: “Remember this day in which you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the Lord brought you out of this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten” Exodus 13:3.
7″Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days. And no leavened bread shall be seen among you, nor shall leaven be seen among you in all your quarters. 8″And you shall tell your son in that day, saying, “This is done because of what the Lord did for me when I came up from Egypt.’ 9″It shall be as a sign to you on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the Lord’s law may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand the Lord has brought you out of Egypt.” Exodus 13:7-9
3″You shall eat no leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat unleavened bread with it, that is, the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste), that you may remember the day in which you came out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life.” Deuteronomy 16:3
Notice the usage of the phrase, “out of Egypt.” The Hebrews were and are to eat the Unleavened Bread while remembering how God with a “strong hand” delivered them “out of Egypt” on that “day.”
Jesus had this very unleavened bread in His hands when He said, “This is My body“(Mark 14:22b, Luke 22:1,7). Jesus was in effect saying, “Just as God delivered the children of Israel out of Egypt, so My body delivers you out of your sin and selfishness so that you can follow Me (be lead by My Spirit, and be a functioning member of the body of Christ, 1Corinthians 10:17, 1Corinthians 5:6-8).
The following are some New Testament scriptures that make this very point with the word, “body,” which of course is what the bread of Communion symbolizes. His BODY delivered up for us delivers us from sin so that we can follow Him and be functioning members of His BODY on the earth. His death gives us authority over our flesh so that we can see some measure of victory over sin problems if we want victory over sin problems.
24 who Himself bore our sins in His own BODY on the tree, that we having died to sins, might live for righteousness-by whose stripes you were healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but now have returned to the shepherd and overseer of your souls. 1Peter 2:24-25
10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the BODY of Jesus Christ once for all. Hebrews 10:10
(Here, the writer is writing about sanctification; i.e., being set apart from or set free from sin. In Hebrews 10:5-7, the word “body” is used in the context of doing God’s will. The purpose of being sanctified is to do God’s will like Jesus did the will of God with His body on this earth. We believers are now His body on the earth and are here to do His will. Each member of His body has a God given function and each member is here to do something. Bodies are for doing things on this earth. The body of Christ is for doing the will of God on this earth. Please read 1Corinthians 10:17 which states that we though many ARE one body and one bread for we all partake of the one bread. We are redeemed BY the blood, but we ARE the body of Christ.)
4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the BODY of Christ, that you may be married to another- to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. 6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. Romans 7:4-6
(This truth of the cross has to do with dying with Christ to self-effort and self-striving by grace through faith. This is NOT forgiveness in Christ by grace. Forgiveness is another, complementary truth.)
[Here, the unleavened bread has the familiar theme of purging out the hate (malice) and sin (wickedness), so that the believer can walk in love (sincerity) and righteousness (truth)]. (Here is the New Testament interpreting the Old Testament, and it fits right in line with what we have been teaching. This particular scripture refers to the meanings of two of the symbols found in the Passover: leaven and the unleavened bread. The unleavened bread also symbolizes coming out of Egypt as can be seen in other scriptures.)
6 Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 8 Therefore, let us keep the feast, not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 1Corinthians 5:6-8
It is also important to note that not only does the Bread of Communion have the meaning of deliverance from sin (crucified with Christ); but also Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ has this very same meaning. Consider the following scriptures that define the meaning of Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ:
3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 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 6:3-4 (Also read Colossians 2:11-12.)
The word, “baptism,” is also loosely associated with the crossing of the Red Sea in 1Corinthians 10:1-2.
1 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea …
Thus, the crossing of the Red Sea has strong associations with the Unleavened Bread of Communion, and Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ. To be very clear, the crossing of the Red Sea means that the believer “has been crucified with Christ.” (Galatians 2:20) This is by grace through faith. Most Protestants only use the phrase “grace through faith” in the context of forgiveness of sins. This omission is absolutely deadly.
Thus, to sum up some of the above teaching, the Bread of Communion symbolizes deliverance from sin (i.e. crucified with Christ), while the cup of Communion symbolizes redemption, the forgiveness for sins. The Bread of Communion is related to the unleavened bread and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The Cup of Communion is related to the Passover (blood of lamb on doorposts). The crossing of the Red Sea is a picture of the cross that is related to the Bread of Communion. The blood on the doorposts is a picture of the cross related to the Cup of Communion. The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread symbolize and picture truths found in the blood and body of Christ.
It also is valuable to note how Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ is related in meaning to the Bread of Communion. Baptism initiates the new believer into some truths, while the Bread of Communion repeats and develops this theme. The individual decision symbolized in Baptism becomes a corporate decision by the entire body of Christ. The whole chapter of 1Corinthians 5 is an example of the entire church making a decision to purge itself of an evil practice.
When the Protestant world, including the Charismatics, learn the true meaning of the Bread of Communion and Baptism, this is going to be a whole different world we live in. When the Protestant world embraces and understands that the Bread of Communion and Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ symbolize a missing part of the Gospel, the Protestant world is going to bear much closer resemblance to the book of Acts church. Also, embracing the “crucified with Christ” truth of the cross is a necessary condition for true unity in the Body of Christ, which is the church (1Corinthians 10:17, 1Corinthians 5:6-8, 1Peter 2:24, etc.)
And so the children of Israel experienced a great deliverance out of Egypt. But this is not the end of the story. In fact this is just the necessary beginning point for a brand new life. They quickly found themselves right in the middle of a desert and wilderness with no visible means of support. This desert represents a training place; a place of learning; a place of trials; and a place of testing. Even Jesus went into the wilderness to be tested (Luke 4:1-14).
The desert was a place where they learned about God’s ways as when He gave them His laws and commandments (Exodus 19 and beyond).
The desert was also a place where the children of Israel learned to trust God for their many needs while they were following Him and walking in His ways. God’s provision of manna was a great lesson for them:
2 “And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3 “So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.” Deuteronomy 8:2-3
So, in the desert the children of Israel learned to obey God (the giving of the law) and to trust Him for their needs (the manna and the rock that gave water). They also learned to trust Him in warfare against the enemy (Exodus 17:11).
The children of Israel were also lead by the Lord in the desert by the fire by night and the cloud by day. The fire and cloud symbolize the leading and presence of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament believer’s life. (Also, living in Egypt is a picture of living in sin and selfishness. Pharaoh is a type of Satan while his soldiers are types of the demons. The Egyptians are types of people living in the world. The children of Israel are the “called out ones” or the church that God chose to come out of the world; and be His people; and follow and serve Him. Exodus 8:1)
Then the Israelites came to the Jordan River. If you believe that crossing of the Red Sea has significance for the Christian, you would have to believe that the crossing of the Jordan River would also have significance for the believer in Christ. You would be right in thinking so.
Notice the following associations with the Jordan River:
8 “I indeed baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” 9 It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. 11 Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.” 12 Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. 13 And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him. Mark 1:8-13 (Also read Luke 3:21-22 and Luke 4:1-2)
6 Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here please, for the Lord has sent me on to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!” So the two of them went on. 7 And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went and stood facing them at a distance, while the two of them stood by the Jordan. 8 Now Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up, and struck the water; and it was divided this way and that, so that the two of them crossed over on dry ground. 9 And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” 10 So he said, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so..” II Kings 2:6-10
12 And Elisha saw it…. 13 He also took up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood by the bank of the Jordan. 14 Then he took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, and said, “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” and when he also had struck the water, it was divided this way and that; and Elisha crossed over. 15 Now when the sons of the prophets who were from Jericho saw him, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha….” II Kings 2:12-15
In the account of Elisha and Elijah, we can see very clear parallels between their relationship and the church’s relationship with Christ and His Holy Spirit. Elijah is a type of Christ and Elisha is a type of the believer or the church of Christ. The mantle mentioned often in this account is a type of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Thus, the Jordan river is seen in the above scriptures as being associated with the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
At the cross, we, believers, have been forgiven and crucified with Christ by grace through faith. The crossing of the Red Sea specifically means the latter. Similarly, the crossing of the Jordan River is a picture of the New Testament believer being filled with the Holy Spirit so that he can be fruitful in God on this earth. At the cross the believer was emptied of sin and self, so that he can now be filled with the Spirit; filled with the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22); equipped with gifts of the Spirit; filled with the fruits of righteousness (Philippians 1:11, these meanings overlap other meanings mentioned here); filled with the fruit of love; filled with the seven Spirits of God mentioned in Isaiah 11 (these meanings overlap other meanings mentioned here); impassioned by the believer’s Spirit given place in the Body of Christ (1Corinthians 12:13); filled with new, God given, passions and desires; and filled with all of the riches in glory of His inheritance in the saints (Ephesians 1: 18, Ephesians 1:13-14; this meaning overlaps all of the other meanings mentioned above).
We as believers look to Christ to give us His anointing just as Elisha wanted a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. Elisha earnestly sought and desired the power and spirit that Elijah walked in. Elisha was not to be denied this great treasure. He greatly valued and contended for the Spirit.
The Bible teaches us in Luke 11:13, “… how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.” In Genesis 32:24-29, Jacob wrestled with the man and would not relent until the man blessed him. Here, the blessing is a picture and type of the Holy Spirit who is the very heart and nature of God Himself. Remember in the above scripture, the persistence and tenacity of Elisha.
Another evidence of the meaning of the crossing of the Jordan River, is the fact that scriptures use the symbolism of a river to depict the Holy Spirit. As to the meaning of the crossing of the Red Sea, the scriptures use the seas to depict and symbolize the world, and the carnality and aimlessness of ungodly people. Consider the following scriptures:
38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive, for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. John 7:38-39
6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1:6-8
20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. 21″There is no peace,”says my God, “for the wicked.” Isaiah 57:20-21
13 raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; …. Jude 13
The Holy Spirit is symbolized by a river in John 7. A river, unlike a sea, has purpose and direction. The sea (Red Sea) is depicted as aimless, and being driven and tossed by the wind. Also, the water of a river has cleansing qualities, and water gives life to all who get it. The Holy Spirit likewise sanctifies and cleanses (1Corinthians 6:11; Titus 3:5), and gives life (Romans 8:10) to all who receive Him. In contrast, the salt water of the sea is not life giving. A person cannot drink salt water to refresh themselves. Also, the Bible uses the symbolism of the sea casting up mire, dirt, and foam in the above mentioned scriptures. This is anything but cleansing.
A river gives a continual flow of new water just like the believer needs a fresh anointing and supply of the Spirit every day (Galatians 3:5; Philippians 1:19; John 4:13-14; Isaiah 12:3). A sea tends to be the same water that goes back and forth, whipped up by the wind (and gravitational pull of the moon).
Another proof for the meaning of the crossing of the Jordan River is the very meaning of the word, “Jordan.” This word means “the descender.” It is called this almost certainly because this river rapidly flowed down from the snowy regions of Mt Hermon, through the Sea of Galilee, down to the Dead Sea. This is and was a very large drop in elevation.
The Holy Spirit likewise was sent down from heaven (1Peter 1:12) after Jesus was glorified at the right hand of the Father (John 7:39). Jesus, Himself, is seated above at the right hand of the Father; and received the Spirit from the Father; and sent, and supplies the Spirit to us from above (Galatians 3:5; Philippians 1:19; John 7:38-39).
Also, very interestingly, there are three fountains or springs where the Jordan originates. They were “Leddan” which was near Dan; a spring or fountain near Caesarea Philippi; and spring or fountain called “Hasbany.” The Holy Spirit is symbolized as a fountain of water springing up to eternal life in John 4:14.
So, the crossing of the Jordan River is symbolic of the New Testament Christian being filled with the Holy Spirit in order to bear fruit on this earth for Christ’s sake.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:11
8 “By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” John 15:8
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
16 “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?” 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.” Matthew 7:16-17
4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another –to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. Romans 7:4
Life in the Promised Land was not and is not without its challenges. The stronghold of Jericho and the people of Ai were types of demons and ungodly people opposing the church in her quest to possess her God given inheritance. According to Hebrews 11:30, the walls of Jericho came down by faith. The people of Ai were defeated through repentance, obedience and faith.
Each Israelite tribe and family were allotted a part of the land (their inheritance) after they ALL fought for it and won it. They were very effective as they fought together. God told Joshua that with every step that he took, that land was already given to him (Joshua 1:3). Joshua was told to be courageous because God was with him in this quest (Joshua 1:9). The Holy Spirit, the Paraclete (helper, one who comes along side), likewise is with the Christians and helping the Christians as they follow and believe God in their lives and ministries.
For the Christian, this battle for his inheritance certainly includes contending for the promises of God in this world. The “promised land” for the Christian is the promises of God for him or her. This battle would certainly involve tearing down every stronghold opposing the knowledge of God and His many words and promises (2Corinthians 10:3-5). The Israelites taking Jericho was a picture of this battle the Christians wage for their promised land; i.e., their God given promises.
There are so many teachings, applications and New Testament truths that can be found in the Biblical account of the children of Israel in the Promised Land. The Law, all of the Prophets, the Psalms, the kings and more; all had their place and role in the Promised Land.
Actually, God’s promises to and dealings with the land of Israel, both today and before, is very much parallel and related to God’s dealings with the Church of Jesus Christ. In fact, all of His promises to both will come to pass fully at the end of the ages. The reader should note that the twelve gates and the twelve walls in the New Jerusalem are named after the twelve apostles and the twelve heads of the tribes of Israel (Revelation 21:12-14). Also, the twenty-four elders mentioned in the book of Revelation chapter 4 are probably the twelve apostles and the twelve heads of the twelve tribes of Israel. Thus, the destinies of the people and land of Israel, and the Church will merge at the end of the ages.
Here, I will make just a few analogies between the promised land and the Spirit filled, fruitful Christian life. There is an ocean of knowledge and insight more to be said than just the following points.
When the children of Israel crossed the Jordan River, they first camped at Gilgal. They were circumcised at Gilgal. Circumcision is related to the New Testament institution of Baptism (Colossians 2:11-12). They also observed the Passover at Gilgal. The Passover is related to the New Testament institution of the Lord’s Supper(Luke 22:1,7).
When the children of Israel crossed the Jordan River they were instructed by God to take twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan. In fact, one member from each of the twelve tribes of Israel took one stone. They set all twelve stones as a memorial at Gilgal. Since the twelve stones came from the middle of the Jordan, this was a great testimony that God split the Jordan so that the children of Israel could cross over.
A New Testament scripture comes to mind when we consider the Israelites conquering the Promised Land:
16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar- Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and what- ever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:16-19
The twelve stones remind me of the twelve apostles and their teachings which they received from the Spirit of Truth. The twelve stones were taken from the middle of the Jordan River which is a type of the Holy Spirit who is also known as the Spirit of Truth (John 15:26, 16:13) The teachings of the apostles are the starting point of the fruitful, Spirit filled life and ministry. These teachings were given directly to them from God Himself, not from “flesh and blood.”
The gates of Jericho are an example of the gates of hell that will not stand against the obedient and faith filled church (Hebrews 11:30).
And finally, one last point could be that the church has to actively pursue her God given promises and inheritance. The church needs to actively bind and loose in order to come into her inheritance on this earth. The church cannot just stand back and say that God is in control and He will take care of these things. The church cannot be apathetic or passive.
Like God said to Joshua, every step that you take, I have given you that space. If we, the church, are pursuing God’s will, then He is with us helping us take the land. This is not passivity, but it is a cooperative effort between God and His people (Jesus, the Head, and His body). David did not just passively sit back when he heard Goliath taunting the Israelites. David laid hold of his tested, God given weapons and courageously met Goliath head on; and God was with David.
Regarding the “crucified with Christ” truth of the cross; in order to apply this to one’s life, the believer must understand that this is what he is because Jesus died for him. Don’t use the word “positional” with this truth or any other truth of the cross. The Bible does not say that we are positionally crucified with Christ or positionally dead to sin. The word, “positional,” is not in the Bible. Protestant theologians have used this word regarding the truths of the cross and have thereby nullified these truths in our lives. That word , “positional,” when listened to regularly, is like a small dose of arsenic in one’s spiritual food. Over time it will weaken and even kill a listener.
Romans 6:11 says that we should consider ourselves TO BE dead to sin. Dead to sin is WHAT WE ARE because Jesus died for us. As we declare what we are when we are considering a particular sin, we are effectively taking authority over that particular sin. It might be a battle; it might be painful; but if we insist and don’t back down, we will start to experience a measure of victory. Being crucified with Christ can be painful. But there are also times when it is an absolute delight and honor.
As we commit to crucifying our flesh with its passions and desires, we simultaneously begin to seek the Holy Spirit with His character traits and gifts (enablements or powers) (Galatians 5:22-25). We need a regular or even daily supply of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 3:5; Philippians 1:19; John 7:38-39). The cross EMPTIES us; the Holy Spirit seeks to FILL us with every good thing.
The truths of the cross lead the believer to rely on a one time event. Jesus said, “It is finished.” Therefore, I AM delivered, forgiven, healed, etc., because Jesus died for me. The ministry of the Holy Spirit, on the other hand, is like the ongoing flow of a river. We need to regularly look to Christ our source for a new flow of anointing, a fresh anointing. We sometimes might need to fast and pray for more power from the Holy Spirit. Jacob had to wrestle with the angel to get his blessing (anointing). Elisha was very persistent and insistent about getting Elijah’s Spirit. Jacob valued the inheritance while Esau was willing to toss it for a savory sauce. (Guess who ended up with the inheritance. The Holy Spirit is the down payment of our inheritance, Ephesians 1:14.) Every believer has the Holy Spirit, but each can believe for the Spirit (the hand of God) to be more evident and powerful in their daily experience.
To conclude this teaching; the geographical (spacial) journey of the Israelites from Egypt to the Promised Land is a great picture of the entire salvation experience for the believer in Christ. This is one of three great pictures of Salvation found in the Old Testament as far as I know. This one is spacial in nature. The second great picture is seasonal and involves time. The second great picture of our salvation is found in the Hebrew Feasts which are observed at predetermined times each year. The third great picture of the entire salvation experience is found the in Hebrew Tabernacle. This earthly tabernacle was an exact representation of what is in heaven. This Tabernacle was a witness to what is in heaven and in the spiritual world. This third picture speaks directly of the spiritual dimension. Thus God has given us a witness of Salvation through the Hebrews in the third dimension (space), in the fourth dimension (time and space), and in the fifth dimension (the spiritual realm). The second dimension is a line which speaks of opposites. A line goes in two completely opposite directions. This would be good versus evil, heaven versus hell, righteousness versus sin, God versus the devil, love versus hate, life versus death, justification versus condemnation,truth versus falsehood, light versus darkness, and so on. And the first dimension is a point which would be God Himself: “In the beginning, God ….” (Genesis 1:1).