Between the Jordan and Jericho
So Moses is dead (representing how Law and its edicts are dead too in the sense of their external dictating way) and Joshua (representing Jesus Christ, the personification of Law obeyed entirely, eternally, and internally) is about to cross the Jordan (about to descend to the bottom of despair and sorrow and redeem mankind from the depths of hell) and restore paradise (obtain for them their Promised Land, flowing with milk [contentment, peace] and honey [sweetness, joy]).
When the Israelites crossed the Jordan River the waters gathered up into a heap and rolled all the way back to a city called “Adam.” Their stream of descent unto death, their polluted lineage stream, was parted and brought all the way back to its origin for a healing all the way back to the root; they crossed over on dry land at the point of this division. A distinction is made between that which is cursed and that which is blessed; the battle for Jericho, which only happened after a second circumcision, a circumcision of a whole new generation, is symbolic of that circumcision made without hands, a circumscribing away of the natural man (Adam) from the spiritual man (Jesus).
Securing Jericho is the first and foundational victory of the new creation man, but it is only secured based on the work of Christ (as symbolically prefigured in some noteworthy things which happened first, just prior to the taking of Jericho). After the sign and wonder which occurred at the Jordan (like as God performed at the Red Sea) there were more signs and wonders which all prefigured aspects of salvation and the salvation processes.
The Red Sea crossing, for instance, was symbolic of the Passover feast of being born-again, being removed from the kingdom of darkness and placed into the kingdom of light; the Jordan crossing was symbolic of the Pentecost feast of being baptized in the Holy Spirit, being empowered to obey the Law not by external fiat, but by internal governance. The wilderness experience, the divine provision there (manna from heaven and no clothing wearing out while wandering) is a proving ground and a graveyard for carnality. The heat, the travel, the barely enough water to sustain life, and the minimally acceptable tasting and monotonous-like quality of eating manna every day, was all designed to develop their spirituality (humbling their souls with fastings and hardships) prefiguring the trials and tribulations one must overcome before entering into the kingdom of God (or the Promised Land).
Though a generation just prior to these Israelites actually left Egypt, it was to these Israelites that God said (after their circumcisions healed): “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you” (Joshua 5:9). Consequently, they named the spot where God spoke to them, the spot they were circumcised at, and the spot where they remained until healed up, “Gilgal,” which means “liberty” or “rolling away”; perhaps this prefigures the stone which would one day be rolled away from the tomb (to first reveal emptiness), and then that which materialized later in various ways: a live forevermore risen Christ.
Liberty at first is shocking and near unbelievable in what it suggests; likewise, the born-again creature is often like Ephraim who didn’t even realize the freedom which God provided for him when He removed the yoke of bondage from his shoulders and healed him of all his diseases.
Then, while still in Gilgal, the sons of Israel observed the Passover; then the following day, they “ate some of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain” (Joshua 5:11). Then the day after that, the manna ceased. Then still later, Joshua sees a man with a drawn sword, and discovers he is either an angel or a theophany; he tells Joshua to remove his sandals because the place where he is standing is holy. When Joshua asked whether he was for them or his adversaries, the angel or the preincarnate manifestation of Christ, said: “No, rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the Lord” (Joshua 5:14).
This Passover is the third Passover in Israelite history; the first was in Egypt, the second at Sinai, and now here in the Promised Land. Thus God’s favor is shown by having the death angel pass them by while in three different vulnerable states, while they were dead and in the world, under the Law with its demands punishable by death, and just after they became dead to themselves as they entered paradise. The divine provision of manna ceased to be gathered because the uncursed ground of heaven produces its own food. The manifestation of Christ is not particular to anyone (God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son to anyone who would); The Captain of the Hosts of the Lord fights for anyone who agrees or joins Him, for Joshua and Rahab both.