Nisan 10 / April 2, 2012 (Began at sunset on April 1):
Three days had passed since Joshua sent out the two spies. The long-awaited crossing of the Jordan River by the entire nation of Israel into the Promised Land was about to take place. This was a monumental event for the Hebrew people. Forty years after leaving Egypt, they were almost home.
At the end of three days the officers went through the midst of the camp; and they commanded the people, saying, “When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God with the Levitical priests carrying it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it.” [Joshua 3:2-3]
So when the people set out from their tents to cross the Jordan with the priests carrying the ark of the covenant before the people, and when those who carried the ark came into the Jordan, and the feet of the priests carrying the ark were dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks all the days of harvest), the waters which were flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap, a great distance away at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those which were flowing down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. So the people crossed opposite Jericho. And the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan. [Joshua 3:14-17]
Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth of the first month and camped at Gilgal on the eastern edge of Jericho. [Joshua 4:19]
The spiritual equivalent of crossing the Jordan River is profound. It compares to a time when training and preparation has ended and a full grasping of what one has trained for begins. Joshua and Caleb were effectively sentenced by the unbelief of the prior generation to forty years in a place they did not really belong. These two stalwart warriors had been ready to take the land forty years before. Imagine how ready they were at this time. They were bursting with desire to take the Promised Land.
Here’s our lesson: When one is given a promise by God one must then prepare for the arrival of that promise. We think it will happen right away, right after receiving the revelation of the promise. But the actual achievement of the promise is often years into the future. It is like a seed that must be activated and generated into a fruit-bearing plant.
The specific promise God has made to each of us is activated by ongoing prayers of faith.
Praying in faith—believing the promise will happen and praying for it to happen—is how it does happen.
One must put in the required effort to show oneself worthy. One must effectively pray it in, call it forth, and walk it out. One must allow for and actively participate in the Lord’s preparation and training for an event that would otherwise be impossible. Our part is to believe and pray consistently so the Lord can continue the preparation.
It is like the development of a baby in the womb. There is a particular gestation period, but the birth of the promise will never happen without one’s spiritual effort. Ceasing to believe and pray ceases the development. Continuing to believe and putting one’s faith into action through consistent faithful prayer, regardless of circumstances or apparent lack of fruit or progress, is what keeps the promise on track.
Though Joshua and Caleb understood this, the prior generation did not and would not. The prior generation was a collection of faithless, complaining gripers always looking back to Egypt (the world) instead of forward to the Promised Land (the kingdom). God would have to use Moses and these two men to train and prepare the next generation in belief, so that belief would be established with the nation of Israel, and so that Israel would be victorious when the time of the promise came to pass.
This is why crossing the Jordan is so important. To attain the promise, one must cross over from the old into the new. But this is not possible without a Sinai “crucifying the flesh-establishment of belief” experience.
The next event on the calendar is indicative of covenant. All the men of the second generation, the generation of belief, had never undergone circumcision while wandering in the Sinai. The entire previous generation that left Egypt had died off, except for the faithful and valiant Joshua and Caleb. After crossing the Jordan, the men of Israel were circumcised on the first day in the Promised Land. This indicates our own circumcision of heart as we enter God’s kingdom.
Their children whom He raised up in their place, Joshua circumcised; for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them along the way. Now when they had finished circumcising all the nation, they remained in their places in the camp until they were healed. [Joshua 5:7-8]
Also on this date, the Passover lambs were chosen in preparation for the Passover. The following is the account of the first Passover preparations in Egypt, just prior to the Exodus, and forty years before the Jordan crossing:
Now the LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel,saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household.’” [Exodus 12:1-3]
The Israelites were commanded to keep and prepare each individual lamb for the next four days.
It was also on this exact date, Nisan 10, that Messiah Jesus made His triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem. He was the perfect Lamb chosen by God and made officially public on the exact prophetic date. Though the people celebrated Him as the King Messiah, it was actually the unveiling of the suffering Servant Messiah, the Lamb of God, four days prior to His atoning death.
They brought the colt to Jesus and put their coats on it; and He sat on it. And many spread their coats in the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields. Those who went in front and those who followed were shouting: “Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!” Jesus entered Jerusalem and came into the temple… [Mark 11:7-11] 
Over the next four days, beginning Monday with the Jordan Crossing, consider what the Lord may be doing in your life relative to these events. It is time to take the Promised Land.
© 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 2 of 3] [Part 3 will be posted on April 5]
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.