Joshua 3:1-4 records the warrior’s instruction to Israel prior to crossing the Jordan River. Note that they were to follow the ARK carried by priests, “then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before.” Then...“But keep a distance of about a thousand yards between you and the ark; do not go near it.”
In our family communion service Sunday Judy called this a “holy distancing” contrasted with COVID-19’s “social distancing.” Good insight. During the night a further insight came to me. Naturally, as my custom is, up I got and wrote the additional thoughts.
In a strict sense, neither priests nor Ark had been that way before. However, as the sacred repository of God’s NAME, with the Pre-existent Jesus as Vanguard, HE led. See Numbers 10:33-36 for a similar previous experience.
It’s no surprise that the Hebrews writer, in 12:1ff, urged his readers to fix their eyes on Jesus as “the author and perfecter of our faith.” Not on the crowd of witnesses of chapter 11 were they to rivet their eyes 12:1. They were simply examples for us. If they lived faithfully to God with lesser spiritual privileges—the Law of Moses and his prophets—we can and must be faithful with God’s revelation of Christ who...(well, read 12:1-13).
The point of all this is: though not even the ark had been that way before, Israel could follow since GOD led the ark. The Lord Jesus Christ can certainly be followed because he has been this way before--He, “who being in very nature God...took “the very nature of a servant”...and “humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross!” Philippians 2:5-8. Jesus has been this way before, knows the way through it triumphantly, and shares it with any obedient servant. End Part I