1. Christocentric focus

Battle against the enemy

Joshua 11:1–15 (ESV)

1 When Jabin, king of Hazor, heard of this, he sent to Jobab king of Madon, and to the king of Shimron, and to the king of Achshaph,

Joshua’s obedience is certainly an example to us (1 Corinthians 10:6, 1 Corinthians 10:11), but it is primarily a picture of the obedience of the greater Joshua, Jesus Christ. Jesus did not storm a camp of Canaanite soldiers, he did not fight with the sword in order to win his battles (Matthew 26:52), and yet we are told in Colossians 2:15 that he disarmed the rules and authorities, putting them to shame by triumphing over them.

The great battle that Jesus won was the defeat of the devil and death. This was a battle that he fought throughout his ministry. After his baptism, the Spirit led him into the wilderness where he was tempted by Satan (Matthew 4:1–11). The devil did his best to trick and deceive Jesus into sin. When that didn’t work, the devil tried to stop Jesus from his ministry through the Pharisees who continually challenged and opposed the Christ (e.g., Mark 3:22–30). He even used the words of Jesus’ friend Peter to try and stop him from going to the cross ( Mark 8:31–33). Satan wanted Jesus to fail in his ministry; he did not want him to go to the cross because it was at the cross where Jesus would defeat death and triumph over the forces of evil.

It was at the cross that death and the devil lost their sting (1 Corinthians 15:54–57). Satan’s accusations against God’s people have lost their sting, they’ve lost their power because the blood of Jesus Christ has washed God’s people clean of their sins. Through faith, his perfect righteousness is imputed to sinners and now we can stand in God’s presence justified (Romans 5:1–11). The victory over sin and all those who oppose God’s King has been won.