By Rev. Dave Duris


1 Corinthians 1:17,18, 23-25
17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
24 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 

The message of the cross is foolish to those who perish, but to us that are called, it is the power of God and the wisdom of God. Think of how God's plan was so foolish according to man's expectations! Israel was looking for a Messiah would overthrow their enemies, not be crucified by them. The Gentiles sought a strong pagan god would not serve mortal man.

The paradox of resurrection is that something must die so something can live. The CROSS is still a paradox for some Christians to embrace. It is the place of death to your will). It is the place where God's will and your will CROSS.

Luke 9:23-24
23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 

The cross is what Jesus died on. There are circumstances in our lives, that just like the cross of Jesus, give us the opportunity to die to ourselves each day. These are things like persecution (2 Tim 3:12) and the constant battle with our flesh (Gal 5:17). The cross that WE bear is to take God's Word, (which is his will) and exalt it above our own will in every situation we face daily.    

We often see in Scripture where God’s people were required to CROSS OVER or pass through a barrier or obstacle to reach a place of freedom, blessing or new beginning; a beginning of a journey into something entirely new, not just a formula for salvation and another set of religious rules. Examples of this are Noah and Israel both passing through water barriers (a type of baptism) and leaving behind a place of sin or bondage and entering into a whole new land.  

The river Jordan was also a place of CROSSING OVER. For Israel it represented a barrier to the Promised Land. Only two adults made it from the first barrier (the Red Sea) to the second: Joshua and Caleb. They left behind a wasteland of dead bodies and advanced because of their whole-hearted faith which sustained them in the wilderness. Caleb said after 40 years he was as strong and alive as when he first spied out Canaan. The Lord can sustain you on your journey!


Joshua 3:14-17
14 And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over Jordan, and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people; 
15 And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,)
16 That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho.
17 And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.

Forty years after the Exodus, Israel was finally ready to enter the promised land. God gave Joshua instructions to appoint twelve men, one from each tribe. The men were each to retrieve one stone from where the priests had stood in the river bed bearing the ark of the covenant. The stones of remembrance were not to come from the shores of the Jordan but the center, highlighting the fact that Israel had crossed over on dry land. It was the same type of miracle that happened with the crossing of the Red Sea.

Joshua 4:4-7 
4 Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man:
5 And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of Jordan, and take you up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel:
6 That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?
7 Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.

Crossing the Jordan represented a major change for the nation of Israel. Their years of wandering in the wilderness were over. No longer would Israel be fed with manna provided by the hand of God. From now on, the people would need to walk by faith in God’s promise to give them a land flowing with milk and honey. 

The difference in the two crossings is that the second time, the priests' feet got wet. The water did not move until they took the first step.

2 Corinthians 5:7
We walk by faith and not by sight. 

GOD IS WAITING ON US TO MOVE AND CLAIM THE PROMISES. WE CAN CLAIM WHAT GOD PROMISES, BUT NEVER CROSS OVER. A step of faith takes us into a supernatural dimension and we are led by the Spirit. With this crossing, Joshua set up stones, circumcised the men and faced the challenge of all the visible signs of God – the cloud, the pillar of fire, and the manna – stopping.   

Joshua 5:12-15
12 And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.
13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?
14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant?
15 And the captain of the Lord's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so. 

We can imagine Joshua's thoughts as he stood overlooking Jericho. These enemies are really entrenched and stronger than ever after 40 years. How are we going to pull this off? After the crossing, what is the next step?

And what about us? Are there things entrenched in our lives? Bad habits, addictions, complicated family situations, having to face a personal land of giants and problems.

God provided the help with the captain of the Lord of hosts. This name is cited 260 times in the Bible. He is THE LORD OF ALL THE ANGELIC ARMIES OF HEAVEN.            

Joshua humbled himself and the Lord delivered Israel in unlikely ways. Their victory came after they MARCHED AROUND JERICHO seven times. They blew their trumpets and shouted and God did the rest. Quite an unlikely strategy!

AFTER WE STEP OUT ON FAITH, will we wait for His deliverance? The LORD OF HOSTS IS WITH US. He is like a warrior awaiting battle. NOTE what he did for Joshua: He sent hail from heaven and stopped the sun.  

Jesus' name in Hebrew is YESHUA which translates into the English name JOSHUA.   Joshua was a type of Christ. Joshua led his people into the promised land. Jesus leads His people into a land of promises.


Going down into the Jordan was difficult for a man named Naaman, another man who resisted getting wet in the Jordan after receiving a promise of deliverance.

2 Kings 5:9-14
9 So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.
10 And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.
11 But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.
12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.
13 And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?
14 Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. 

Naaman's preconceived ideas had to die first, to bring new life to flesh. His descent into Jordan marked his death to his own will, thoughts, prejudices. (How interesting it is that Jordan comes from Hebrew word Yarden which means to descent or to go down!)

Your obedience at times (like marching around Jericho or dipping in Jordan) may appear to be doing nothing. But something is happening in the spiritual realm and your breakthrough is closer than you think!


Matthew 3:1, 5-11
1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,
6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of THESE STONES [emphasis added] to raise up children unto Abraham.
10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:  

The religious leaders could not let go of their traditions and high positions and go down into the humble waters and CROSS OVER to who John was pointing to. THEY REFUSED TO GET THEIR FEET WET.

Jesus came up out of the Jordan and entered into trials and temptations. But ultimately he CROSSED OVER from death unto life. More than the Red Sea, the HEAVENS opened up before him. Now he leads US to glory as we GET WET with spiritual baptism.


From the days of Joshua, the stones were a testimony of God supplying a way to cross over into a promise land. John was preparing the world for the true Rock of whom the gates of hell would not prevail. He spoke to the stones IN THE JORDAN, which stood as a witness for centuries of God's provsion for crossing over.

Matthew 21:42-46 [NIV]
42 Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes'?
43 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 
44 Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”

The stones were a witness to those who believed and a sign of judgment for those who would not repent. The stone that unbelievers stumble at will ultimately impose a crushing judgement in the last days.   

Today, Christ crucified, (the rock of our salvation) and the preaching of the CROSS remains unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness. But to us who have CROSSED OVER, Christ is the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

Galatians 2:20
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 


Presented 15 August 2021 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana