“Come near, put your feet on the necks of these kings.”
– Joshua 10:24
Joshua led Israel’s mighty men of war against God’s enemies and was victorious over them. Without a doubt, Joshua was a national hero. His success in war brought the five kings of the Amorites and their kingdoms crumbling. They were humiliated and shamed in defeat. When they were brought out of their prison in the cave, Joshua made them lie down on the ground. His captains of the army then placed their feet on their necks as a symbol of the Amorite’s shame and God’s victory. What a heroic story!
When Jesus came riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, it was the fulfillment of the prophecy outlined for us in the Book of Zechariah (see Zechariah 9:9). To the nation of Israel, this was Messiah, and they were right! However, in their minds, Jesus came to put down Rome and set up His kingdom, restoring the scepter that God promised would never be taken away (Genesis 49:10). They looked for a national hero that would humiliate their enemies, just as Joshua did with the kings of the Amorites. Jesus would do that, but not according to their plans, but according to the Father’s plan.
In seasons of adversity, we often look for national heroes. In our minds, we can look for someone to come in and save the day by taking revenge on our enemies. When we do not see that physically, however, we often become discouraged and turn from the one we thought would bring peace and look to another. If it was the same group of people acknowledging Jesus as Messiah one day and then yelling for Him to be crucified the next, are we not able to turn in the same way?
In the Lord’s humiliation, He humiliated eternal death. Before ascending to the right hand of the Father in heaven, Jesus first descended and now holds the keys to Hades and Death (Revelation 1:18). We may never see victory in this life, physically speaking. But, we already have victory in Christ in the next life! When Jesus is your Lord and Savior, your foot is already on the neck of your enemy, for you are more than a conqueror!
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
– Romans 8:37