Original Entry Date 3/18/2014: The Ark of the Covenant symbolizes Christ Jesus (you can read about this in my post at the following link: https://baptizemyheartlord.com/2021/03/24/symbolization-breaking-down-the-tabernacle-part-1-the-ark-of-the-testimony/).
In Joshua 3, there is a brief depiction of how we are to follow Jesus illustrated by the Levitical Priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant through the camp. At this point in the scripture, the children of Israel had been led through the wilderness for 40 years. They are now about to cross the Jordan River into the Promised Land.
Joshua 3:1-3 NIV:Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. 2 After three days the officers went throughout the camp, 3 giving orders to the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it.
This can be connected to how a new believer is led to the Lord: The Levitical Priests carrying the Ark symbolize those who carry the message of Christ Jesus and are full of His Light. The Light from within them shines forth upon the darkened path so that those who see it follow them. And therefore come to believe in Christ Jesus, as well.
Remember in the NT how Jesus would pass through a town and He would call for them to follow, they would look, see and then follow Him; that is what I think of when I read this in Joshua.
Matthew 4:18-22 NKJV18 And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.
21 Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.
The final tidbit I want to point out to you is in Joshua in verse 4. Here we will see the children of Israel being told to FOLLOW behind the Ark, not to go ahead of it, but to follow it, keeping it in eyes view.
Joshua 3:4 AMP:4 However, there shall be a distance between you and it of about 2,000 cubits (3,000 ft.) by measurement. Do not come near it, so that you may [be able to see the ark and] know the way you are to go, for you have not passed this way before.”
Here is Commentary I enjoyed reading that goes along with that verse:
“3:4 — “ … Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before.”
Since the Israelites had never traveled this path before, they wisely chose to follow the lead of God, in this case by trailing the ark of the covenant. God leads, we are to follow.