Gilgal was not only established as a home base for Israel during the conquest of the land; it also
became a place of remembrance. Joshua was instructed to establish a memorial at Gilgal. Later
on in the chapter we read of the setting up of another memorial, this time in the river itself.
These two memorials made of stones were to be reminders to Israel of their safe passage through
the Jordan River. From the standpoint of the types involved, these two memorials remind us of
the two aspects of our identification with Christ.
First of all, the stones in the Jordan speak of the Israelites’ having died to the past. Whenever an
Israelite came into that area, he would see the stones and would be reminded that it was there
Israel passed through the place of death as it were.
The second set of stones was set up at Gilgal, the place of Israel’s first night’s lodging. They
speak of new life out of death. These stones were taken out of the river as the Israelites marched
through, then brought with them to the camping site. They therefore speak of Israel’s new life on
the other side of Jordan—a resurrection life.
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from
the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4).