Focus: Hebrews 4 - Jesus the Object of our Faith
We cannot enter into the rest that God has prepared through His Son if we do not have Jesus as the object of our faith. The Jews, who are the audience of the writer of Hebrews, rejected him and cannot enter His rest except they begin to have faith in Jesus. The writer says that this chance is today. The reference about Joshua is a reference about Joshua bringing the wilderness wandering nation into the promise land. The Lord allowed the rebellious nation that left Egypt to die in the wilderness and only those were born in the wilderness or who were faithful lived to enter the promised land of milk and honey. This entry into the promised land after the 400 plus years of hardship in Egypt equates to entering the final rest of God prepared for His Chosen before time on earth begins! God brings the nation into their earthly rest only to fail again. So the writer says that Joshua has failed to enter the nation into their "earthly" rest.
The nation failed to enter the rest of God and are ultimately led away to exile because they refused to follow the Lord's commandments. They ultimately are lost and then only a few return from exile only then to reject the One who came to save them as foretold. The writer wanted the reader to understand that the One they rejected has become The Cornerstone, The High Priest, that represents us to God and to whom ALL authority has been given, waiting for them to put their trust in Him. The high priest reference would be immediately understood by the Jewish reader because of the millennia of vicarious representation by the high priest in the tabernacle and subsequently the Temple. Jesus HAS become The High Priest and the reader rejecting Him is rejecting the Very One who can enter the Jews into their Final rest with God! They are getting yet another chance the writer says is TODAY to accept the final Hight Priest. Only then can they enter the rest that God has prepared before this world was created. Praise Him!