CALLED TO BE PURE PRIESTS
God of great love, open my mind and soften my heart. Help me to breathe deeply of your Spirit.
Read Zechariah 3
Clean Garments for the High Priest
3 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan[a] standing at his right side to accuse him. 2 The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”
3 Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. 4 The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.”
Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.”
5 Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the Lord stood by.
6 The angel of the Lord gave this charge to Joshua: 7 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in obedience to me and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.
8 “‘Listen, High Priest Joshua, you and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. 9 See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes[b] on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day.
10 “‘In that day each of you will invite your neighbor to sit under your vine and fig tree,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectImagine being a priest who is wearing defiled clothing. Imagine that you cannot cleanse yourself and the accuser is rightly pointing out how unfit you are to serve God. What do you need?
The first three visions related to the nation of Israel being restored from captivity and prospering in the land. Now, in the fourth vision, God addresses the internal cleansing from sin that Israel needed. This vision focuses on Joshua, the high priest in Israel at that time. Representing the nation, he stood there before the Lord dressed in filthy clothes, with Satan accusing him.
‘The angel of the Lord’ rebuked Satan (vs 1,2), took away Joshua’s sin (v 4) and then he was dressed for service as a priest. Israel was originally called to be a kingdom of priests, and now Joshua was being called to fulfill that role (v 7). Joshua, and the men with him, were also told to anticipate the coming of God’s servant, the Branch (v 8). This is the Branch of David, the Messiah, who will do the will of God (see Isaiah 11:1; Jeremiah 23:5).
Just like Israel, we have been called to be priests (1 Peter 2:5). We also are defiled by sin and rightly accused by Satan. We too are cleansed by God’s grace, called to serve faithfully and told to anticipate the coming of the Branch. When he comes, we will really know peace and prosperity!
Imagine being a priest, purified by God’s action, invited to live for God in this needy world. If you have trusted in Christ, that is you.
Dear Lord Jesus, I thank you for your sacrificial death, that I might be free from my sins. You died that I might live. Hallelujah, what a Savior!
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