I CHOOSE YOU
I praise You, Jesus, that You conquered death once and for all!
Read Zechariah 3:1–10
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.”
a Zechariah 3:1 Hebrew satan means adversary.
b Zechariah 3:9 Or facets
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.
Reflect“’Tis finished, the Messiah dies … The reign of sin and death is o’er” (Charles Wesley, 1762). What a solemn but exhilarating victory!
Joshua is in no state to stand up in court. Like the lost son arriving home from a pig sty, Joshua is filthy (3). He is faced with two formidable figures, the angel of the Lord and Satan. The “accuser” (1; Revelation 12:10) questions God’s choice of Joshua. Thankfully, we have an advocate who knows the worst about us but still chooses to be for us (7). The Lord compares Joshua to a fire-blackened stick (2), possibly like one found in the burnt-out Temple ruins.* (John L Mackay, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Christian Focus, 1994, p. 92) It could be discarded, like a bruised reed or a smoldering wick (Matthew 12:20). But it will not be discarded by God.
The re-clothing readies Joshua for service (4, 5). The Lord then looks for his allegiance (7). Walking in God’s ways, Joshua will become part of the big story (“symbols of things to come,” 8, NLT). That’s our identity – sins forgiven, equipped for service, contributing to the greatest show on earth! The three images (8, 9) – the servant, the Branch, and the stone – point to what is to come, the promised one (Isaiah 49:6; 11:1–3; 28:16) who has the all-seeing, penetrating eyes of God (9), and also deep compassion which brings forgiveness.
Have you ever felt like your past disqualified you from being used by God? God doesn’t think so! Take some time to sit down and ask God to show you how He sees you. Write down your impressions.
I praise You, God, that you never give up on me. Thank you for seeing who You created me to be, even through my mess.
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