What A Glorious Scene!
Read Zechariah Chapter 3
Zec 3:1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan 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 rich garments on you.”
The vision that Zechariah saw (or maybe it was a real event) is a beautiful picture of the cleansing which all God’s children undergo as they live out their lives. When our Father calls us unto Himself, He stands ready to do all that is necessary to cleanse us from our unrighteousness and clothe us with His righteousness. Let’s look at some of the powerful images contained in these verses.
- Joshua stood before the Lord – Every man stands before the Lord. He is right beside us for every step of the way in our lives. We stand before the Lord 24/7 for all our lives.
- As Joshua stood before the Lord, it is clearly shown that he was not standing in his own righteousness. Can any of us stand before Him in our own righteousness? Certainly not! As I think of my own unworthiness, it is quite evident that I have NO right to stand in the presence of God. Lord, have mercy one me!
- Satan was standing in the scene with the intention of accusing Joshua of his sinfulness. By now, I imagine that Satan is hoarse from shouting out my many transgressions. He may soon be suffering from complete laryngitis. Seriously, he is always accusing us of our wrongdoing before God, and everything he says about us is true. He doesn’t have to make up stuff for we SSA men and women. Maybe he has to invent accusations against Billy Graham, but not us.
- The Lord Himself, not the angel, rebuked Satan. It won’t be our friends and family defending us, although they would if given a chance. It is our Savior who silences the Accuser. Try to realize that you too, are being defended by our Lord and Savior. It is true!! Despite the enormity of all our past wickedness, and our future wickedness, God/Jesus is defending us. That being so, we have no reason to fear. We have no reason to believe that we are beyond redemption. It has already taken place, it is taking place at this moment, and it will take place in the future.
- Joshua was a burning stick snatched from the fire. Does not this very aptly describe each of us who are battling SSA? We have been snatched from a very real fire, that dangerous sinful behavior.
- Joshua still had on his “filthy clothes.” Take careful note that Joshua had already been snatched from the fire, yet he still was dressed in his filthy clothes. I can see that for us. We have been saved from the fire, but God still has to do a huge work of clothing us with righteousness. We aren’t perfect yet, we still mess up sometimes, but we are nevertheless standing before God asking Him to clothe us with righteousness. We desire to be cleansed.
- Joshua’s filthy clothes were removed, and his sin was taken away. Someday, my great SSA brothers and sisters, we will not have to fight this battle against sin any longer. We have longed for most of our lives for a time when all our sinning would be done with. God is at this moment clothing us with rich garments. We are going to be spotless and clean, with none of our past hanging on to us trying to lead us to despair.
- One other thing. Note that Joshua was a high priest. One would think that the high priest would not need the same kind of cleansing that we need. Yes, he does. Every man and woman will have to have the same cleansing that you and I must undergo. We may believe that we are worse sinners than most other Christians. We may indeed have a deeper level of sinfulness than some others, but it makes no difference. God has all the power which is necessary to cleanse the worst of us. Believe it.
My wonderful friends, do not allow Satan’s accusations to make you believe that you are too far gone, to0 sinful, too messed up, for Christ to do His miraculous work in your live. All of us who know we are sinful, and are seeking His righteousness, will be blessed with the same fate as the high priest Joshua. Don’t listen to your enemy’s lies any more!
Prayer: Lord, we are struck with awe as we picture ourselves in the place of Joshua. We don’t understand how You can forgive so much in our lives. We have been so sinful, so unfaithful, and sometimes seem to be making little or no progress in being done with our SSA failures. You are much more merciful than we could ever have imagined. Thank You, from the bottom of our hearts.