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Thought for the Day by Alex Forrest (Voluntary Staff Worker)
3 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan v 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 sticky 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.g
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 l 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.”
We often feel filthy in our sin. We feel accused, dirty, and disgusting in our sin. We feel broken, guilty, and despairing in our sin. We feel under the accusations of the Devil. Just like Jesus on the cross, we feel like we’re enduring accusations and mocking taunts, as we bear the weight of sin.
I remember hearing a talk on our CU weekend away once that kind of painted this picture we see here in Zechariah 3 of this courtroom situation with us as the accused, and Jesus defending us before God the judge. We often imagine Jesus pleading before God like “oh go on just let them off one more time! I know they’ve sinned again, but they’ll be good from now on!”
But that’s not the case, is it? You see verses 3-5, the dirty clothes are ripped from Joshua and he is dressed in beautiful robes. His sin is taken away from him. It’s not that he’s still in the robes of dirt but God lets him off anyway. It’s that he is now in perfect beautiful robes and there’s no dirt on him. His sin is taken away from him.
Because in v.8-9, in a single day the sin of the world was taken away. In a single day! HOW AMAZING IS THAT! In a single day, those garments were ripped from all of us we were dressed in robes of beauty. In a single day, Christ took all the sin of the world upon himself. In a single day, all that dirt and evil and the guilt that comes with it were ripped away from us. It’s not that God lets our sin go because Jesus is pleading with him to let us off. It’s that there is no sin to punish. It’s gone. God cannot punish our sin as Christians, because we are made perfect through Christ, dressed in robes of beauty.
One of my fave Bible verses ever, 1 John 4:18 reminds us this. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
Christ’s love means that we are free to come to God again without fear of punishment or disdain from God, but knowing he has taken our sin away and is pouring out his love upon us and longing for us to come to him.
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