READING: Zechariah 1-7
“I will clothe you with festive robes.”
Zechariah saw the vision of the high priest Joshua, who represented the people of God, standing between an angel and Satan, the accuser. The graphic picture of Joshua clearly showed that he was guilty: “Now Joshua was dressed with filthy clothes as he stood before the angel” (Zech. 3:3). The word “filthy” in English probably isn’t strong enough to express the Hebrew wording, which suggests “excrement-covered” garments. Joshua apparently looked disgusting, smelled even worse, and obviously had nothing to say for himself. Had the accuser spoken up, he would have had little convincing to do to show Joshua’s sin.
But, the accuser never spoke a word. God quieted him before he could speak and dramatically illustrated His grace toward the sinful priest: He not only had the filthy garments removed—indicating that “I have removed your iniquity from you” (Zech. 3:4)—but He also made sure that Joshua was clothed with “festive robes” and a clean turban. God thus illustrated His plan not only to forgive and remove sin, but also to impute righteousness to Joshua. He gave clean clothing to a filthy priest who could never have secured the clothing on his own.
It’s hard not to see God’s grace all over this story. I, too, am guilty of sin. I may not have thought much about my sinfulness as the stench of excrement, but that’s only because I haven’t always considered the vile nature of my sin. When I think of it that way, God’s willingness to put a festive robe on me becomes that much more gracious. I understand better the father’s love that motivated him to throw a party when his wayward son, the prodigal one, came home in Jesus’ famous parable.
I’m grateful today for forgiving grace.
- Meditate today on the wicked stench of your sin.
- Remember when you came home, and the Father who beckoned you was waiting there.
PRAYER: “God, thank You for loving me in my stench. Thank You for my clean clothes.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Zechariah 8-14