Zechariah is given eight visions. In Chapter 3 there is a vision of the chief priest before the Lord God Almighty on the Day of Atonement. Earlier in the Bible one can read of how the chief priest is to dress, and how he is to perform, on the Day of Atonement. Zechariah Chapter 3 is important in that Zechariah presents us a clear vision of what is occurring in the spiritual realm as the chief priest attends his annual duty. We learn much of what God has planned for Christ’s own role as chief priest for all people. We also learn much of how we as Christians will individually present, and be treated, at the day of judgment:
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. 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?” Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. Zechariah 3:1-3 NIV
Firstly, in respect the chief priest:
- The accuser stands to bring accusations against the chief priest and the people yet he is silenced. That is, God cares not to hear any accusations against his chosen people. God has already plucked his people from the fire (Zechariah 3:2),
- The chief priest says nothing in his or the people’s defense (Zechariah 3:2), and,
- The chief priest in the vision is stripped of his filthy garments (the garments are filthy as they have the stain of all the people of Israel’s sin). The chief priest is then given clean rich robes (Zechariah 3:3-4),.
- A stone is set before the chief priest (Zechariah 3:9). The stone is Jesus. The chief priest is made aware that God will one day set the stone to remove all iniquities in one day. On that day the Day of Atonement will cease. That day is the day Jesus dies on the cross.
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.” Zechariah 3:4 NIV
Secondly, in respect Jesus:
- The Chapter is perhaps one of the strongest illustrations in the Old Testament of how Jesus is to fulfil God’s plan for his people,
- Jesus – born of Spirit - will complete that which the chief priest – born of dust – cannot complete.
See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes 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. Zechariah 3:9 NIV
Thirdly, in respect us as Christians:
- The accuser will stand before us at the judgment throne and yet he will be silenced,
- Jesus will vouch for us on that day and will clothe us in the same clothing that he himself wears,
- We will be invited by our Christian brothers and sisters under their vine and under their fig tree (Zechariah 3:10).
Jesus calls us home. He has paved the way and made good our passage. Will you give your life to him?
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