4. A Vision of New Clothes
God cleanses sinners through Christ on the basis of His grace and then uses them to serve Him as they walk in His ways.
“1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?”3 Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments.4 And the angel said to those who were standing before him, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to him he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.” 5 And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord was standing by. 6 And the angel of the Lord solemnly assured Joshua, 7 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: If you will walk in my ways and keep my charge, then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here. 8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who sit before you, for they are men who are a sign: behold, I will bring my servant the Branch. 9 For behold, on the stone that I have set before Joshua, on a single stone with seven eyes,I will engrave its inscription, declares the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of this land in a single day. 10 In that day, declares the Lord of hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor to come under his vine and under his fig tree.” – Zechariah 3:1-10
I. Accusation vv 1-2
II. Justification vv 3-5
III. Sanctification vv 6-7
IV. Promise vv 8-10
Quick Thought: Serving as Kingdom & Priests Together
Today’s text reminds us that by grace, God is redeeming for Himself a people, and by that same grace, these people are to serve as a kingdom and priests. The roles of kingdom and priests are closely related and can never be separated from one another. As we live in God’s kingdom, we show the watching world that his reign is good. We are not just people of light; we are a light to the world, a city on a hill (Matthew 5:14). Our light-filled lives expose the world’s darkness (Ephesians 5:8–14; John 3:16–21). Sometimes this leads to opposition; sometimes, it attracts those who see, through our lives, that Jesus offers something desirable (Titus 2:1–10; cf. 2 Corinthians 2:14–15). In any case, all who see our good deeds will glorify God on the day he visits us. (1 Peter 2:12)
What we must remember, however, is that these things are not just true of us as individuals. They are also true of us corporately. That is, we should encourage one another to maturity in Christ, and we should present Christ together to people who do not know him. God has not just redeemed individuals but a people for himself. We are individuals-in-community. So when we talk of living out our redeemed calling as kingdom and priests , we must think about what that looks like for a church.
Life Group Study
1. Verse 1: Joshua was the high priest in the days of Zechariah (Hag. 1:1-14; 2:2-4). What was the primary function of the high priest? Discuss the significance of the presence of the high priest in the vision.
2. As Joshua stands there before Jesus, Satan is also there, accusing him. Accusation seems to be the devil’s full-time occupation.
a. How have you experienced satan’s accusations?
b. How can we tell the difference between the Holy Spirit convicting us of sin and satans accusations of being sinful?
c. Read 1Cor. 2:11. How does Paul advise Christians to be victorious against satans attacks? How can you put that into practice?
3. Read Rom. 8:33-34. What do these verses say about the accusations Satan brings against a Christian?
4. Read the Lord’s reply to satan’s accusations in verse 2. In the sermon, it was said: “What does the Lord say? It is not Jerusalem who chooses God; it is God who chooses Jerusalem. Friends, if you had chosen God and felt that you could approach Him in your name, you should have no assurance that you will stand before Him. But if God chose you, fully aware of your sin, then, of course, you have a tremendous mandate to approach God, and nobody can turn you away.”
a. How does the doctrine of God’s sovereign election apply to our assurance of salvation? Why should it comfort you?
5. In Scripture, a person’s garments often speak of a person’s character or condition. Soiled and filthy garments speak of sin; white garments speak of being cleansed and made sinless.
a. How did Joshua lose his filthy garments and receive clean garments?
6. In the sermon, justification was defined as being clothed in righteous garments that are not our own. Why is justification by grace through faith alone an essential of the gospel that cannot be compromised? Can one be saved if they believe in justification by any other means, such as keeping the law?
7. In the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15), the father puts a robe (most likely his own robe) on his repentant son, and the implication is that when he sees his son, he sees himself. Do you struggle to believe that when God sees you, he sees the robe of Christ’s righteousness He has put upon you and not your sinful nature? How can you battle this unbelief?
8. Read verse 5. What is the significance of the Lord putting a clean turban on Joshua’s head in the vision? (note, this was part of his priestly uniform)
a. Do you ever feel unworthy to serve Christ because of your sin? What should when these feelings come?
b. Is there ever a point when sin does disqualify one from serving Christ?
9. Joshua is told that he and the priests that served with him were a symbol, a picture, or a type of someone to come – someone who God called, “My servant, the Branch. The Branch is Jesus Christ, who would be a branch – a descendant – of the family line of Jesse through King David. This promise was meant to be a practical encouragement to God’s people as they pressed into the rebuilding of the temple. How can this promise be an encouragement for the weary Christian today?
Close in prayer.