2 Chronicles 18, Revelation 7, Zechariah 3, John 6

Zechariah 3
"Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.” Zechariah 3:4

Zechariah was a prophet of the LORD in Israel after the nation returned from seventy years of captivity in Babylon. Chapter three contains a vision given to Zechariah of the LORD forgiving the sin of Israel by restoring the high priest Joshua. Joshua (Jeshua) is mentioned in Ezra 3 as the priest who built the altar to the God of Israel.

According to Deuteronomy 10:8, the LORD set apart the Levites to carry the ark of the covenant and to "stand before the LORD to minister to him and to bless in his name." So, it is appropriate for Joshua as the high priest to be standing before the angel of the LORD. However, Joshua's clothing, described as filthy garments (verse 3), was not appropriate attire for the one who stood before God. Exodus 28-29 describes in elaborate detail what the LORD required before a priest could minister before Him. It was necessary for both the man and his garments to be consecrated as a sign of purity before they could stand before a holy God. Since Joshua's clothing did not fulfill that requirement, Satan, the accuser (Revelation 12:10), stood ready to condemn Joshua. But the LORD rebuked him, "The LORD rebuke you, O Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you!" Then Joshua's filthy clothing is replaced with "pure vestments" as evidence of his iniquity being removed.

Isn't that a magnificent portrayal of Romans 8? "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus...If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us."

After restoring Joshua, the LORD of hosts charged him to "walk in my ways" so that he may rule in the LORD's house and have the right of access. By living in this way, Joshua and his friends would be a sign of God's servant, the Branch who would remove the iniquity of the land in a single day. The LORD of hosts describes that day as a time of peace. Scripture used the same language in 1 Kings 4:25 to describe Solomon's reign; "Judah and Israel lived in safety, from Dan even to Beersheba, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, all the days of Solomon."

Doesn't Paul's explanation of justification in Romans 5:1-2 describe the same thing? "Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God."

Isaiah 61:10 says, "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels." All those who Peter describes as "elect exiles, a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his (God) own possession" have, like Joshua, received this precious garment of salvation, this robe of righteousness.

LORD Jesus, thank You for removing my filthy garments; for taking away my iniquity. In You alone am I clothed in righteousness and salvation. This is possible only through Your grace.