Burnt Offerings -- By Tom Hacker

Zechariah 3: 1-3 (NKJV) "Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him.  And the LORD said to Satan, 'The LORD rebuke you, Satan!  The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you!  Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?'  Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel."

Zechariah 3: 1-5 is a striking picture of our lives.  The adversary, Satan, will always be there to oppose us, just as he was there to oppose Joshua the high priest as he stood before the Angel of the LORD.  The Angel of the LORD in the Old Testament is always a representation of Jesus.  Though Joshua was sinful, represented by his "filthy garments", Jesus chose to take him as "a brand plucked from the fire".  Fire is a symbol of judgment.  Not only did Jesus rescue Joshua from judgment, but He cleaned him up.  He took away the filthy garments of his sin.  Ever smell your clothes after you've been by a campfire?  That smell sticks to every part of your person.  Only with a thorough cleansing of your clothes and yourself can you be rid of that awful smell.  God had to thoroughly cleanse Joshua so he was fit for service.  God rescued him from the fire, cleansed him from his sin, and then gave him something better to replace the filthy clothes he took away - rich robes and a clean turban.  

Jesus is there at the beginning, the middle, and the end of the process. He rebukes Satan first.  Notice, it is God who rebukes Satan, not Joshua.  Joshua is in no condition to rebuke anyone - he is filthy in his sin, and Satan knows it.  But Jesus will always stand for us when our enemy comes against us (see Rom 8: 26, 27; Heb.7:25).  Even though God knows we sin, and Satan accuses us, God sees the potential we have in Christ, and He is willing to intercede for us, cleanse us from the filth in our lives, and then clothe us with His righteousness, "rich robes" proper for service to Him.  Only God can provide this.  Isn't He awesome!

Then, once Joshua is clean, God makes this conditional promise in vs. 7- "IF you will walk in my ways, and IF you will keep my command, THEN you shall also judge my house, and likewise have charge of My courts; I WILL GIVE YOU places to walk among those who stand here."  Where is "here"?  It is most likely Heaven, where the Angel of the Lord dwells.  We have a place in heaven because of Jesus.  And this says, too, that there will be reward in heaven for those who walk in God's ways and keep His command - they shall be judges and rulers in the heavenly kingdom!  How exciting!  These are the kind of things Christ was talking about in Matt. 6:20 when He said "...but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust  destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal."  Obedience bring treasures in heaven!  Yet what a struggle it is for all of us to obey.  But God's promise is sure, and if we remain in the foundation of our faith, Jesus, and trust in the Holy Spirit, our comforter and teacher, we will be able to obey (See also Prov. 3: 5-6).
Zechariah 3:8, and 3:9a give three of the ways Jesus described Himself in the N.T.  "My Servant""the BRANCH" and "the stone".  It is a picture of who Christ is in our lives - the servant who gave Himself as a ransom for many, the branch to which we are grafted in, that we might be call the sons of God, and the stone, the foundation of our faith and the solid rock upon which we can stand.  The end of verse 9 says the that He, will remove the iniquity in one day!  What a prophecy! And when iniquity is remove, His peace will reign.  May it be so in our lives and our churches, dear Lord!   My prayer, for you and me, is that God will remove the filthy garments of sin from our lives, clothe us with His
righteousness and crown us with His glory, so when others see Him in us that all praise, blessing and honor would be His.  If we will but walk in God's ways and keep His requirements then we will govern in His house, have charge of His courts, and have a place among those in heaven. Wow!

What a promise!  But Christ, the living Stone, must always be the foundation.  It is He who removed the sin of the world in one day.  He also promises us rest and joy, and fellowship with other believers, when we walk in His ways and keep His requirements.


Tom Hacker (COL 3:12-17)
Answers2Prayer Subscriber    p.weeministries@juno.com

(Appearing Sunday, July 28, 2002)