Zechariah 3

* The restoration of the church. (1-5) A promise concerning the

Messiah. (6-10)

1-5 The angel showed Joshua, the high priest, to Zechariah, in

a vision. Guilt and corruption are great discouragements when we

stand before God. By the guilt of the sins committed by us, we

are liable to the justice of God; by the power of sin that

dwells in us, we are hateful to the holiness of God. Even God's

Israel are in danger on these accounts; but they have relief

from Jesus Christ, who is made of God to us both righteousness

and sanctification. Joshua, the high priest, is accused as a

criminal, but is justified. When we stand before God, to

minister to him, or stand up for God, we must expect to meet all

the resistance Satan's subtlety and malice can give. Satan is

checked by one that has conquered him, and many times silenced

him. Those who belong to Christ, will find him ready to appear

for them, when Satan appears most strongly against them. A

converted soul is a brand plucked out of the fire by a miracle

of free grace, therefore shall not be left a prey to Satan.

Joshua appears as one polluted, but is purified; he represents

the Israel of God, who are all as an unclean thing, till they

are washed and sanctified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by

the Spirit of our God. Israel now were free from idolatry, but

there were many things amiss in them. There were spiritual

enemies warring against them, more dangerous than any

neighbouring nations. Christ loathed the filthiness of Joshua's

garments, yet did not put him away. Thus God by his grace does

with those whom he chooses to be priests to himself. The guilt

of sin is taken away by pardoning mercy, and the power of it is

broken by renewing grace. Thus Christ washes those from their

sins in his own blood, whom he makes kings and priests to our

God. Those whom Christ makes spiritual priests, are clothed with

the spotless robe of his righteousness, and appear before God in

that; and with the graces of his Spirit, which are ornaments to

them. The righteousness of saints, both imputed and implanted,

is the fine linen, clean and white, with which the bride, the

Lamb's wife, is arrayed, #Re 19:8|. Joshua is restored to former

honours and trusts. The crown of the priesthood is put on him.

When the Lord designs to restore and revive religion, he stirs

up prophets and people to pray for it.
6-10 All whom God calls to any office he finds fit, or makes

so. The Lord will cause the sins of the believer to pass away by

his sanctifying grace, and will enable him to walk in newness of

life. As the promises made to David often pass into promises of

the Messiah, so the promises to Joshua look forward to Christ,

of whose priesthood Joshua's was a shadow. Whatever trials we

pass through, whatever services we perform, our whole dependence

must rest on Christ, the Branch of righteousness. He is God's

servant, employed in his work, obedient to his will, devoted to

his honour and glory. He is the Branch from which all our fruit

must be gathered. The eye of his Father was upon him, especially

in his sufferings, and when he was buried in the grave, as the

foundation-stones are under ground, out of men's sight. But the

prophecy rather denotes the attention paid to this precious

Corner-stone. All believers, from the beginning, had looked

forward to it in the types and predictions. All believers, after

Christ's coming, would look to it with faith, hope, and love.

Christ shall appear for all his chosen, as the high priest when

before the Lord, with the names of all Israel graven in the

precious stones of his breastplate. When God gave a remnant to

Christ, to be brought through grace to glory, then he engraved

this precious stone. By him sin shall be taken away, both the

guilt and the dominion of it; he did it in one day, that day in

which he suffered and died. What should terrify when sin is

taken away? Then nothing can hurt, and we sit down under

Christ's shadow with delight, and are sheltered by it. And

gospel grace, coming with power, makes men forward to draw

others to it.

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