Zechariah 3* The restoration of the church. (1-5) A promise concerning theMessiah. (6-10)1-5 The angel showed Joshua, the high priest, to Zechariah, ina vision. Guilt and corruption are great discouragements when westand before God. By the guilt of the sins committed by us, weare liable to the justice of God; by the power of sin thatdwells in us, we are hateful to the holiness of God. Even God'sIsrael are in danger on these accounts; but they have relieffrom Jesus Christ, who is made of God to us both righteousnessand sanctification. Joshua, the high priest, is accused as acriminal, but is justified. When we stand before God, tominister to him, or stand up for God, we must expect to meet allthe resistance Satan's subtlety and malice can give. Satan ischecked by one that has conquered him, and many times silencedhim. Those who belong to Christ, will find him ready to appearfor them, when Satan appears most strongly against them. Aconverted soul is a brand plucked out of the fire by a miracleof free grace, therefore shall not be left a prey to Satan.Joshua appears as one polluted, but is purified; he representsthe Israel of God, who are all as an unclean thing, till theyare washed and sanctified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and bythe Spirit of our God. Israel now were free from idolatry, butthere were many things amiss in them. There were spiritualenemies warring against them, more dangerous than anyneighbouring nations. Christ loathed the filthiness of Joshua'sgarments, yet did not put him away. Thus God by his grace doeswith those whom he chooses to be priests to himself. The guiltof sin is taken away by pardoning mercy, and the power of it isbroken by renewing grace. Thus Christ washes those from theirsins in his own blood, whom he makes kings and priests to ourGod. Those whom Christ makes spiritual priests, are clothed withthe spotless robe of his righteousness, and appear before God inthat; and with the graces of his Spirit, which are ornaments tothem. The righteousness of saints, both imputed and implanted,is the fine linen, clean and white, with which the bride, theLamb's wife, is arrayed, #Re 19:8|. Joshua is restored to formerhonours and trusts. The crown of the priesthood is put on him.When the Lord designs to restore and revive religion, he stirsup prophets and people to pray for it. 6-10 All whom God calls to any office he finds fit, or makesso. The Lord will cause the sins of the believer to pass away byhis sanctifying grace, and will enable him to walk in newness oflife. As the promises made to David often pass into promises ofthe Messiah, so the promises to Joshua look forward to Christ,of whose priesthood Joshua's was a shadow. Whatever trials wepass through, whatever services we perform, our whole dependencemust rest on Christ, the Branch of righteousness. He is God'sservant, employed in his work, obedient to his will, devoted tohis honour and glory. He is the Branch from which all our fruitmust be gathered. The eye of his Father was upon him, especiallyin his sufferings, and when he was buried in the grave, as thefoundation-stones are under ground, out of men's sight. But theprophecy rather denotes the attention paid to this preciousCorner-stone. All believers, from the beginning, had lookedforward to it in the types and predictions. All believers, afterChrist's coming, would look to it with faith, hope, and love.Christ shall appear for all his chosen, as the high priest whenbefore the Lord, with the names of all Israel graven in theprecious stones of his breastplate. When God gave a remnant toChrist, to be brought through grace to glory, then he engravedthis precious stone. By him sin shall be taken away, both theguilt and the dominion of it; he did it in one day, that day inwhich he suffered and died. What should terrify when sin istaken away? Then nothing can hurt, and we sit down underChrist's shadow with delight, and are sheltered by it. Andgospel grace, coming with power, makes men forward to drawothers to it.
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