This week is all about Thanksgiving, and I can say that I am most thankful for the truth contained in the Scriptures I shared with my daughter a few weeks ago when she asked me to list my five favorite verses. I am thankful that God knows my frame and remembers that I am only made of dust (Ps. 103:14). I am also thankful for the Lord’s mercies, which are new every morning (Lam. 3:22-23). And I am certainly thankful that God has removed the filth of my wickedness and replaced it with pure robes of righteousness. That is the focus of the 3rd passage that I shared with my daughter, Zechariah 3:1-5.
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. Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.” And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him. And the Angel of the Lord stood by.
The image of Joshua, the High Priest, standing before the supreme Judge is a powerful one. Satan, who is called the accuser of the brethren in Revelation 12:10, is standing nearby making accusations against this man – accusations which were clearly based in reality, as he stood there clothed in filthy robes. Of course, it is not difficult for me to see myself in the person of Joshua, for I readily acknowledge that I, too, stand rightfully condemned before the One whose judgment is always right. In my heart I know the accusations that Satan could make against me for which I could offer no justification, able to do no more than stand, clothed in my own putrid sin. Yet my heart swells with joyful awe when I read that not Joshua, but the Lord rebukes Satan and instructs those attending to remove Joshua’s vile robes and replace them with pure and perfect clothes. Thomas McComiskey comments on this, saying, “The removal of the filthy garments silenced the accuser, making his charge baseless, because the supreme Judge has done the unthinkable: he has removed the guilt of the people by a sovereign act of grace….The matchless grace of God that expunged Israel’s guilt is the same grace that motivates God to expunge in us what he must view as disgusting sin, cleansing and glorifying all who come to him.”
So this week of Thanksgiving, I am especially grateful for the grace of God which has done the unthinkable in removing the basis for any accusation against me by taking away my sin and replacing it with the covering of his dear Son, Jesus Christ, the Righteous.