Continuing my reading in Zechariah I came across this verse. This is a vision given to Zechariah about Joshua the High Priest. It is also a picture for all of us.
Zechariah 3:3,4 (NKJV)
3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and was standing before the Angel.
4 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.”
The Lord wants His people to know that in their disobedience, in wandering their own way, they have ended up filthy – covered in sin. However He still wants them to return to Him – We read that in Chapter 2 as well, remember?
He also wants them to know that He loves them too much to leave them like that. He shows Zechariah what only He can do. He takes away their sin, their iniquities. In the HSCB version it’s written as “I have removed your guilt from you”. He wants His people to know that by His forgiveness He can remove the weight of guilt and brokenness.
Notice He doesn’t stop there. He doesn’t demand that once they are forgiven, they now perform some ritual or religious activity to make themselves right again. God is the only one who can do this. He is the one who clothes them with “rich robes”.
In other translations we can read the phrases “beautiful, fine clothes” (NCV) and “clothe and beautify you with rich robes [of forgiveness].” (AMP) and in the HSCB they say, “splendid robes.”
So not only does He cleanse them from their filth and sin, but He also changes them by placing new, clean and valuable clothing upon them.
To me, these descriptions speak of worth and value and beauty. This is what the forgiveness of God does. It changes you. Joshua was now clothed in new robes which represented the new life that God offers His people through forgiveness.
So just in case you have ever thought there was something you could do to make yourself right with God, then perhaps this verse will set you straight! God is the only one who can ever take away our sin and cleanse our filth.
He can completely remove your guilt and in its place give you beauty. He is the only one who can truly put new robes on us. By Him our worth and our value are truly defined.
Take some time today to come before Him today. He is waiting for you my friend, wanting you to return, ready to remove the weight of your guilt and clothe you in beauty.
Laura Jane Anslow