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Priesthood of All Believers – Zech. 3:1-5


The Priesthood of All Believers!

Zechariah’s Fourth Vision

Text: Zechariah 3:1-5

Again notice that Zechariah is full of Gospel Truth! Here we see:-

1. The Conflict with Satan!

The Joshua mentioned here is not the man who was the helper of Moses. This is another Joshua, much later in time, and with a different role. We first find him mentioned in the book of Haggai, Haggai 1:1 The priest:-

  • Stands before the Lord! 3:1 It is the task of the priest to stand before God, to represent the people of God. In his task, he:-
  • Is Opposed by Satan! and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. Every true servant of God must grasp the reality of this vision!
    • We often thank God for His presence in our midst as we worship and work for him. He is with us, and Joshua was directly in his presence, as we are also! But, as soon as Joshua begins to serve God, in his God-appointed way, Satan stands beside him to hinder the work. He is RESISTING THE WORK!
    • How is he resisting the work of Joshua? In Revelation he is referred to as ‘The Accuser of the brethren!” 12:10 That is what Satan does! Look at God’s response, for Joshua…
  • Is Defended by the Lord! 3:2 Note the Lord’s reply to the Devil’s accusations of the Saints! God rebukes Satan! When God defends His people, He refers to His won sovereign election and choice. It is the Lord that has chosen Jerusalem, His people! He has done so, out of His own free grace, with no merit on their part!
  • Is Plucked from the Jaws of Hell! Now, every believer is a priest! Note how this man became the holder of his priestly office… is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?

What a lesson this is! This man is the high priest of Israel, but he’s only a sinner, guilty and deserving only of eternal punishment, whom God in His grace and mercy has plucked as a brand from the burning, and brought to the safety of His kingdom! Salvation is of the Lord! Initiated by God, procured by God at the Cross, enacted by God in our hearts! God must pluck us out! We may be scarred by the flames, but we have been saved!

2. The Cleansing of the Soul!

Our salvation is here likened to a change of garment!

  1. Our Rags Revealed! 3:3-4 Joshua originally stood before God clothed in filthy garments. The Biblical fact is that we are clothed in sinful garments. In the blinding light of the absolute purity of God, we utterly filthy and depraved in our sins! The Bible tells us so! Genesis 6:5   Isaiah 64:6  
  2. Our Rags Removed! And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, Again we must go back to the point about the sovereignty of God in Salvation! He takes away our sin! He washes away the filth, he cleanses us in His own blood, shed for us on the Cross! 1:5
  3. Our Rags Replaced! and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. That’s what Jesus has done for the believer! You must have your sins dealt with, and be washed in Christ’s blood, and clothed in His righteousness!

If you have a copy of the Shorter Catechism, read and learn Q33! What is justification? Justification is an act of God’s free grace, wherein he pardoneth all our sins, and accepteth us as righteous in His sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone.

3. The Consecration of the Saints!

Zech. 3:5   Now, having been cleansed, Joshua is commissioned! Every believer is a priest, and every believer is commissioned by God to work for Him! See Joshua here:-

  1. He has a mitre upon his head! The Amp Bible reads, ‘Let them put a clean turban on his head!” For Joshua, the placing of the mitre or turban upon his head was a symbol of the completeness of his cleansing!   Now, sin has gone, and obedience and service is the result! This turban was a symbol of priesthood and service. Exodus 28:36-38  
  2. He has a robe on his back! They were rich garments! Festal garments, the garments of the priest, similar to the garments of those who will be at the marriage supper of the Lamb, where believers will be clothed in fine linen, robes of righteousness!
  3. He has the Lord at his side! When a minister is commissioned for the Lord’s work, other ministers and Christian workers and elders will often stand by him, and prayerfully commit him to the Lord’s care. For every one of us, the Lord Himself stands by us as He Himself consecrates us and calls us into his service! Let us recognise his presence in our lives and his demands for obedience!  

What a great passage! We are accused by Satan, defended by God. Sinners deserving of eternal death, but God plucks us as brands from the fire, we are filthy in our spiritual appearance, but God clothes us in purity, we are unworthy of His grace but he brings us into His priesthood of believers and ordains us to His service!

BobMcEvoy May 2019

From → Zechariah

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