The Minor Prophets Speak to Today
3:1 Then the angel showed me Jeshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord. The Accuser, Satan, was there at the angel’s right hand, making accusations against Jeshua. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “I, the Lord, reject your accusations, Satan. Yes, the Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebukes you. This man is like a burning stick that has been snatched from the fire.”3 Jeshua’s clothing was filthy as he stood there before the angel. 4 So the angel said to the others standing there, “Take off his filthy clothes.” And turning to Jeshua he said, “See, I have taken away your sins, and now I am giving you these fine new clothes.”
5 Then I said, “They should also place a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean priestly turban on his head and dressed him in new clothes while the angel of the Lord stood by.
Satan Takes A Stand
No matter what your opinion of him, Satan is no slouch. Scriptures, both Old Testament and New, speak of Satan standing before the very God of Heaven and accusing the believers, God's children. He does it by name. Individual by individual in all cases cited.
Satan challenges God's opinion about the people to whom God has shown favor. The truly faithful, Satan asks to test - think Job. The tainted/unclean Satan declares unfit for God's favor. Fit only for the same rejection as he, Satan, suffered when cast down to the earth.
Jeshua, the son of Jehozadak the high priest - the spiritual leader of God's children, is now himself the high priest unto God. The bearer of the sin offerings of the people before the presence of God in the Holy of Holies.
Jeshua stands before God and his accuser, like many spiritual leaders today stand before God and their accusers, and Satan recites accusation after accusation as he sees it. As Jeshua stands there his clothes are filthy. They look dirty as if the accusations made had merit, were the whole truth, and Satan's judgments were the truths that merit God's condemnation.
God Has A Different View
God examines at Jeshua's clothes. These are not the clothes of a prodigal son rolling in the pigsty. Some of God's children wear those type of clothes, but that is a different problem. Jeshua's clothes are burnt. The evidence says this man was snatched from the fire. God doesn't say if Jeshua walked into the fire deliberately. Or that Jeshua got burnt trying to rescue some of God's other children as Jude talks about in Jude 1:23. But true to his nature, Satan's accusations are truth, but not the whole truth. They are accusations based on something real but are a misinterpretation, an incorrect judgement of what the reality stands for, an announcement of evil motivations that are and were not present. In fact a lot of Satan's accusations take the truth and use it for false accusations.
Satan's Accusations Rejected
We know Satan's accusation are these kind of accusations because, examination complete, the Lord rejects Satan's accusations and he doesn't just wave a dismissive hand. He says to Satan's face, "I, the Lord, reject your accusations." Then, the Lord turns to Jeshua and states plainly his sins are real. God is not blind to the truth underlying the accusations. Neither is he blind to the false premises of the accusations.
Now, having read the scripture above, you should be ready to shout at me, "That's not the full truth. God does something more than announce that Jeshua has sinned." And you are right. God does not even say to Jeshua, "You have sinned." He, like his manifestation of Himself by Jesus on earth, speaks only indirectly about Jeshua's sins.
The Miracle of Grace
First, the Lord directs other witnesses to take off Jeshua's filthy clothes. Standing thus naked before God, Jeshua hears the mantra of grace, "See, I have taken away your sins, and now I am giving you these fine new clothes."
Wait, the Lord says, "I am giving you these fine new clothes." God presents the clothes and, at Zechariah's request, based on what Zechariah considers appropriate to compliment the new clothes, God has given Jeshua a priestly turban, a mark of being set aside as holy unto the Lord. God presents ... but others take those garments of righteousness and put them on Jeshua. Others, put the priestly turban on Jeshua's head.
Grace is not a solitary act of God. It is a gift given in community.
The Lord has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father (Revelation 1:6). He has given use fine new priestly garments and the mark of our being set aside as holy unto the Lord. But others in this Kingdom of Priests help remove our old filthy clothes, put the turban on our head, and dress us in the robes of his righteousness while the Lord stands by.
Seems to me there is a double miracle in grace. Maybe a triple one. Make that four miracles in grace. God forgives our sins. He uses others to remove our garments of sin. He presents us with new garments and the badge of our now priestly office, then uses others to place those garments on us. What a miracle that God gives and gives. What a humbling miracle that he uses us in this work of grace.
A Word To God's Community of Children
Whose side are you on anyway! Why do you accuse the brethren? Why do you accuse the spiritual leaders I have sent you? Why do you do this work of Satan?
You are following his very pattern: looking at a reality then creating accusations based on your own human understanding. Your own manufactured motives attributed to these men and women. Your own judgments and the judgments you want me to make instead of letting me, Your Lord and God, be the judge, then helping to remove the garment made filthy by the fire. Instead of, as God hands them to you, dressing your brothers, your sisters, in their new priestly garments of righteousness, and placing on them the mark that shows the world these are priests and priestesses for Me, Your Father, in my kingdom.
And having done so to your bothers and sisters in the faith, now repent and also do so to the men and women I have gifted for leadership among you - your shepherds, your prophetic voices, your teachers, your healers, and all others gifted to equip you for the work of your ministry to the body and to the world.
Slovenia is burning out by Miran Rijavec some rights reserved @flickr.com