ZECHARIAH CHAPTER 3.
The Vision of the High Priest.
The Lord had just referred to the glorification of His people. He now proceeds to show how this would take place. V. 1. And He showed me Joshua, the high priest, the man who, with Zerubbabel, had been the leader of the people when they returned from exile, standing before the Angel of the Lord, here pictured as the Judge in a court of law, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him, to accuse the high priest, to have him condemned, if possible, Satan here appearing as the true adversary of the Church. V. 2. And the Lord, Jehovah, for it is He who is the Angel of the Lord, said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan, the adversary and accuser being condemned instead of him whom he wanted to condemn, even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee, He has accepted the believers in Him as His people and will not permit Satan to interfere with His choice. Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? The Lordís people had been at the very brink of destruction, but the Lord had interfered before it was too late; therefore Joshua also, standing before the Lord as the representative of the sinful people, is shielded from condemnation. The scene is now further elaborated in order to bring out its full meaning. V. 3. Now, Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, typical of the sinfulness which was still found in the Lordís people, Is. 64, 5, and stood before the Angel, it was thus that he had presented himself in the Lordís court. V. 4. And He, the presiding Angel of Jehovah, answered and spake unto those that stood before Him, some of His ministering angels, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him, this signifying the removal of the peopleís guilt. And unto him He said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, by an act of complete forgiveness, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment, with the festival garments of a perfect righteousness. V. 5. And I said, the prophet here suddenly interposing in his eagerness to have, the work of cleansing completed, Let them set a fair miter upon his head, to give him the crowning assurance that the priesthood was restored, that the name of Jehovah was once more borne on the turban of the high priest. So they set a fair miter upon his head and clothed him with garments. And the Angel of the Lord stood by, having arisen from His judgeís chair to see that the prayer of Zechariah was executed in every detail. Thus Joshua, the representative of the people, particularly of its priestly character, was restored to the full dignity of the olden days, and thereby the people were likewise restored to their position as the Lordís people. But all this was significant also for the future. V. 6. And the Angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua, testifying with impressive solemnity, saying, v. 7. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, If thou wilt walk in My ways, as a true child of God, and if thou wilt keep My charge, performing every part of his office with due faithfulness, then thou shalt also judge My house, have charge of the Lordís Temple, and shalt also keep My courts, in observing every provision of the Ceremonial Law concerning Jehovahís worship, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by, that is, he would have open and unhindered access between the holy angels to the very throne of Jehovah; for in the New Testament all human mediators have been discarded, so that every believer may draw nigh to the Throne of Grace without hesitation. V. 8. Hear now, 0 Joshua the high priest, thou and thy fellows that sit before thee, his fellow-priests; for they are men wondered at, literally, ďmen of wonder are they,Ē that is, men about whom one might marvel; for, behold, I will bring forth My Servant, the BRANCH. Cp. Jer. 23, 5. 6; Is. 11, 1. This Zemach, or Branch, of whom the priests of the Old Testament were but types, is the Servant of Jehovah in a most singular sense, who was to carry out the will of Jehovah concerning the redemption of the world. Cp. Is. 53. V. 9. For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes, that is, seven eyes, the number of perfection, would be directed upon him, the loving care of Jehovah being indicated, as He observes His people, the believers in Him. Behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, with beautiful ornamental sculpture, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day, both the transgressions and their punishment. This great day is the day of Calvary, for it was then that God, in one day, took away the sins of the whole world. V. 10. In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbor under the vine and under the fig-tree, inviting him in the communion of Christian fellowship, doing mission-work in calling others to enjoy the blessings of the Gospel. We thus have the entire period of the New Testament in outline in this one vision, a Gospel-message which might well be heeded by all men in our days.