New Clothes

Jeshua’s clothing was filthy as he stood there before the angel. 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.”
Zechariah 3:3-4 New Living Translation

In the vision recorded in Zechariah 3, Jeshua stands in to represent the entire community of Israel. The vision begins with Jeshua wearing filthy clothes and Satan laying accusations against him. If Satan wanted to prevent the rebuilding of the temple, one of the easiest ways to thwart this effort would be to discredit the priests and the generation they represent and make them feel unworthy of entering into the presence of Yahweh. There was much that Satan could accuse the people of Israel of, since they had inherited the rebellion of their ancestors. Still, God would have nothing to do with it. He spoke of Joshua (and the generation he represented) as being like a stick rescued from the fire. God had allowed Israel and Judah to experience the consequences of their rebellion but He was now rescuing this generation from the consequences of their ancestors’ sins and renewing the covenant with Abraham through them. He also offered Jeshua new, clean clothes and a clean turban to represent the redemption and grace He was offering this new generation of Abraham’s descendants.

In our own lives, Satan wants nothing more than to derail the work of the Kingdom of God in us. His most common weapon to prevent us from experiencing the fullness of God’s work is to make us feel unworthy of being a part of God’s kingdom and plan. He will remind us of our sins of the past and try to make us feel guilty and unworthy. If Satan can keep us wallowing in the mud of condemnation and guilt, he can keep us from pursuing the mission of God in our lives. God will have nothing to do with this, though. He rejects the accusations of Satan against us and offers to make us clean in order to represent Him well before a world that needs to know His grace and mercy. Our part is to trust God in His offer of grace and to begin to walk in the righteousness He is offering us through Jesus Christ.

Prayer:
God, thank You that You offer us new, clean clothes of righteousness through Jesus Christ and the blood He shed on the cross. Help us to trust that You are making us worthy of walking in Your presence and being a part of Your mission on earth.

Published by llongard

I grew up in northeast Wisconsin. After high school, I moved to Minneapolis, MN to attend North Central University and graduated 1992 with a degree in Biblical Studies and Humanities. I spent most of the next fifteen years in the Twin Cities area until my family and I moved to Indiana in 2007. For most of the first seventeen years after college, I was involved in university ministry either as a volunteer, bi-vocational, or full-time campus minister. Through those years, I also worked in the main street marketplace as a retail manager/trainer and as a service representative in the insurance industry. I've also worked in various education roles. Most recently, I have been working on various projects addressing homelessness in Indianapolis and as team lead for Diakonos Community, a Communitas International missional initiative. Through this ministry, we seek to build missional communities in Indianapolis that serve and bring the life of Christ to those on the margins of society. Our strategy is to collaborate with community agencies that serve those in need and share Christ through meaningful relationships. I am blessed with a wonderful wife, three amazing daughters, and two cats (can't forget the cats, LOL). As a family, we enjoy camping, hiking, gardening, and going to the YMCA together. I also enjoy fishing, riding bicycle, and being involved in whatever my daughters are doing. Though I have not lived in the Green Bay area for over 20 years, I am still a major Packer fan.

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