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Mark Fackler

READ : Zechariah 3:3-5

I have taken your guilt away . . . and I will clothe you with festal apparel. (v. 4)

I have seen men living in very dirty clothes. They come to urban rescue missions or rest on park benches. Ragged, filthy clothes are the attire of the desperately poor, the homeless, the abandoned. The garbage dumpsters where they find food scraps give their clothes an added twang, a rancid smell. They have no place to clean up. Maybe no reason to.

The shabby priest Joshua, dressed to fit his crimes, needs a bath and a wardrobe to fit his new status: free man, God’s man. Get out of those rags, he is told. And Zechariah himself orders Joshua to put on a turban, the symbol of guilt-bearing holiness (Exodus 28:36-38). Joshua’s new threads subtly witness to the One who will bear all guilt for all time, and make us holy.

Changing from rags to robes is a picture of God’s grace. Joshua didn’t buy the new suit or win it in a righteousness contest. He was given it.

You may wear designer jeans or second-hand sweaters. No matter. The clothes Jesus gives have less to do with fabric than heart. Show faith, hope, love. Wear generosity, peace, gentleness. Put on shoes that get your feet into doing God’s will. These clothes are given to be worn daily, and they never wear out.

PRAYER

Lord, dress me in your righteousness.