A Picture of Salvation

Laura N. Sweet

Read: Zechariah 3

And to him he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.” (v. 4)

In his parables, Jesus gives us many illustrations of what it means to be saved. For example, the parable of the lost sheep reminds us that God values every individual soul that is his. The “prodigal son” shows us God’s gracious forgiveness for the sinner who repents and comes home. These, among others, are beautiful pictures of salvation from the New Testament.

In Zechariah 3, we have a picture of salvation from the Old Testament. The Jewish exiles have returned to Jerusalem, freed from captivity, and Joshua, their high priest, represents them before the Lord. Zechariah’s vision shows Joshua in filthy garments before God, with Satan ready to accuse him. These garments represent the sin of both Joshua and his people, who are guilty of wicked disobedience.

But the Lord himself rebukes Satan, declaring that Joshua is “a brand plucked from the fire” (v. 2). The angel demands that Joshua’s filthy garments be removed, announcing that his iniquity is taken away. Joshua, now clothed in clean garments, is charged to lead the people in God’s ways. The Lord also promises to bring his servant the Branch (Jesus) to remove “the iniquity of this land in a single day” (v. 9).

What a picture of salvation! We are all brands plucked out of the fire, forgiven of iniquity and clothed in Christ’s righteousness. No accusation can stand against God’s children because of what Jesus has done for us! —Laura N. Sweet

As you pray, thank God for his gracious mercy and grace!