Zechariah Chapter 3

The first three visions focused on the deliverance of Israel from captivity, and physical restoration to the land of Israel. The fourth vision focuses on Israel’s need for spiritual restoration.

Vision 4 - 3:1-10 - Cleansing of the High Priest

Zechariah 3:1 And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the L-RD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.

This is one of the greatest pictures of salvation in the Tanakh. Here the instructing angel shows Zechariah a vision of Joshua, the current cohen hagadol (high priest), standing before the “Angel of the L-rd”. As we already stated in a previous lesson this is one of the names for G-d. We believe that He is Yeshua, the second member of the tri-unity. Joshua name in Hebrew is “Yeshua” meaning “Salvation comes from G-d”. The high priest was the intermediary between the people and G-d. Here he stands before G-d representing the people of Israel.

Zechariah not only sees G-d, he sees Satan too. Satan is a real personage. Remember Satan means “Adversary”. Here we see Satan, the father of Anti-Semitism, acting like a prosecuting attorney.

Revelation 12:9-10 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our G-d and the authority of His Messiah (Christ) have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them before our G-d day and night.

The above passage in Revelation tells us that Satan accuses us before G-d day and night.

Zechariah 3:2 And the L-RD said to Satan, The L-RD rebuke you, O Satan; even the L-RD that has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?

Did you read that closely? The L-rd said “The L-rd rebuke you”. Now don’t you think that He would have said, “I rebuke you”. Here is another place in the book of Zechariah we see the tri-unity of G-d.

Let’s plug in the names to make this easier to understand.

And Yeshua “the L-RD” said to Satan, The Father “the L-RD” rebuke you, O Satan; even the Father “the L-RD” that has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you: Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”

(See also Matthew chapter 4 for another example of Yeshua rebuking Satan.)

G-d has chosen to rebuild Jerusalem and will some day make it the capital of the earth.

We are all born with a sin nature. Something happened between the time G-d said, “all was good” B’RESHEET (Genesis)1:31 to the time Kayin (Cain) killed Hevel (Abel). The first Adam declared good. He was temporarily the only sinless man besides Yeshua. Adam was also a "type" of Yeshua. Then something happened and Adam failed and there where consequences to all.

Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the L-RD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Because we are all sinners; we all face eternity in the “Lake of Fire”.

Zechariah 3:3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.

The word “filthy” is a polite way of saying, “covered in dung”. This is how we are in our sin.

It doesn't mean we haven't ever done good things, it’s a matter that none of us are perfect and that is G-d's standard when it comes being with Him eternally. No one with any blemish can stand before G-d.

Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 64:6 For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

In our Yom Kippur study we discussed the fact that the high priest completely bathed himself several times through out the day. He wore plain white garments, which must be unsoiled when he approached the Holy of Holies. Why? Because he was representing Israel before G-d.

See our study on Yom Kippur

In this vision we see Israel’s and all mankind’s sin as G-d sees our sins. In His eyes we are covered in manure.

Yesha’yahu is telling us that all of our Mitzvah (good deeds) are as Schmutzegeh Shmatas (filthy rags).

Zechariah 3:4 And He answered and spoke to those that stood before Him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And to him He said, Behold, I have caused your iniquity to pass from you, and I will clothe you with change of raiment.

“Those that stood before Him” probably refers to the angels.

“The Angel of the L-rd” spoke to the angels instructing them to remove Joshua’s filthy garments.

“The Angel of the L-rd” spoke to Joshua telling him “I HAVE CAUSED YOUR INIQUITY TO PASS FROM YOU”. Only G-d can forgive sin. This is more proof that “the Angel of the L-rd” is G-d.

The soiled garments symbolizing sin are removed. He is given new clean garments to wear.

Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the L-RD, my soul shall be joyful in my G-d; for he has clothed me with the garments of (eternal)salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decked himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

We are clothed in righteousness when our sins have been atoned for by Yeshua’s blood.

Zechariah 3:5 And I said; Let them set a clean turban upon his head. So they set a clean turban upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the L-RD stood by.

Zechariah speaks up suggesting that he be given a clean turban to wear. The crown that was attached to the Turban was made of gold. Inscribed on the front was the phrase "Holy to the L-rd".

Truly we are “Holy to the L-rd” when we are clothed in His righteousness”

Zechariah 3:6 And “the angel of the L-RD” charged Joshua, saying,

Joshua is instructed by “the angel of the L-RD”.

Zechariah 3:7 Thus says the L-RD of hosts, 'If you will walk in My ways, and if you will perform My service, then you will also govern My house and also have charge of My courts, and I will grant you free access among these who are standing here.

John 14:15 If you love Me, keep my commandments.

We follow the commandments of G-d out of Love. If we love Him and others we are following the commandments. If we have the trust he requires in us for Him we will have works. Faith without works is dead. One will see these works or our love. We will be rewarded for what we do for Him and be placed in various positions. These works have nothing to do with salvation. It is a covenant of promise and He promised eternal salvation to all that believe or trust in Him.

We still have love and appreciation for His loving kindness. We love Him because He first loved us by dying in our place. We want to show our appreciation and love in return. We want to tell others about his love also. Imagine Holy G-d taking our filthiness and placing it on Himself just for us. His loving kindness endures forever. Imagine trying to downplay what He did for us by thinking what He did was not good enough?

Joshua is promised free access to come before the throne of G-d just as the angels have free access to come before the throne of G-d.

What Yeshua did out of loving-kindness is good enough for all that trust and want to obtain mercy.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. What Yeshua did out of loving-kindness is good enough to obtain complete eternal salvation to all who are willing to trust in Him.