A Salvation Analogy

There is much symbolism in the book of Zechariah.  Let’s take a look at some of it, beginning in chapter 3.

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”

Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.”  Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you.”

Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the Lord stood by.

The angel of the Lord gave this charge to Joshua: “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.”  — Zechariah 3:1-7

What a great analogy to our own salvation!  Though we stand before God clothed in sin, He has the power to make us stand before Him dressed all in white.  And though Satan stands nearby accusing us, the Lord puts him back in his rightful place – rebuked and defeated.  God’s power to give grace is far greater than Satan’s ability to accuse.

Take note of the angel’s words at the end of the story.  It doesn’t end with a simple “grace covers all” message, but instead the angel reminds Joshua of his duty to walk in God’s ways and to keep His commands.  In the same way, we do not accept God’s grace and go back to living in sin, counting on the fact that grace will make a way (see Romans 6:1).  The transformed individual makes an effort to better understand and follow God’s ways.  And when we fail, God’s grace will be there for us.


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