About Jesus Steve Sweetman
This Chapter - Chapter 3
Garments For The High Priest (ch. 3:1 - 10)
1 steps right into Zechariah’s next vision.
The first person seen in the vision is Joshua.
This vision is first meant to be an encouragement for Joshua, and
then for Israel. Along with Joshua the high priest, is the angel of the Lord and satan.
Satan is on Joshua’s right side, and the angel of the Lord is
before or in front of Joshua. Most
scholars believe that when you see the term “angel of the Lord” in
the Old Testament, it refers to the pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus.
Now in the vision it is noted that satan is on Joshua’s
“right side”. In
Hebrew idiomatic language, when the term “right side”, or “right
hand” is used, it is often times in reference to one having authority.
For example, when Jesus went to sit at the right hand of God, it
means that He went to a place of authority alongside of God.
Since satan is standing at Joshua’s right hand, this might
Jews had long since allowed satan to take God’s place of authority in
their lives. You might
remember the words of Jesus in John 8 when speaking to the Pharisees.
The Pharisees claimed that Abraham was their father, but Jesus
said that was not the case. Jesus
said that satan was actually their father.
This would support the thinking of satan taking God’s place in
the place of authority over Israel.
the right side is significant or not, we do know from the text that
satan was standing at Joshua’s right side and while he was there, he
was accusing Joshua in front of Jesus.
This is part of what satan does.
He makes accusations against God’s people to God, and in this
particular case, the accusations are probably accurate.
If satan being on Joshua’s right side has significance as I
stated above, then it is ironic that the one who
verse 2 we see that Jesus rebukes satan twice.
The first time is a general rebuke with no explanation given.
The second rebuke is based on the fact that God loves Jerusalem. This suggests that the
issue at hand concerns
last phrase in verse 2 is spoken by Jesus. He tells satan that Joshua is
a burning stick that has been snatched from the fire.
Fire normally speaks of judgment.
Jesus is saying that Joshua has been snatched from judgment to be
an instrument for the Lord. So
satan should get his hands off him.
verse 3 we see Joshua dressed in filthy clothes. In the Hebrew filthy
clothes means menstrual rags when women have their period.
The sight of Joshua’s appearance is thus pretty bad looking.
The way he is dressed represent sin, and most likely, the sin of Israel.
verse 4 the angel of the Lord, that’s Jesus, speaks to others who are
standing before Him. The
pronoun “I” refers to Jesus. Now
we need to think about who “those standing” before Jesus are.
Verse 7 speaks of others “standing here.”
Verse 8 speaks of Joshua’s “associates sitting” with him.
So to understand those in the vision, let’s recap.
You have Joshua. On
Joshua’s right side you have satan, and on his left side, or in front,
you have Jesus. Then you
have Joshua’s associates sitting with him. You also have others
standing with Jesus. The
others are the ones who take Joshua’s filthy clothes off and give him
clean clothes. You’ll see
later that those standing with Jesus are those whom Joshua will rule
with if he follows in the ways of God.
the last part of verse 4 Jesus explains the meaning of having Joshua’s
filthy clothes taken off of him. The
filthy clothes represents his sin and the sin of
verse 5 we see that once the old clothes were taken off Joshua, brand
new clothes were put on him. This
clearly represents God’s righteousness. Both Joshua and Israel
had become righteous in this vision.
This righteousness had nothing to do with them buying the new
clothes. The new clothes
were provided by Jesus Himself. This
is the message of the New Testament.
God has provided righteousness that comes only by trusting Jesus,
whether one is Jew or Gentile.
thing we might want to note at this point is that Jesus paid the price
for these new clothes when He died on the cross.
Note the words “paid the price”.
Jesus paying the price and we or the Jews actually putting these
new clothes on are two different things.
Some might suggest that all have been made righteous because of
the cross. I see it a bit differently.
The price was paid for the possibility of us being righteous.
Our righteousness was bought buy Jesus, not us.
Yet we need to put these new clothes of righteousness on or else
we’re not righteous. In
this instance, Joshua represents
verses 6 and 7 the angel of the Lord, or Jesus speaks directly to
Joshua. Jesus speaks on
behalf of God, so in the long run, it’s really God speaking.
God tells Joshua that if he walked in the ways of God and
followed His commands then God would let Joshua govern over
verse 8 we see a few things being said.
The first thing we see is God speaking to Joshua, “and his
associates standing with him”. Prior
to this point in the vision we did not see anyone standing with Joshua.
But here we see others with Joshua and God says that these men
are symbolic of future things.
These associates are men, not angels, and they are to represent
things to come. I
believe they represent those who will rule with Jesus from Jerusalem
in the thousand years of peace.
last thing God says in verse 8 is that He will bring His Servant the
Branch. All Bible teachers
say that this is a direct reference to Jesus, the Messiah.
In chapter 6 verse 12 you’ll see Zechariah use the term branch
again. In this verse it
states that the Branch “branches out”.
This might well be why Jesus is called a branch, because out from
Him grows other smaller branches, as seen in John 15 when Jesus speaks
of Himself as being the vine and us being branches.
Paul, in Romans 9 through 11 speaks of the people of God
being a tree, and Gentile Christians are grafted into this tree that has
existed from Old Testament times. So one thing I can say about this
verse, is that the New Testament people of God seems to be in view here,
and these people are carried on into the thousand years of Christ’s
rule on earth.
verse 9 we see another aspect to this vision.
In front of Joshua is a stone with seven eyes on it.
The question is, “what does this stone represent?”
Many times in the New Testament Jesus is referred to as a stone,
a corner stone, or a rock. This
stone might well be Jesus Himself. In
verse 8 Jesus was the branch. In verse 9 He is the stone.
“what do the seven eyes” refer to?
If the stone is Jesus, the seven eyes is the Holy Spirit.
In Rev. 4:5 and 5:6 we see the term “seven spirits of God”
mentioned. The terms
“seven spirits of God” can also be translated as “the seven fold
spirit of God”. Some say
that there are seven special spirits of God, while others say there is
one Spirit of God consisting of seven aspects, thus
the words “seven fold”. I
tend to accept the idea that the Holy Spirit has seven aspects to Him.
Some see the seven fold spirits listed in Isa. 11:2.
They are; the spirit of the Lord, of wisdom, of understanding, of
counsel, of power, of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord. This
might well represent Jesus being anointed by the Holy Spirit at His
baptism. This anointing
carries on throughout history, throughout the thousand years and beyond.
in verse 9 we see that God engraves an inscription on the stone.
In Rev. 19:12 we see that Jesus has a name that no one else
knows. Maybe this is what
this verse is referring to. At
that time, the last phrase in verse 9 says that God will remove the sin
from Israel. And this is exactly what
happens at the end of this age, when Jesus returns, with His new name. Israel
will finally be the holy people they were meant to be.
verse 10 God says that in “that day each of you..”
“That day “ refers to the day spoken of in verse 9, that is,
the end of this age. “Each
of you” has to refer to more than Joshua, but to Joshua and those
standing with him. In that