And he responded and said to those who were standing before him, saying, ‘Remove the filthy garments from him.’ Again he said to him, ‘See, I have taken your guilt away from you and will clothe you with festive robes.’”
Today, in most churches, you don’t see many people dressed up. Men rarely, if ever, wear a suit and tie. Women don’t wear dresses or hats. When I was young, those were common sights. I don’t mind wearing a suit and tie. In fact, I kind of like it. Now, God doesn’t require that, I know. But I kind of feel nice when I dress nicer for church than when I go to a ballgame. That’s just me.
We find Joshua, the high priest, clothed in filthy garments (see yesterday’s blog) in Zechariah’s vision. But the Lord does not leave him like that. He gives instructions to the angels to remove those filthy things and to clothe him in festive robes. These were probably the high priest’s garments. This action represented God’s forgiveness of the people of Israel. They were now cleansed of those sins represented by the other garments.
The good news for us is God does the same for us. Take me, for instance. I was a filthy dog. Really, I was. My life before Christ was filled with debauchery. I wasn’t fit for my King. But because I placed my trust in Christ, He removed my filthy garments and clothed me in His righteousness. Now, I am wearing His garment of praise. Isaiah 61:3 says, “…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” Don’t you want that? Barnes says this about today’s verse. “But when God had pity on them, He bade them be freed from their defilements, and in a manner re-clad with justifying grace.”
Oh, friends, He does the same for you. He will free you from your defilements. He will clothe you with His grace. All you have to do is come to Him. Are you still trying to pick up those old, filthy garments? Has the devil got you believing you are not worthy of His garments? You are! God says you are. Don’t believe those lies of Satan.
I have known a lot of Christians who wallow in their own filth. They have asked Christ to be their Savior, but they just can’t believe it is that simple. Well, it is, and it isn’t. Salvation is free but is not cheap. A surrendered life will cost you everything. In return, He gives you His kingdom as a joint heir with Christ. Just look at Romans 8:16-17. “16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.” Now, live like it.
I don’t deserve Your garments, Lord, but You have clothed me.