Zechariah 3: sins removed and righteousness imputed

This is the Good News chapter. The vision Zechariah saw were symbols of things to come. God does not tolerate sins. And He told Zechariah what He would do in a single day: “Soon I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. And I will remove the sins of this land in a single day.”

Summary of the important points:

  1. Jesus Christ will come to remove sins from the sinners. He only needs to do it once. He had already come and completed what God had purposed.
  2. God actually took the side of those being accused of their sins. According to His plan, He sent His Son to settle the sin issue and shut the mouth of the accuser of the brethren.
  3. Note the terrible consequences of sins: burning in fire. The high priest was in a terrible spiritual condition and was described like being snatched from the fire. His normally grand and beautiful robe was like a filthy rag. Even his headgear too needed an immediate change.
  4. Note the conditions God set for the priestly restoration: “If you follow my ways and carefully serve me, then you will be given authority over my Temple and its courtyards. I will let you walk among these others standing here.” God said.
  5. “Listen to me, O Jeshua the high priest, and all you other priests. You are symbols of things to come.” In this vision, God also revealed what was to come. Yes, the removal of sins and imputing of His righteousness on His redeemed people.

Zechariah 3 New Living Translation (NLT)

Cleansing for the High Priest

Then the angel showed me Jeshua[a] the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord. The Accuser, Satan,[b] was there at the angel’s right hand, making accusations against Jeshua. And the Lord said to Satan, “I, the Lord, reject your accusations, Satan. Yes, the Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebukes you. This man is like a burning stick that has been snatched from the fire.”

Jeshua’s clothing was filthy as he stood there before the angel. So the angel said to the others standing there, “Take off his filthy clothes.” And turning to Jeshua he said, “See, I have taken away your sins, and now I am giving you these fine new clothes.”

robe of righteousness
sins removed and righteousness imputed

Then I said, “They should also place a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean priestly turban on his head and dressed him in new clothes while the angel of the Lord stood by.

Then the angel of the Lord spoke very solemnly to Jeshua and said, “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: If you follow my ways and carefully serve me, then you will be given authority over my Temple and its courtyards. I will let you walk among these others standing here.

“Listen to me, O Jeshua the high priest, and all you other priests. You are symbols of things to come. Soon I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. Now look at the jewel I have set before Jeshua, a single stone with seven facets.[c] I will engrave an inscription on it, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, and I will remove the sins of this land in a single day.

10 “And on that day, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, each of you will invite your neighbor to sit with you peacefully under your own grapevine and fig tree.”

Footnotes:

  1. 3:1a Hebrew Joshua, a variant spelling of Jeshua; also in 3:3, 4, 6, 8, 9.
  2. 3:1b Hebrew The satan; similarly in 3:2.
  3. 3:9 Hebrew seven eyes.
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.