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Summary: To proclaim God’s great mercy and forgiveness available to us.

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God Cleanses His People

Zechariah 3:1-10

Purpose Statement: To proclaim God’s great mercy and forgiveness

available to us.

What would you say if I came to church tonight dressed in tattered and

dirty shorts and a t-shirt. My hair was all messed up and I didn’t have any

shoes on and I smelled like I fell in the sewer? I’m sure you would be

appalled. Suppose I didn’t even mention it or make any excuse for my

appearance, but acted as though everything was fine. You’d probably pull

me aside and see if something was wrong. You might ask if the plumbing in

the parsonage was working okay. I would be wrong for trying to come into

God’s house dressed like that. It is appropriate perhaps for the field, but not

for the church. This passage also deals with uncleanness. We see a picture

of Joshua, the high priest standing before God with similiar clothing on.

(Read Scripture)

The significance of Joshua: Represents Israel

There was 2 great leaders in Zechariah’s day Joshua and Zerubbabel.

Joshua was the high priest and in this passage represents the spiritual

condition of the people. In vs.8 it says that Joshua and his associates were

symbolic of things to come. So, it’s important for us to look at what happens

to Joshua to determine what God wants to do with the nation of Israel.

The significance of the filthy garments:

vs.4- God takes away the filthy garment from Joshua. The filthy represents

his and the nations sins. He is unfit to come before the Lord. He is not

dressed properly. Most of the people in Zechariah’s day had been born in

Babylon. They hadn’t grown up in the temple. They didn’t have a rich

heritage with the Lord. They were spiritual babies in many ways. They had

not come to the point of being overcomers of sin.

God forgives by His grace and takes away the sin vs.4 and makes Joshua

acceptable in His sight by placing rich garments on him vs.4

In the 14th century, Robert Bruce of Scotland was leading his men in a battle

to gain independence from England. Near the end of the conflict, the English

wanted to capture Bruce to keep him from the Scottish crown. So they put

his own bloodhounds on his trail. When the bloodhounds got close, Bruce

could hear their baying. Then he headed for a stream that flowed through the

forest. He plunged in and waded upstream a short distance. When he came

out on the other bank, he was in the depths of the forest. Within minutes, the

hounds, tracing their master’s steps, came to the bank. They went no farther.

The English soldiers urged them on, but the trail was broken. The stream had

carried the scent away. A short time later, the crown of Scotland rested on

the head of Robert Bruce. The memory of our sins, prodded on by Satan, can

be like those baying dogs- but a stream flows, red with the blood of God’s

own Son. By grace through faith we are safe. No sin-hound can touch us.

The trail has been broken by the precious blood of Christ. The purpose of the

cross, someone observed, is to repair the irreparable.

This is by the grace and will of God. Joshua is silent during this time. He


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