“Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the LORD said to Satan, ‘The LORD rebuke you, O Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?’ Now Joshua was standing before the angel clothed with filthy garments. And the angel said to those who were standing before him, ‘Remove the filthy garments from him.’ And to him he said, ‘Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.’”
What a telling vision we find recorded here. The high priest stands before the angel of the Lord, Satan throwing out accusations. The filthy garments seem to evidence his guilt. Yet the Lord’s response is not to condemn Joshua. No, it is to rebuke the accuser and to have the man accused dressed in new, pure clothing.
“Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you.” Such a powerful statement. This is what the angel of the Lord declared to Joshua. This is what Jesus declares to us the moment we choose to trust in Him—the moment we recognize our sin and see that His sacrifice is enough to pay our debt, His cross powerful enough to save. Jesus declares this truth over us still in those times when our accuser begins to tear us down, highlighting our failures and weaknesses and causing us to feel renewed condemnation.
Know this, believer: Jesus Christ has taken your iniquity away from you. Every bit of it. Just as He took the filthy garments from the high priest. He has clothed you with His righteousness as He clothed Joshua with pure vestments. There has been a complete transformation of your soul, awakened and made entirely new. And His declaration silences your accuser.
The power and authority of our Savior is absolute. No one can call “unclean” what the Lord our God has made clean forever. The Lord will rebuke any who come against His own, for their debt has been paid with the blood of His Son, their trespasses forgiven, and all unrighteousness fully cleansed. Rejoice, beloved and chosen of God. You have been plucked from the fire by His own hand. Your iniquity has been taken away.
“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD;
my soul shall exult in my God,
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness…
The nations shall see your righteousness,
and all the kings your glory,
and you shall be called by a new name,
that the mouth of the LORD will give.”
Isaiah 61:10, 62:2