Sermon #13 Zechariah Series
Title: Christ Our Advocate
Text: Zechariah 3:1-10
Subject: Zechariah’s Fourth Vision
Date: Sunday Morning —, 2005
Tape # Zechariah #13
Reading: 1 John 1:1-2
(1:1) That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
(1:2) (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
(1:3) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
(1:4) And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
(1:5) This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
(1:6) If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
(1:7) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
(1:8) If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
(1:9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
(1:10) If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
(2:1) My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
(2:2) And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
About 15 years ago, a friend of mine in Madisonville, KY, Bro. David Eddmenson, went through a very difficult trial. He was falsely accused of several crimes by a former employer. David was arrested and had to go on trial for crimes he had never committed.
David had just started a small business; and his former employer felt threatened by the competition. He had reason to be. The man is now out of business. This man, that David once thought was his friend, was determined to destroy him, and thought he could. So he had him arrested.
David was broke, confused, and literally terrified. He knew nothing about the law. He did not know, much less have, a lawyer, and could not afford to hire one. He did not even have any way to make bail. So he called Bro. Larry Brown, who was then living in Madisonville. Larry and his brother Steve put up the bail money needed; and Larry hired a lawyer for David.
After a while, David asked his lawyer some questions. He was still confused and terrified. He did not want to go to prison! He was not guilty. But he could not get his lawyer to tell him what to do. So he called Larry. And Larry said, “Listen, you don’t have to say or do a thing. You have an advocate, the best advocate in the State of Kentucky. It’s his job to plead your cause; and he’ll do it. Leave everything to him.” I do not imagine that that helped much; but David had no choice. He could not represent himself.
But, when the trial was over, David was delighted that he left everything to his advocate. He walked out of court completely exonerated and free, with no fear of ever being charged with the crimes again.
I want you to know that there is in heaven an Advocate for sinners. That Advocate is the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. And I want you to trust him. I want you to leave everything concerning your immortal soul in his hands.
(1 John 1:9) “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
(1 John 2:1-2) “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (2) And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
I am going to talk to you about Christ our Advocate. You will find my text in Zechariah 3.
(Zechariah 3) “And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. (2) And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? (3) Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. (4) And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. (5) And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by. (6) And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying, (7) Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by. (8) Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH. (9) For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. (10) In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree.”
This is the fourth vision God gave Zechariah on the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month of the second year of King Darius. In the three visions preceding this Zechariah saw:
1. The Lord Jesus riding on a red horse in the midst of his church, pictured as a grove of myrtle trees (1:7—17).
2. Then the Lord showed him a vision of four horns, representing those who oppose and persecute God’s elect, and four carpenters, representing gospel preachers, raised up by God to smash and scatter the four horns (1:18—21).
3. Next, the Lord showed him a vision of Christ, represented by a man with a measuring line going out to measure Jerusalem, assuring Zechariah and us that God will build his church and kingdom, provide for it, and protect it as long as the world stands (2:1-13).
What timely, encouraging visions these were! They told Zechariah that the Lord God was among his people, blessing, protecting, and prospering them. They assured Zechariah, and assure us, that God always raises up as many faithful men as are needed, men equal to the task, as watchmen in Zion, to meet any and every enemy or apparent danger that might threaten his people. By these great visions, the Lord God assures us that Jerusalem, his church and kingdom shall prosper beyond imagination. He assures us that in all times and circumstances, all is well in Zion.
I am sure Zechariah wondered, as we often do, “How can the holy Lord God bless such people? We are a sinful people, as deserving of his wrath and judgment as any others. How can he bless us? How can he dwell among us? How can he accept us?” After all, it was their sin that had brought Israel into bondage in Babylon. It was their sin that had laid the city and the temple waste. Yet, the Lord God assured his prophet and assures us that “the gifts and callings of God are without repentance.”
You see, there is a people in this world, God’s elect remnant, redeemed by the blood of Christ, to whom the holy Lord God shall never impute sin, a people in whom God sees no sin, because “We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins!” God has given commandment to all things to bless; and he has blessed; and it cannot be reversed. — “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the Lord his God is with him!”
Proposition: In this fourth vision the Lord God shows us how it is that he dwells with, blesses, and uses such sinful things as we are. — He does so because there is One who has undertaken and pleads our cause before him, an Advocate in heaven who is our Savior, our Righteousness, and our Propitiation. — “We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins!”
Silent Before the Lord
Zechariah saw Joshua the high priest performing the work of a priest before God in the holy place, standing before the Angel of the Lord. As Joshua performed his priestly work, representing the people before God, Satan stood at his right side to accuse him. As Joshua stood before the Angel of the Lord, he was clothed in filthy garments. Those filthy garments represented his sin. You see, though we are God’s holy nation and royal priesthood, saved sinners are sinners still. And, as Satan pointed his finger at Joshua’s filthy garments, declaring that such a filthy wretch was unfit for God’s acceptance and unfit to serve in the holy place, unfit to stand before God, and unfit to offer him anything, so the fiend of hell accuses us.
But Joshua said nothing. He did not utter a word. He had nothing to say. He was sinful and he knew it. He stood before the Lord, not hiding his filthy garments, not pretending that he had no sin, not attempting to excuse, cover, of in any way mitigate his sin. Rather, he stood there in his filthy garments, confessing his sins completely before to the holy Lord God whom he served (1 John 1:7-10). He knew he was, in himself, utterly unworthy, and acknowledged it.
(1 John 1:7-10) “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (8) If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (10) If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
But there was One who spoke for him. His Advocate was the Angel of the Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, the Propitiation for his sins. And this Advocate is himself the Lord God!
(Zechariah 3:2-5) “And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? (3) Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. (4) And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. (5) And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by.”
There are many things revealed in this picture. Clearly, we see here that Christ, “the Angel of the Lord,” is himself God. It is he who speaks to Satan, saying, “The Lord rebuke thee!” Yet, he is called the Lord in verse 2. — “The Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee!” Another clearly declared here is the sweet doctrine of election. It is written, “the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem.” He who is our God is the God of electing mercy, love and grace. It is not Jerusalem who chose God, but God who chose Jerusalem. It was not Joshua who chose to serve the Lord, but the Lord who chose Joshua to serve him. — “Ye have not chosen me,” our Savior said, “but I have chosen you.”
‘Tis not that I did choose Thee,
For Lord, that could not be;
This heart would still refuse Thee,
Hadst Thou not chosen me.
Thou from the sin that stained me
Hast cleansed and set me free;
Of old Thou hast ordained me,
That I should live to Thee.
‘Twas sov’reign mercy called me
And taught my op’ning mind;
The world had else enthralled me,
To heav’nly glories blind.
My heart owns none before Thee,
For Thy rich grace I thirst;
This knowing, if I love Thee,
Thou must have loved me first.
And this vision speaks of God’s mighty, saving grace in Christ. The Lord said, “Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?” Salvation is not by the will and work of man, but by the will and work of God (Rom. 9:16).
(Romans 9:16) “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.”
But that which seems to be paramount in this fourth vision is that God’s grace is always exercised in perfect righteousness (Pro. 16:6; Rom. 3:24-26). He who is our God is “a just God and a Savior” (Isa. 45:20).
(Proverbs 16:6) “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.”
(Romans 3:24-26) “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (25) Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (26) To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”
Here we see salvation is portrayed as a matter of righteousness. It is portrayed by Joshua being clothed a change of raiment, with clean garments and crowned with a fair miter. We see this throughout Holy Scripture. It is the paramount revelation of God. God saves by grace, by grace that “reigns through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 5:21). All our works of righteousness, we acknowledge, are filthy rags. But Christ is made of God unto us righteousness; and we are “made the righteousness of God in him.”
(Isaiah 64:6) “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
(Job 29:14) “I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem.”
(Psalms 132:9) “Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness; and let thy saints shout for joy.”
(Isaiah 11:5) “And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.”
(Isaiah 59:17) “For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.”
(Isaiah 61:10) “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.”
(Revelation 19:7-8) “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. (8) And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.”
Our Lord Jesus gives us a similar picture, in his parable comparing the kingdom of heaven to a great king who prepared a marriage feast for his son (Matt. 22:1-14). In the matter of salvation, in the marriage of our souls to Christ, all things are prepared for us and given to us by our God, even the wedding garment. Those who refuse to wear the garment of Christ’s righteousness, the garment of God’s providing, will be bound hand and foot and cast into outer darkness. — “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
All these things are given in Holy Scripture to describe our salvation, righteousness, and justification by the grace of God through the blood and righteousness of Christ, who is “The Lord our Righteousness.”
Jesus, thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head.
Bold shall I stand in thy great day;
For who aught to my charge shall lay?
Fully absolved through these I am
From sin and fear, from guilt and shame.
O let the dead now hear thy voice;
Now bid thy banished ones rejoice;
Their beauty this, their glorious dress,
Jesus, thy blood and righteousness.
It is the righteousness of Christ alone that can make us worthy to stand before the Son of man in the day of judgment (Luke 21:36).
(Luke 21:36) “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”
Are you robed in the garment of God’s providing? Are you robed in Christ’s righteousness?
When he shall come with trumpet sound,
O may! then in him be found,
Dressed in his righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
A CHARGE TO KEEP
But the picture does not end there. As soon as Joshua is clothed with a change of raiment, he is given a charge to keep. As soon as the chosen, redeemed sinner experiences God’s marvelous, saving grace, he is placed in a position of highest honor and responsibility, as the servant of Jesus Christ. As the servants of Christ, like Joshua, you and I have a charge to keep (vv. 6-7).
(Zechariah 3:6-7) “And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying, (7) Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.”
Do you remember the Lord’s words to the adulterous woman in John 8? The religious legalists of the day brought this woman to the Master, who had been caught in adultery, in the very act. They wanted to trap him. They said, “Moses in the law requires that she be stoned. What do you say?” If the Master said, “Stone her. Put the wretch to death,” they thought that would discredit his reputation for mercy and compassion. If he answered, “Forgive her,” they thought that would vindicate their claim that he was a lawless rebel.
It was a real problem. Indeed, it is a problem that must be dealt with. How can the holy Lord God be both merciful and just? How can he be both gracious and true? How can God both forgive sin and honor his law?
Do you remember what our Savior did? He stooped down and wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. But they kept pushing. So he stood up, and said, “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her.” Then he stooped down and wrote on the ground again. We are not told what the Master wrote in the dirt; but, whatever it was, when those self-righteous legalists read it, they were convicted by their own consciences and went away, one by one. “And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.” Then, “when Jesus had lifted himself up” again, “he saw none but the woman.”
The fact that our Savior stooped twice is significant. It has a direct connection to what he said to the adulterous woman.
· The Son of God stooped once to become a man, and rose from infancy to manhood that he might bring in everlasting righteousness for sinners, by his perfect obedience to God.
· Then, he stooped a second time, to die in the place of sinners, bearing our sins in his own body on the tree. Then he arose to declare redemption accomplished by the satisfaction of divine justice.
· Then, upon the basis of his finished work of redemption, when he had lifted himself up the second time, he spoke to the woman words of forgiveness and grace, just as he spoke in Zechariah’s vision to Joshua (John 8:10-11).
(John 8:10-11) “When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? (11) She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
Once he had silenced her accusers, he spoke forgiveness to the woman, clothing her in the robes of his own righteousness and said, “go and sin no more.” That charge always follows the word of forgiveness. But let no one imagine that this command implies that forgiveness is conditional. It is not.
Forgiveness is free. When our Lord said to Joshua, “If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by,” his filthy garments had already been taken from him and the fair miter had already been placed on his head. And when he said to the adulterous woman, “go and sin no more,” he had already said, “Neither do I condemn thee.” And sin, once forgiven by the Son of God, can never be laid to our charge again (Rom. 4:8).
The charge given to Joshua and that given to the adulterous woman is the same charge given to us, the charge we must keep. It is the evidence of saving grace, not a condition that must be met to obtain grace. It is that which the Holy Spirit tells us in Hebrews 3:14
(Hebrews 3:14) “For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.”
Being born of God, being forgiven of all sin, being saved by the grace of God, we must “hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.” In a word, “As ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.”
The Angel of the Lord said to Joshua, and says to us, “I have taken away your sin. I have clothed you with the garments of salvation. I have made you the very righteousness of God. Now, if you will walk in my ways and keep my charge, as you look to me and trust me, you will govern my house and keep my courts, and I will give you a place to walk among my people.” This is the evidence of salvation, the evidence of grace and forgiveness. Those who have received mercy from the Lord Jesus Christ live by faith, looking to him alone as their Savior and Lord.
In the last part of Zechariah three, the Angel of the Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ, tells Joshua and his fellows that everything pointed to in the vivid picture of God’s saving grace described in verses 1-7, these “men wondered at,” had been performed in anticipation of the coming of Christ, by whom redemption must be accomplished (vv. 8-10).
(Zechariah 3:8-10) “Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH. (9) For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. (10) In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree.”
This is a great messianic prophecy. Everything here speaks of our Savior’s coming into the world to save his people from their sins.
· He is Jehovah’s Righteous Servant (Isa. 42:1; 49:3, 5; 52:13; 53:11; Ezek. 34:23, 24).
· He is the Branch (Isa. 4:2; 11:1; Jer. 23:5; 33:15; Zech. 6:12).
· He is the Stone (Ps. 118:22; Isa. 8:14; 28:16), the only Foundation Stone upon which seven eyes, the eyes of all his elect, look.
· He is the One coming who would take away the iniquity of his people in one great day of atonement, by the sacrifice of himself.
· And he is that Great High Priest who, having our names engraved upon his heart, is our almighty Advocate and Intercessor before God.
Christ, the Servant, the Branch, the Stone, the Sin-remover, is Christ our Great High Priest, our Advocate, the One who ever pleads our cause with the Father, by whom our salvation has been obtained.
The fact that Christ Jesus is himself the Sacrifice for our sins declares plainly that his priesthood is different from and superior to the priesthood of the Old Testament era.
· The Old Testament priests were sinful and were required to offer a sacrifice for themselves as well as for those they represented (Lev. 16:6).
· The sacrifices those priests offered were inadequate. They could never take away sin. They taught the way of salvation in type, through the death of innocent victims. But the blood of sheep and goats cannot take away sins (Amos 5:22; Mic. 6:6, 7; Heb. 10:1-7).
· And the sacrifices of those earthly priests were incomplete. They had to be offered again and again, year after year.
(Hebrews 10:1-7) “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. (2) For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. (3) But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. (4) For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. (5) Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: (6) In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. (7) Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.”
But Christ, our Great High Priest, offered himself as a sacrifice for sins one time; and by his one great sacrifice, he has put away our sins forever. His sacrifice was both perfect and of infinite value. That makes him just the Priest we need as our Advocate with the Father (Heb 7:22-28; 9:11-14, 24-28).
(Hebrews 7:22-28) “By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. (23) And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: (24) But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. (25) Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (26) For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; (27) Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. (28) For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.”
(Hebrews 9:11-14) “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; (12) Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. (13) For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: (14) How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
(Hebrews 9:24-28) “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: (25) Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; (26) For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. (27) And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (28) So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”
The one great Sacrifice of Christ, our Great High Priest is perpetually accepted and effectual. His work, being finished, he sat down in the holy place (Heb. 10:9-14). We can safely trust this Great High Priest, and have every reason and encouragement to do so (Heb. 10:18-23).
(Hebrews 10:9-14) “Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. (10) By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (11) And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: (12) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; (13) From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. (14) For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”
(Hebrews 10:18-23) “Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. (19) Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, (20) By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; (21) And having an high priest over the house of God; (22) Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. (23) Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised.)”
Christ Our Advocate
Just as Zechariah saw the Lord Jesus Christ standing by Joshua, pleading his cause, defending him from Satan’s accusations, and commanding his complete forgiveness, justification, and salvation as his Great Advocate and Great High Priest, so the Son of God is our Great Advocate with the Father and our Great High Priest in heaven (1 John 2:1-2).
(1 John 2:1-2) “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (2) And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
Christ our Advocate is…
· An Eternal Advocate
· An Appointed Advocate
· An Accepted Advocate
· A Sympathizing Advocate
· An Able Advocate
· A Ready Advocate
· A Successful Advocate
Let every ransomed sinner in Zion bring his cause to Christ our Advocate! Bring all your causes to him! Come to our all-glorious, ever-blessed Christ and put every concern of your soul into his almighty hand. He can and will save to the uttermost all who come to God by him, “seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25).
(Romans 8:33-34) “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. (34) Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”
(John 17:24) “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.”
Now, in verse 10, the Lord God says to all who have Christ for their Priest and Advocate, to all whose sins he has put away by the sacrifice of himself, be at ease and enjoy your life in Christ.
(Zechariah 3:10) “In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree.”
Here the Lord God tells every sinner saved by grace to sit down to a constant feast of love, joy, and peace, in believing, abounding in hope by the Holy Spirit. And he tells us to call our brethren to join us in celebrating the salvation that is ours in and by Christ, anxiously promoting his glory and proclaiming the blessedness of the abundant grace we have found in him.
Robert Hawker wrote, “Believers in Christ brought into a state of grace, mercy, and peace, sit down as under their own vine, and their fig-tree, for none can make them afraid. Sin cannot, for it is done away. Hell cannot, for Christ hath conquered hell, death, and the grave. And corruption cannot, for Christ's holiness is the holiness of his redeemed.”
When Satan accuses you, when your sin presses hard upon you, stand in silence before your Mighty Advocate. He who undertook for you from eternity will yet plead your cause. He waits to be gracious. And if he pleads your cause all is well. You do not need to worry about a thing. Sit down under your vine and fig tree. Call your neighbors together, and “Rejoice in the Lord alway. Again, I say, Rejoice!”
(Micah 4:4) “But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.”