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1. We stand accused and guilty.
· Sacrificial system – thanksgiving offerings, peace offerings, and sin offerings.
· Old Testament priesthood – mediators for the people
· Yom Kippur – Day of Atonement – High priest into the innermost part of the temple – Holy of Holies – behind a large veil – ark of the covenant – ten commandments and other artifacts
· On top of the ark – the mercy seat – In the presence of God, the high priest would make atonement for the sins of the people by sprinkling blood on the mercy seat.
· Zechariah – a vision of the high priest doing his work – but not in the temple – in the throne room.
· Vision of the high priest named Joshua – a problem – Joshua’s filthy
· The word used to describe Joshua's garment is the same Hebrew word that is used in that refers to human excrement.
· Satan in God’s presence as well – accusing Joshua.
Imagine, “God, how can you let Joshua in your presence?
Look at him.
He’s covered in waste.”
· How could this be?
How could Joshua be so filthy considering the high priest went to such great extreme to ensure that he was clean in God’s presence?
· A week before the Day of Atonement, the high priest would go into seclusion away from his home and family so that he wouldn't accidentally eat or touch anything that was ceremonially unclean.
Clean food was brought to him, and he would spend that week in prayer and meditation.
He would also spend that week washing his body.
The night before the Day of Atonement he would stay up all night reading the Old Testament Law in an attempt to purify his soul.
On the Day of Atonement he bathed from head to toe, and he dressed in a pure, unstained white linen.
He entered into the holy of holies to offer an animal sacrifice to atone for his own sins.
He would come out of the holy of holies into the temple courtyard and would bathe again, and put on another white linen.
He would go back into the holy of holies and offer a second offering for the priest, and come out a third time, wash himself again and put on yet another white garment, go into the holy of holies one more time and offer a sacrifice for the sins of the people of Israel.
What's interesting is that all of this was done in public.
Many people gathered at the temple on the Day of Atonement for this temple ceremony.
They saw the high priest go into the temple.
They saw him bathe in the courtyard.
They saw him put on a new, pure garment each time he entered the temple.
This was their representative before God, and they were cheering him on.
They wanted to make sure he was carrying out the ritual exactly as detailed in Scripture because the forgiveness of their sins was on the line.
· How could this be?
A picture of how we all stand before God: guilty and accused.
· No religious work or ritual that can purify us.
You can’t wash yourself enough to be clean in God’s presence.
You can’t wash yourself with morality.
You can’t wash yourself with religion.
God sees you for who you are:
We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.
The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God.
They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.
· No one can stand before God and say, “Look at me, I’m pure!” God will always see you for who you are.
2. We receive pardon and purity.
· The priest lets the entire nation down.
Everyone depends on Joshua.
Every single Jewish person stands condemned.
· However, to the shock of Satan, God rebukes Satan.
· To the heavenly court: “Remove the filthy garments.
I take away your iniquity.
I will clothe you with pure vestments.”
· The people get what they do not deserve: Grace from the great judge.
· Vs. 8 – A promise – “I will bring my servant the Branch.”
The Branch is Jesus – the branch from the lineage of David.
Several times in OT Jesus referred to as the coming branch.
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
· Vs. 9 – When the Branch comes – “I will remove the iniquity of this land in a single day.”
No longer a need for a high priest – iniquity will be removed.
All ritualistic worship unnecessary.
· Centuries later – another Joshua – staged the Ultimate Day of Atonement – the first Good Friday
· One week before His Day of Atonement He began to prepare.
He shared a Passover meal with His apostles.
The night before His Day of Atonement, He did not sleep.
He wrestled in prayer.
The Bible says his prayers were so intense that sweat drops of blood poured down His face.
And like Joshua the high priest in Zechariah, Jesus' work on the Day of Atonement was done in public.
However, no one was cheering Him on.
Instead, most everyone he loved betrayed him, abandoned him, or denied him.
He was jeered.
He was ridiculed.
He was mocked.
He went to a cross, and on that cross the Father did not encourage Him like the Father encouraged Joshua in .
Instead, the Father forsook Him.
Jesus was not given a white garment to wear.
He was stripped, beaten, and killed naked on a cross.
The only bathing he received was a bathing of human spit.
There on the cross, Jesus did not make an atoning sacrifice for sin.
He was the atoning sacrifice for sins.
He was the sacrificial lamb.
He was the only one who could take away sin because He was sinless.
says, "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
· We now stand before God not clothed in a garment stained with human excrement – but white and pure – clothed in the righteousness of Christ.
· In one day – on the cross – our sins cast far as the east from the west.
We were made clean because Christ took all of our filth upon Himself.
· We stand guilty before God, but if we place our trust in Christ, repenting of our sins, we are justified.
We receive full pardon and are made pure.
One work by our great High Priest has eternally saved us.
11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.
· Lord’s Supper – Our High Priest didn’t make a sacrifice.
He was our atoning sacrifice.
Lord’s Supper – Remember with thanksgiving – Reflect – where are you right now in your walk with Christ – Are you living a life of gratitude for His sacrifice – Or, do you live as if the sacrifice of Christ doesn’t matter to you.
A time of confession and repentance.
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