Accused, Redeemed Ambassadors
November 16, 2014 Series: The Old Testament
Passage: Zechariah 3:1-9
Zechariah’s ministry was after the exile of the Jews to Babylon. Around 520 B.C. as people began to return to Judah from Babylon they struggled with sin in their own hearts as well as opposition from non-Jewish tribes that had pretty much taken over Palestine in their 70-year absence. So Zechariah’s book was full of calls to repentance (vs. sin) and faith (vs. opposition). And in the New Testament there are over 60 allusions to his prophecies, especially in the Gospels and in the book of Revelation.
Read the sermon passage, Zechariah 3:1-9.
ACCUSED BEFORE GOD
What is it like to be accused of wrong-doing? And when has your conscience agreed with your accusers? As High Priest, Joshua would’ve been the most educated, religiously informed person in the entire nation. If he needed the LORD’s mercy what does that suggest about everyone else? How does our culture tend to equate religious experience with righteousness?
Read Romans 2:1-5 & 12-15. When have you truly been filthy? How have you been convinced of your guilt before God but you’ve doubted Jesus’ ability to cleanse you? Confess your unbelief to Jesus, asking Him to forgive you and to assure you by helping your unbelief.
ATONEMENT: DEFENDED & CLEANSED
Read Zechariah 3:2-6 & 9. So what would it mean to be defended by the LORD? Why is it significant that GOD is the one working on our behalf against Satan’s accusations?
What does it mean to you personally to be covered in pure garments? To have your guilt removed? To be granted access into the very courts of God? Because of the work of Jesus on the Cross, we believe that v. 9 was fulfilled – that the Righteous Branch did remove sin in a single day! How does that encourage you?
A SIGN OF HIS GRACE
Read Zechariah 3:7-9. As we are forgiven by Jesus and we walk in a new life of obedience to Him, what difference does it make that you have access or “standing” before the LORD? In v. 8 the LORD says that we’re not alone. Read 1 Peter 2:9. What difference does it make that we’re part of a community of people who believe and follow Jesus – an army or nation even?
Also in v. 8 it says we are a sign – that we represent Christ. What do you think that means? Who do you think does this well? What do they do? How do they live and speak? What does it mean to be a sign? Reading your life, what do people around you learn? Looking at you leads them to look at what else? The Christian faith is unique in that it’s representative! It’s not something we create but something we receive. It’s never about our work, but His. We’re not the focus; He is.
YOU CAN PRAY WITH US…
- Worship the LORD our Defender. Praise Him, Father, Son and Holy Spirit that He rebukes Satan as He accuses those who truly belong to Christ.
- How have you been convinced of your guilt before God but you’ve doubted Jesus’ ability to cleanse you? Confess your unbelief to Jesus, asking Him to forgive you and to assure you by helping your unbelief.
- Give thanks to Jesus for being stripped in our place on the Cross so that we could be clothed. Thank Him for bearing the accusations we deserve so that we could have His place of acceptance with the Father!
- Who do you know that represents Jesus well? Pray for them, asking the Lord 1) to help them to remain faithful (and actually grow in faithfulness) and 2) to help you learn from them.
- Read 1 Peter 2:9. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you “proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” Pray for words with people who don’t know Jesus, and especially a gracious attitude toward them.