January 26

Exodus 28-29, Psalm 26

In Scripture, garments are a picture of one's righteousness. Many believe they are more righteous than they are. Many don't take God seriously and have a level of comfort because they compare their garments to others and believe they come out on top. They use a human standard for comparison rather than God's standard. In Exodus 28, we read all about the garments to be placed on Aaron and his sons. We read the purpose behind them in 28:3, "So you shall speak to all who are gifted artisans, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron's garments, to consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest." As we come to chapter 29, we see that Moses, does the work for Aaron and sons. In Exodus 29:4, Moses brings them to the door of the tabernacle and washes them. In 29:5, Moses places the garments on Aaron. In 29:6, he places the turban on his head, followed by the anointing oil in verse 7. The remainder of the ceremony involves Aaron and his sons placing their hands on the various animals set apart for sacrifice, transferring their sins onto the animal and thereby consecrating or setting them apart. If all of this seems pointless or esoteric, let's turn next to the book of Zechariah, where we get a glimpse of the new system associated with the new covenant.

In Zechariah in one of the 8 visions given to Zechariah in a single night, we see a vision of the high priest, Joshua. We read in Zechariah 3:2, that Joshua was described as, "Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?" This description shows that there was nothing innately special about Joshua, he was chosen. We read in 3:3, "Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel." Though Joshua's priestly garments were ornate and appeared beautiful to the people, in God's eyes they were filthy. In Isaiah 64:6, we read, "But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away." So, all of our efforts at religiosity may make us appear righteous before others, but we stand exposed before God who truly sees our thoughts and our motives. Notice what The Angel does next in 3:4, "Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, "Take away the filthy garments from him." And to him He said, "See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes." Notice the active one was The Angel, Joshua's role was passive. Notice what Isaiah said in Isaiah 61:10, "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels." Later in this same chapter, we see revealed the One behind this whole process in 3:8, 'Hear, O Joshua, the high priest, You and your companions who sit before you, For they are a wondrous sign; For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH." We know from this along with Jeremiah 23:5-6, and Isaiah 11:1 that this righteous BRANCH, comes out of the root of Jesse, and is a prophecy about the future Messiah, Jesus."

In the heavenly courtroom scene, we are the one being prosecuted. The Father is the judge. Satan is the prosecuting attorney. In our own strength and ability, like Joshua, we stand before the Father filthy and guilty. As sinners, we may be able to hide it from others but not before an omniscient God. Though the accuser slanders us, it is not really necessary. To be pardoned and enter heaven we must be absolutely perfect, which we all know that we are not. The beautiful thing is that though we are hopeless on our own, we have a defense attorney in Jesus Christ who defends us. So, when my case comes up, since I have accepted the sacrifice of my defense attorney, who tells the judge that He has covered all my wrongdoings with HIs blood shed on Calvary, the Father will dismiss my case for lack of evidence. And in this scenario, and in this alone, we can find true freedom. We know that there is an actual heavenly courtroom scene from Scripture like Job 1:6-11. So as we go through life, we can live in confidence knowing that Jesus has replaced our garments, not in our strength, but in HIs. We stand securely knowing this, as it says in 2 Corinthians 5:21, "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster