Day 2

Zechariah’s Visions

from the Zechariah and Malachi reading plan


Zechariah 3:1-10, Zechariah 4:1-14, Romans 3:21-26, 1 Corinthians 1:28-29

BY Rebecca Faires

We adopted two of our sons from Ethiopia nine years ago today. It has been a long journey for all of us, and I am so glad that I’m nine years down this road and not back at the starting line. As soon as we leapt over that starting line and landed on the ground in Africa, I thought I was probably going to die. We later realized I was just pregnant with baby number four. When the nannies thrust two sweet, sad, screaming boys at us we realized we were massively unprepared.

The early part of our adoption story is filled with diapers, fungi, and giardia. I remember how I longed to have all of the filth removed from my children and my home, but it seemed an unending struggle. And our boys couldn’t fix it themselves. Those sweet babies needed love, and sometimes latex-gloved hands, to help them out.

Just like helpless, sick toddlers from an orphanage with no running water, we, too, came to Christ dressed in filthy clothes. And we couldn’t get free of it on our own. Notice that in the fourth vision from today’s reading, the Lord doesn’t say to Joshua, “Get yourself cleaned up!” but instead “Take off his filthy clothes!” (Zechariah 3:4). He needed someone to do it for him, and so do we.

Christ removes our iniquity, and then He clothes us in festive robes (v.4). I love how the gospel gives us a total turn-around. He could have replaced filthy garments with a reasonable and sensible second-hand T-shirt. That’s certainly better than where we were. But Christ loves us and dresses us in the best He has to offer. He washes us clean and elevates us from the gutter to His right hand, like true sons and daughters.

Not only are our filthy rags removed, but we are made to dwell in the shadow of His covering, where we, now filled with the joy of the good news of the gospel, may invite our neighbors to also find rest (v.10). And as sons and daughters, we are invited to walk in His way and keep His mandates (v.7).

Just as we are unable to make ourselves clean by our own scrubbing, we are also dependent upon Him and His constant character. Our newness of life is achieved “not by strength or by might, but by my Spirit” (Zechariah 4:6). God is the one who makes the mountains a plain (v.7) and removes all obstacles. In this case, Zechariah prophesied the seemingly impossible completion of the temple. But in its true fulfillment, Christ establishes His temple and makes the mountains into plains (Isaiah 40:4). He alone breaks down the barriers of sin, and declares us righteous, a fit dwelling place for His Spirit.

And, newly cleansed, we will see that just as the temple completion in restored Jerusalem was the work of God alone, so also the conversion of our hearts and the cleansing of our guilt is achieved through grace (Zechariah 4:7).

Post Comments (39)

39 thoughts on "Zechariah’s Visions"

  1. amarose says:

    The verses about the clean clothes reminded me of a story we used to tell all the time at camp called “Ragman.” “New rags for old,” the character cries out, taking upon the infirmities of the people he comes across. It was really cool to find a verse that matches that story!

  2. Shawn Parks says:

    Filthy robes replaced with festive robes of righteousness.
    From despair to celebration.
    From unworthy to chosen.
    From earthy to heavenly.
    From dirty to clean.
    From rags to royalty.
    From humiliation to redemption.
    “On THAT day”—the day Christ took my sins, filth, earthiness, despair, rags, humiliation and unworthiness to the cross—everything was transformed.
    God shared His love and grace and I accept His gift by faith. Now, regardless of the guilt I choose to carry around, my Father sees me as His beloved daughter dressed in clean, heavenly, festive, royal, celebratory, redemptive robes of righteousness and adorned with His love, grace, and mercy. Let me dance, not shuffle; sing, not cry; rejoice, not lament—for, look! My Father has dressed me in festive robes!

    1. Julie Ammons says:

      That is so beautiful, Shawn! Thank you for sharing. What a great summary and encouragement of/from today’s reading.

    2. Bree Beal says:

      Amen! Very beautifully said Shawn! This blessed me this morning :)

  3. Carrie says:

    Cassandra, I found the Bible Project overview of Zechariah super helpful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_106IfO6Kc0

  4. Cassandra Roberts says:

    I wish the “study” portion of this explained a bit more about what the other visions meant. Does anyone have insight they can offer?

    1. Jenn Castano says:

      Check out You Tube video by The Bible Project on the book- I love them and they give a good overview
      https://youtu.be/_106IfO6Kc0

    2. Lindsay Harmon says:

      Me too!!! These prophecies are difficult to understand and I know I’m missing all of the context here

    3. Stacie Simpson says:

      What a helpful resource, Jenn! Thank you!!

    4. Bridget Vaschak says:

      That video helped so much! Thank you, Jenn!

    5. Rebecca McCoy says:

      This was great, Jenn! Thanks!

  5. Angie says:

    I love that a clean turban for Joshua’s head came first and then replaced his garments. The clean turban reminds me that God covers all of me, including power over my thoughts and emotions. The Lord of Armies battles my brain and has won. His thoughts become my thoughts, his heart my heart, and I pray, his image my image.

    vs. 10 “For who despises the day of small things?” Also stood out to me. So much of the success of things is in the small details, the incidents and choices along this journey that become habits. Habits that either make us more like his imagine or less as we draw closer to our destination-our heavenly home. Little things matter. Yet, I do not need to be stressed about “doing everything right,” because, (1 Cor. 1:28-29) “God has chosen what is insignificant and despised in the world-what is viewed as nothing-to bring to nothing what is viewed as something, so that no one may boast in his presence.”

    Step by step, breath by breath, moment by moment is about You, Savior and LORD, and that is so freeing. You free me. Your blood cleanses me, and your love surrounds and guides me, always. I thank you my God, and my King.
    Amen, Selah

    1. Janet C says:

      Who despises the small things caught my eye too. In other translations I looked up it says small beginnings. I so loved that translation as it brought to mind that we begin our journeys in different ways, some have huge conversions of great change, others come gradually and then there are those like me who began as small children not really understanding all there is but the small beginning when continued faithfully and continually seeking is just as awesome and wonderful.

    2. Melissa Graves says:

      Beautifully said. Amen, Angie!

    3. Carole Filby says:

      ❤️

  6. Churchmouse says:

    Satan has no power over me, a righteous and redeemed child of God. He can accuse all the live long day but those words fall on deaf ears. I once wore a sin – covered garment of shame and guilt but Jesus has replaced it with a pure white robe of mercy and grace. This great clothing exchange did not occur because of anything I did. I did not earn my robe. It was a free gift bought by the blood of Jesus, bestowed on me through faith. Zechariah’s vision of Jesus rebuking Satan reminds me of my holy position. May I wear my robe confidently on earth until the day I stand in the presence of Jesus forever.

    1. Sabrina Michelle says:

      This is meaningful to me. Thanks for sharing.

    2. Carole Filby says:

      Amen!

  7. Kathy says:

    “Festive robes.” Jesus painted a picture of this in the story of the Prodigal Son. That is one of my favorite parables in the Bible. It continually amazes me that God doesn’t bring us back as hired hands, which we don’t deserve. He brings us back as His sons and daughters with all the benefits and responsibilities that goes with that.
    Lord, forgive me for all the times I am complacent about Your grace and mercy. Forgive me for the times I am the older brother and refuse to celebrate my brother and sister coming home. Help me to always be willing to “remove the filthy garments from him.” I love you, Papa God. Fill me with Your Spirit. Make my life so compelling that those around me want to know the source of my water.

    1. Melissa Graves says:

      So true, we are not brought back as hired hands but as precious, priceless princesses of the Most High God! Such a great reminder, Kathy!

  8. Tricia Cavanaugh says:

    It’s so easy to try and do things all our own. Then we realize what a mess we have made. I’m thankful for the reminder that our strength comes from the Lord. Amen

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