There is a whole lot to learn from this story from the book of Zechariah. Did you know that the word Satan means “accuser”? Here we have the accuser standing next to God’s servant Joshua, doing what he does best, accusing. It’s not surprising that this is the devil’s name, is it? How many times, when we know we have fallen short, do we immediately hear the accuser’s voice in our ear? How many, many times do we feel the sting of those thought darts with which he bombards us — “What a sorry Christian I am! How terrible I am!”
The enemy even crafts these thoughts to start with the pronoun “I” so we are tricked into accepting them as our own. And along with them, he astutely heaps on us a heavy, oppressive cloud of condemnation, and the sensation that we should lower our faces and slink away from God’s presence.
This is the opposite of what Daddy God wants! Let’s tune into the rest of the story, to learn more about His heart for us:
“Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, ‘Take off his filthy clothes.’ Then he said to Joshua, ‘See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you.’
This is what Jesus does for us. He completely removes the spiritual filthiness that once covered us, and gives us new, rich garments to cover our naked vulnerability. He also puts a “clean turban” on our head, which symbolizes a clean conscience.
“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Heb. 9:14, NKJV). His blood is so powerful that it even washes our consciences clean. He makes us so clean that we can stand before the presence of God absolutely free of shame. Spotless. Without blemish. Holy.
I hear somebody wondering, “But what about the consequences? What about the pain we caused to the people that we love?” Here’s the Bible’s response to that:
Do you hear Daddy God’s heart here? Remember, Holy Spirit was the One moving Paul to write these words. They came right from the core of Him. Daddy doesn’t want you or me or anyone to be overcome with excessive sorrow over our failures. On those occasions when we stumble, His arms are immediately reaching out to comfort and restore us.
If you have sinned, and you have repented, it’s time to run into His waiting, outstretched arms. It’s time to receive His comfort. It’s time to listen to the expression of His deepest heart as He reaffirms His own love for you.
And it’s time to forgive yourself. It’s time to let your past go. After all, if the Righteous Judge of the universe has declared you forgiven, who are you to say otherwise? If He paid the ultimate price of His Son’s blood to cleanse you, who are you, dear one, to argue? Could you or I ever dare suggest that His shed blood is not enough?
Instead, give Him glory by submitting to His decision. Bow down in reverence and surrender yourself to His decree of your pardon. Receiving the power of His Holy Spirit into your being, visualize the blood of Jesus washing you clean, making you white as fresh fallen snow. Now declare in agreement with Him,
“Father, You paid the highest price that exists, the sacred, precious blood of Your Son Jesus, for my sins. It is enough. It is finished. I receive Your forgiveness and cleansing right now. I am forgiven. I am cleansed. I am made right with You. I am made holy and blameless. I align myself with Your majestic decree, and I forgive myself with the forgiveness that You now pour into my heart of hearts.”
Fall down in worship, beloved child. It is done. Never again reclaim that sin as yours. It is gone forever.
I love how Max Lucado puts it: “Live forgiven.” What does living under the decree of Daddy’s God’s eternal forgiveness look like for you?