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Zechariah 3:1-10

 

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, O Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?" Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments. And the angel said to those who were standing before him, "Remove the filthy garments from him." And to him he said, "Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments." And I said, "Let them put a clean turban on his head." So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD was standing by.


 

And the angel of the LORD solemnly assured Joshua, "Thus says the LORD of hosts: If you will walk in my ways and keep my charge, then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here. Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who sit before you, for they are men who are a sign: behold, I will bring my servant the Branch. For behold, on the stone that I have set before Joshua, on a single stone with seven eyes, I will engrave its inscription, declares the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of this land in a single day. In that day, declares the LORD of hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor to come under his vine and under his fig tree." (ESV)

The Advocacy of the Son

Monday of Holy Trinity

1 June 2015

In Houston, many people who have been given traffic citations are going to court to force the arresting officer to appear against them, instead of paying the fine. While I am not judging the practice of doing so, if the law officer writing the ticket does not appear in court at the appropriate time, the person cited is released from the charge and walks free from the court of law. The principal of having our accuser face the accused in a court of law is deeply enshrined in Western culture through the Bible's influence (Deut 19:15-19). If that accuser cannot stand under the rules of evidence before the accused and the court's authority, then the accused must go free.

 

The Apostle Paul has made exactly this argument in Romans 8:34-35. Who could possibly lay any accusation against those whom God has chosen? No one is able to sustain such an accusation because the court will throw it out. If God has pronounced our acquittal because His Son has taken away the evidence who will be able to make a charge that sticks? Who could appear for the prosecution and condemn us? No one could ever support this accusation against us. Christ Himself died in our place and rose for us. Who could gainsay that?

 

Not only is the Son of God the purchase price of our redemption and the cause of our acquittal, but He is the advocate who stands before the judge eternal and pleads for us; pleading before our Father the value of His own indestructible life and the value of His bloody sacrifice. He raises nail-pierced hands when pleading for us sinners in the dock. He points to the spear-breached side from which flowed the water and blood of the church's sacraments in the presence of the court. He sets the purchase price of our salvation constantly in the sight of our Father. What better advocate could be engaged to argue our cause? What better intercession would be able to be arranged? None. Our Father will always favor the intercession of His Son.

 

John Chrysostom

 

 "'Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died- more than that, who was raised- who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us' (Rm 8:33-34). He does not say, it is God that forgave our sins, but what is much greater, 'It is God who justifies.' For when the Judge's sentence declares us just, and a judge such as God too, what does the accuser mean? Therefore, it is not right to fear trials, for God is for us, and has shown it by what He has done. We should not fear Jewish legalisms, for He has both elected and justified us, and the wondrous thing is that it was also by the death of His Son that He did so. Who then is to condemn us, since God crowns us, and Christ was put to death for us, and not only was put to death, but also after this intercedes for us?"

 

John Chrysostom,
Homilies on Romans, 15
 
Prayer

O God, You justify the ungodly and desire not the death of the sinner. Graciously assist us by Your heavenly aid and evermore shield us with Your protection, that no temptation may separate us from Your love in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

 

For President Ken Henning of the Texas District, LCMS, that the Lord would grant him faithfulness and every other spiritual grace

 

For those who are seeking work, that they would be strengthened in the labors and that they would find service in keeping with their vocation

 

For new mothers with young children that they would be granted ever more joy in their role as stewards of God's gifts
Art: Dürer, Albrecht  The Adoration of the Trinity (1515) 

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