“Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.” -Zechariah 3: 4b, ESV
If only our dispensational brothers would read the Old Testament. They would see God’s hand at work consistently throughout redemptive history. We get a foretaste here in this passage of Christ’s imputed righteousness in the life of the believer. In fact, the angel who is speaking here is the very pre-incarnate deity himself! Who would have been more qualified to take sin from Joshua? The one who would face trials and torment in ministry and then face the horrors of God’s wrath on the cross happily pronounces the benefits of his completed work (while not complete in a temporal sense, it was complete based on the surety of God’s ordaining work before creation).
We see this image magnified in Revelation where it is not just one priest who is given new clothes, but now we see the priesthood of all believers washing their clothes in the blood of Christ. There is nothing we have done or could do to merit this for our clean clothes are not an act of our own hands. It is Jesus Christ himself that drapes his clean clothes over us. We, who place our faith in Christ, stand judged on Christ’s righteousness, not our own.
It is of great encouragement, as we look through the Old Testament, to see these themes developing. It is a reminder that God is not fickle or capricious as the dispensationals would suggest, but he is deliberate in his ways. Christ came not to establish a new thing; he came to “fulfill the law” not abrogate it.