My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense– Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. (NIV) 1 John 2:1
John writes so that they will not sin. How incredible! The reality though is that we will sin. But, there is hope. Fortunately, God knows we will never be perfect, at least not in this lifetime. God knows we will sin. He expects us to sin, that’s why He sent Christ. It says in 1 John 2:1: “we have” – the verb tense is in the present. We have an advocate or a mediator. One who represents us before the Father and is our defense. One who can perfectly represent both man and God. Jesus is our Advocate. He is in an eternal face-to-face relationship with the Father. He sits at the right hand of God, pleading on behalf of all believers. He lives to intercede for us.
The picture of this comes from Zechariah 3:1-7 in the Old Testament where Joshua, the high priest, has returned from captivity in Babylon. He stands before God and Satan in filthy garments. Joshua represents the sinful people. God is there to judge him. Satan is there to accuse him. Satan is like the prosecuting attorney with a seemingly open and shut case. But, Joshua has an advocate, Jesus Christ, acting as his defense attorney. Jesus stands at God’s right hand, and silences all the accusations of Satan.
The Son of God has already served the sentence for the people’s sinfulness. Instead of condemnation, God removes the filthy clothes, symbolizing Joshua’s sinful nature, and replaces them with clean, rich garments. Joshua is made clean.
This is what Jesus Christ does for us when we believe in Him and confess our sins to God. He has already paid the price for our sins on the cross. He removes our filthy garments of sin and clothes us in His righteousness. Have you replaced your filthy clothes with Christ’s righteousness? If not, why not put on a fresh set of clothes today?