“I see a flying scroll.” Zechariah received a vision from God for the good of the Lord’s covenant assembly. This billboard in the sky contained at least two commandments, the Lord’s prohibitions against stealing and false witness, but the message was also a “curse” that went out against the land. In those homes where thieves and liars resided, ignoring God’s Law would have devastating consequences. Evildoers would be “cleaned out” of the nation and their houses would be destroyed.
Jehovah gave His prophet another message through a different powerful metaphor. This time Zechariah saw a big “basket” with a “leaden cover” and “a woman” sitting inside. Her name was “Wickedness,” and she was taken east to what had once been Babylon where her little prison was placed on a special foundation far away from the Promised Land.
The meanings behind these two heaven-sent pictures were related to each other. First, sin was destructive in the lives of those who claimed to be worshipers of God but who were actually dedicated to dishonest behavior. Second, the Lord was powerful enough to remove wickedness from His vulnerable children.
The “flying scroll” reminds us that at the center of our faith is the gift of the Word of God who came to us in person from heaven. The Old Covenant Scriptures were a great revelation of Yahweh and His standards, but we have never had a fuller visual display of righteousness than the God/Man Jesus Christ. He was, and always will be, honesty and truth incarnate, and the story of His cross is an eternal reminder that He has taken the penalty for us that we deserved.
This same Jesus is the only King who can reign sovereignly over the extensive depravity lodged in the hearts of human beings. He knows how to restrain our immorality and our false boasting. We love to make a parade of our own supposed ethical superiority while we flatter ourselves with our imagined ability to hide our sin from God. The Lord not only atoned for our trespasses, He also showed us what we had to see about our need for holiness in the present age. Most delightfully, the day is swiftly approaching when all of our transgressions will be entirely removed from us. This is better than a temporary container for “Wickedness.” He will take all evil away from us forever.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Sovereign Lord, bring the Word to us in power. Show us how the curse of the covenant has come upon our Redeemer so that the fullness of Your blessings would rest upon Your humble servants. Take away our iniquity now and forever. Remove the ugliness of our sin very far from us. Though we were once enslaved in wickedness, Jesus Christ has made us free.