I just finished writing a letter of recommendation for a former student. Mark Twain once said recommendations should be filled out by our enemies because they will tell the truth about us. When reading letters of recommendations one must pretty much ignore what is written and instead view what is missing.
There is an interesting story in Zechariah 3 that begins like this. “Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him.” Apparently Joshua was being judged and needed a recommendation. Satan was present and only needed to tell the truth. It seems that the great liar need not lie when speaking about us. The truth is bad enough to ensure our demise. However, the story continues, “The LORD said to Satan, ‘The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you!’ 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 fine garments on you.’ Then I said, ‘Put a clean turban on his head.’ So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the LORD stood by.”
Without lying about how good we are, Jesus, who never lies, takes away our filth and covers us with goodness. We are then presented before the Father. Just like any good letter of recommendation, notice what is missing. Wow. I love this story.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9