And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.…
I. SATAN THE ADVERSARY OF THE AWAKENED SOUL.
1. The person who is resisted. This is the exact picture of an awakened soul: he comes and stands before Christ, clothed with his filthy garments, conscious that in himself he is lost, but resting on the Saviour's power and willingness to save. Wherever we see a soul living in sin and departure from God, there we may see the work of Satan. But wherever we behold a soul forsaking sin, and seeking to live a holy and consistent life, there we behold the work of the Holy Ghost. Consequently, when Satan rises up to resist the sinner he rises up to resist the Holy Ghost.
2. The manner of, Satan's resistance. There is allusion to the customs of ancient courts of justice, in which the accuser always stood at the right hand of the accused. How does he resist him? —
(1) Before God, bringing forward his sins, and demanding the awful sentence of violated law.
(2) Before himself; troubling the sinner's conscience, and striving, by every wile, to keep him from Christ, and by suggesting the greatness of our sins.
(3) Satan keeps the sinner from the Saviour, by suggesting to him his unworthiness, and the uselessness of expecting mercy.
4. Satan hinders by suggesting that Christ is unwilling to save, since you have so often spurned and rejected Him.
5. And by suggesting that repentance is too late.
II. THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AS THE REBUKER OF THE ADVERSARY. He is the high priest within the veil, the sinner's Advocate. Notice the manner in which Satan is silenced. Two ways —
1. God's sovereignty. "The Lord hath chosen Jerusalem." God's choice is without repentance.
2. The soul Satan desired to have was already beyond his reach. "Plucked out of the fire."
(A. W. Snape, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.