Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.
All Commentaries on Zechariah 3:3 Go To Zechariah 3
Gregory of Nyssa
Now in this, by that wondrous sacrifice, Elijah clearly proclaimed to us the sacramental rite of baptism that should afterwards be instituted. For the fire was kindled by water thrice poured upon it, so that it is clearly shown that where the mystic water is, there is the kindling, warm and fiery spirit that burns up the ungodly and illuminates the faithful. Yes, and yet again his disciple Elisha, when Naaman the Syrian, who was diseased with leprosy, had come to him as a suppliant, cleanses the sick man by washing him in the Jordan, clearly indicating what should come, both by the use of water generally and by dipping in the river in particular. For the Jordan alone of rivers, receiving in itself the firstfruits of sanctification and benediction, conveyed in its channel to the whole world, as it were from some fount in the type afforded by itself, the grace of baptism. These then are indications in deed and act of regeneration in baptism. Let us for the rest consider the prophecies of it in words and language. Isaiah cried, saying, “Wash you, make you clean, put away evil from your souls,” and David, “Draw nigh to him and be enlightened, and your faces shall not be ashamed.” And Ezekiel, writing more clearly and plainly than them both, says, “And I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be cleansed; from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I give you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh, and my spirit will I put within you.” Most manifestly also does Zechariah prophesy of Joshua, who was clothed with filthy garments (to wit, the flesh of a servant, even ours), and stripping him of his illfavored raiment, adorns him with the clean and fair apparel, teaching us by the figurative illustration that truly in the baptism of Jesus all we, putting off our sins like some poor and patched garment, are clothed in the holy and most fair garment of regeneration. .