After Zechariah’s series of visions were complete, the Lord directed him to go collect a gift from the silver and gold brought back from Babylon and take it to the house of the high priest, Joshua.
The Lord’s instructions continued:
11 Take the silver and gold, make an elaborate crown, and set it on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest. 12 Then speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, saying:
“Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH!
From His place He shall branch out,
And He shall build the temple of the Lord;
13 Yes, He shall build the temple of the Lord.
He shall bear the glory,
And shall sit and rule on His throne;
So He shall be a priest on His throne,
And the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” ’ Zechariah 6:11-13 (NKJV)
Here God is painting a very clear picture though Joshua of the Messiah, the Branch, who will be both a king and high priest. These dual roles, exclusively held as separate offices in previous generations, will be fulfilled by Jesus Christ when He returns to earth to rule over the whole world from His throne in Jerusalem.
But before Jesus could return as king, He needed to come first as an atonement for sin. By His sacrifice on the cross, the curse of sin that separated a holy God from imperfect people was removed.
13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Galatians 3:13-14 (NKJV)
And by Christ’s resurrection from the dead, we are raised to a new life in Him.
4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4 (NKJV)
But Messiah Jesus did not come only for the Gentiles. He came first and foremost as king and high priest to His own people, called out to be a separate kingdom of priests through Abraham. The law and the prophets of the Old Testament all look forward to the Messiah’s coming.
The prophet Isaiah wrote of the Branch of the Lord and the glory He will restore to Judah in the last days. After a final Satan-led rebellion under Antichrist is defeated by God and His angels, Jesus Christ will begin to reign as king and high priest from His throne in Jerusalem. The seven-year Great Tribulation period prior to Christ’s return will bring a terror like nothing the world has ever experienced. But God has promised a great victory over the powers of evil, and that His glorious presence will fully comfort and restore His people in its wake.
2 In that day the Branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious;
And the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and appealing
For those of Israel who have escaped.
3 And it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy—everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem. 4 When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning, 5 then the Lord will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all the glory there will be a covering. Isaiah 4:2-5 (NKJV)
When the very foundations of the earth begin to shake, where can we turn? In Christ we have a strong tower to run into and be safe no matter the intensity of the storm. Jesus has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. Are you with willing to seek Him today?
Just prior to condemning Jesus to be crucified, the Roman governor Pontius Pilate had this to say:
5 Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!” John 19:5 (NKJV)
Without realizing it, Pilate was quoting a portion of Zechariah’s prophecy about the coming Messiah.
Jesus came the first time to humbly bear our sins and shortcomings as a sacrifice on the altar of the cross. When He comes the second time, it will be a very different matter. He will come in overwhelming power and unlimited glory to assume His rightful role – King and High Priest. He will live in the midst of those who choose to turn away from the pursuit of sin to be a part of His kingdom of God.
We believers are not perfect by any means but are perfectly forgiven when we fall.
Father God, we cannot even imagine the ever-changing wonder of Your glory in Jesus Christ. Your mercies are new every morning, and we will never reach the end of your amazing goodness. We are in awe as You continually reveal Yourself and Your boundless creation to us. Draw us close to You so that we may seek to be purified by the cross of Christ and resurrected by His river of living water, the Holy Spirit. We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.