Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Monday, 20 December 21:
Zechariah 6:11-13 “Take the silver and gold and make a crown, and set it on the head of the high priest, Joshua son of Jehozadak. Tell him this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the Lord. It is he who will build the temple of the Lord, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two.’”
We were already introduced the BRANCH in Zechariah 3:8 referring to the Messiah, Jesus. Today, the high priest, Joshua son of Jehozadak is symbolically crowned as a prophecy to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Interestingly the names “Joshua” and “Jesus” are the same name translated from different languages — “Yehoshua,” or “Iesous,” or “Yeshua”, which means, “The Lord is salvation.” Here Zechariah isn’t honoring the high priest Joshua or celebrating the temple in Jerusalem which he is helping to reconstruct with Zerubbabel, nor is he attempting to make Joshua king. Rather, he is prophesying the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God on earth.
- Matthew 1:20-23 — Behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
“In the Hebrew text the prophecy begins ‘Behold the Man,’ the very words Pilate used to present the beaten Christ to the people of Jerusalem: ‘Ecce homo! (Boice)’” The Branch will rebuild the temple – not the same temple Zerubbabel worked on, but the temple of His people (Ephesians 2:19-22, 1 Peter 2:5). Note that the BRANCH “will rule on His throne [and] be a priest on His throne” — an unthinkable concept previously in Israel because priests did not sit on thrones and kings did not serve as priests. Remember when King Saul was cursed for overstepping his authority and serving in Samuel’s priestly role? (1 Samuel 13) While Zechariah was prophesying, Joshua son of Jehozadak served as priest while Zerubbabel served as ‘king’ (governor) in the line of David. Zechariah is not attempting to overthrow the government and create a theocracy in his day but instead is proclaiming the future reign of Christ on earth, as both High Priest and King, where, in God’s Kingdom, there will no longer be a need of separation of Church and State (“Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”).
- Matthew 19:28 — Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
- 2 Peter 3:13 — But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
We serve as Ambassadors of the Christ and His Kingdom sent to proclaim the Gospel to the kingdoms of man. Like Zachariah, while everyone is focused on and struggling to build temples and kingdoms on earth, use any opportunity you can, particularly during Christmas time, to proclaim the True King and the Kingdom of God — “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15)
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 20 December 21: During this Christmas season, proclaim Christ to all.