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Crowning glory

‘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.’ Zechariah 6. 12-13

Right in the heart of Zechariah's prophecy comes this amazing proclamation, which affirms the ministry of Joshua as high-priest but almost as an after-thought because the emphasis is so clearly on his eventual successor and namesake, Jesus. Both will be temple-builders, through Jesus' temple will be the one "not built by human hands" (Isaiah 66.2 and Acts 7.48 & 17.24). Furthermore "harmony between the two" anticipates Jesus' unique union of the roles of priest and king, along with those of prophet and Messiah.

Of course Zechariah's fellow Israelites will not have recognised this reference any more than the majority of Jews in Jesus' day recognised Jesus as Messiah. God hardened their hearts in order that the Gospel should reach other parts of the world which otherwise might never have received it. We can only wonder at the grace of God and stand in awe at his ways which so exceed our capacity to grasp until well after the event!

All this begs a fascinating question: what might God be doing even now, in our own presence, which we are simply not noticing? The essential difference is that we have no excuse. Our eyes have been opened and our hearts softened because Jesus has come and he has sent the Holy Spirit and so God is with us, to enable us to perceive and accomplish what we could never have managed on our own. Obedience to the prompting of Immanuel (God with us) is our faithful response...



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