As I continue on in my study of Zechariah, the emphasis of the returning King couldn’t be more prominent. An angel was sent to Zechariah to deliver 8 visions, each unique in its symbolism and effect, depicting the future of Christ’s coming, death and resurrection, judgement, and fulfillment of God’s Kingdom.
In chapter 6 the last vision is given, and Zechariah is commanded by God to set a majestic crown upon Joshua’s head (Joshua was the high priest of his time). Between verses 12 and 15, a brief account is given about the Messiah and what He will do:
1. He will come from Israel
“From His place He shall branch out”
Another place in Scripture that speaks of the Messiah’s birthplace more specifically is Micah 5:2, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”
2. He will build the millennial temple
“… And He shall build the temple of the Lord;
Yes, He shall build the temple of the Lord.”
The return of the exiled Israelites from Babylon marked a significant opportunity for God to speak through His prophets about His plans for the future Kingdom. More specific accounts of the events of the final times can be found in John’s visions in Revelation, including the final judgement.
3. He will be glorious
“He shall bear the glory…”
Although Jesus came to earth as a man (fully God, and fully man), we must never forget that in being fully God, He then also bears all of God’s glory. His origins are ‘from of old’ (Micah 5:2), and before time, He was (John 8:58). Jesus is the son of God and will return in due time to set up God’s Kingdom on earth.
4. He will be king and priest
“… And He shall be a priest on His throne,”
Never before was this practice allowed; the combining of the offices of priest (belonging to the house of Levi) and king (belonging to the house of David) was forbidden, and had even resulted in a former king’s death when he attempted it (see 2 Chronicles 26:16-23 for the account of King Uzziah). But this instance was a command by God to set a demonstration to the people of what God would later bring about through the work of His Son.
5. He makes peace
“… And the counsel of peace shall be between them both”
Known of course as the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), this verse speaks of the peace that Christ will bring through fulfillment of God’s just wrath on the wicked, the end of sin and death, and the establishment of God’s Kingdom with all of His children.
6. He opens the kingdom to Gentiles
“Even those from afar shall come…”
Israel is God’s chosen people; a representative of His holiness amongst the nations. But God also longs for those outside of Israel to come to know Him, and be saved by His grace. Now that Christ has come and been the required sacrifice for sin, all people – from all nations – can receive salvation through faith.
7. He will fulfill God’s Word
“Then you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you.”
This verse also predicts the holy nature of Jesus’ ministry on earth; He came not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17). He did everything according to His Word, never sinned, and fulfilled the Father’s will. So it will also be in the final days.
8. He demands obedience
“And this shall come to pass,
if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God.”
This echoes the strong call to obedience we see from Jesus in John 14:15 & John 14:23: “If you love me, keep my commandments”, “Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”