Reading: Zechariah 6, Psalm 28
By Pastor Jason Walsh
“Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: for he shall branch out from his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD. It is he who shall build the temple of the LORD and shall bear royal honor and shall sit and rule on his throne.” (Zechariah 6:12-13)
The legend of King Arthur has been retold many times in literature and music. One of the main themes is the establishment of a just and righteous kingdom. Against a society of warring states, King Arthur tried to establish a united England. His knights of the Round Table lived by the code of chivalry that obligated them to defend the weak, to show mercy to their enemies, and to use their strength for the cause of goodness.
Those who are familiar with this legend know that King Arthur ultimately failed in his quest. But the legends also say that one day the King will return!
This vision Zechariah had is no legend, rather it is a vision God gave to Zechariah of a just and righteous kingdom which is shared by the biblical prophets. One day, God will send a perfect King whose kingdom will never fail. That’s the central theme we find in today’s reading. The symbolic action narrated here follows the eight night visions we have read throughout the book of Zechariah thus far.
God instructed the prophet to collect gold and silver from three donors (probably lately-returned, prominent exiles who wanted to help rebuild the Temple), have a craftsman named Josiah (or Hen) fashion a crown, and place it on the head of the high priest, Joshua. Afterwards, the crown was to be kept as a memorial of this prophecy.
What did this action illustrate and foretell? It spoke of the future Advent of Messiah, the Branch, King Jesus in whom the offices of king and priest would be united! This prophecy stretches to the New Testament and is spoken of by the writer of Hebrews who said, “For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever” (Hebrews 7:1–3).
In the words of Haggai, “the desired of all nations will come” (Haggai 2:7). He will “build the temple of the Lord,” that is, establish worship of the one true God throughout the earth (Zechariah 6:13). God promised, “Those who are far away will come and help to build the temple of the Lord” (Zechariah 6:15), meaning that Gentiles will also be involved in these events!
God held back the opposition in Zechariah’s day in order that the work of temple rebuilding could be completed. Ultimately, this vision is also being fulfilled in the new covenant era (our lives today). The Lord remains sovereign, and in a sense, is restraining His enemies so that He can build His church. Though our foes may at times seem to gain the upper hand in some places, their efforts will ultimately prove to be unsuccessful. Christ will build His temple, and He will finish the job no matter the opposition!
While the grace of God still exists, you have hope! While the grace of God still exists, America has hope! Our Lord remains on the throne and will complete what He started in you and in His Church!
“The LORD is the strength of his people; he is the saving refuge of his anointed” (Psalm 28).