Understand the ‘ROYAL PRIESTHOOD’ of JESUS CHRIST
October 3 Bible Reading: Zechariah Chapters 4-6
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; 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." (Zech. 6:12-13)
The prophet Zechariah was commanded to get gold and silver from three of the returned exiles in order to make an elaborate crown for Joshua, the high priest. Ordinarily, a crown is made for a ruler, not for a high priest. So, the Bible scholars have inferred that this action points forward to the coming of Jesus Christ as both King and Priest. In the words of David Baron:
Surely it is in keeping with the Royal Priesthood of Messiah, that the Hebrew word used here (for temple) means both palace and sanctuary. As King, He has entered into His palace and as Priest into His sanctuary. “The counsel of peace shall be between them both,” that is, peaceful understanding will exist between King and Priest (in one Person).
Thus, Prophet Zechariah placed a crown on the head of Joshua, the High Priest, to foreshadow the Lord Jesus Christ, who will be both King, from the line of David (Matt. 1:1), and High Priest, from the order of Melchizedek (Heb. 7). He is the BRANCH who will build the millennial temple and rule from His throne with honor as both Priest and King (Isaiah 11:1; Jeremiah 23:5). All this shows the preparation in the Old Testament for the truth that Jesus Christ is our High Priest (Heb. 4:14; 7:24; 9:11) and our King (Heb. 1:8; Matt. 22:41–46).
As the BRANCH, Jesus Christ is King (Jeremiah 33:15), God’s Servant (Zech. 3:8), “the Man whose name is the BRANCH” (Zech. 6:12), and “the Branch of the Lord” (Isa. 4:2). Some Bible scholars see in these four titles a parallel to the four Gospels. Matthew presents the Branch of David, the King; Mark, the Servant; Luke, the Man; and John, “the Branch of the Lord” who is God come in human flesh (John 20:30–31).
The Messiah Himself will build the temple of the Lord, and the temple of Zerubbabel was a prophetic symbol of the temple that is still to come. We can note that the individual members of the church of Jesus Christ are His temple today. "Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are" (1 Cor. 3:16-17).
Also, we are living stones that build up God’s spiritual house: "coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 2:4-5)
As Haggai encouraged the people in their daily work, Zechariah urged them to live ‘in the future tense’ and work because they were a part of God’s glorious future. No Jewish priest had ever reigned as king, and no king was permitted to serve as a priest (2 Chron. 26:16–21). Let us understand the royal priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ (Psalms 110:4; Heb. 7:1–3), who was a High Priest when He offered up Himself to be the eternal sacrifice for our sins. He will reign forever as King of Kings and Lord of Lords one day in the future from His glorious temple!