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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Promised Priest

The prophecy we will look at today is actually the fourth vision, in a series of eight, related to Zechariah, dating back to about 519 BC.  This is a very significant vision and prophecy.  In the last post we saw, through the Word of God, how Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of a promised prophet and a promised king.  Today we will look at a prophecy of a promised Priest.  In researching this I studied works from a man named David Baron.  He was a Jewish convert to Christianity.  He wrote many books concerning Judaism.  He founded the Hebrew Christian Testimony to Israel missionary organization, in London, with the intent of converting other Jews.  Concerning today’s text he said this, “This is one of the richest and most Messianic Passages.”  Let’s see what he felt was so rich, shall we?  Vv 1-7 basically sets the scene where Zechariah is having a vision and he sees the High Priest, Joshua (in filthy garments, which means he and the people he represents are unworthy, unable to perform God’s work, and out of his kingdom), and Satan side by side.  Satan is rebuked for his attack on Israel, who is God’s chosen people.  Joshua’s filth is removed and he is cleaned.  Then he is told to remain faithful.

The first thing we must note that Joshua, freshly cleansed and reinstated, and the priests under him are a “symbol.”  They symbolize a priest is coming that will be perfect and not need cleansed and reinstated!  The phrase “for behold” in vv8,9 basically means "see this surprise."  Today we may say, “HERE’S WHAT I’M GONNA DO!”  He gives three illustrations to describe this promised Priest.

The coming priest is a SERVANT.  The word translated servant here comes from the root word that means do or use in service; to become a servant; worshiper.  So when God says, "My servant" He is saying that his promised priest, or servant, will be more than a thoughtless slave.  Rather, this promised priest will work for God, or be used in service by God, because He is a worshiper of God.

The coming priest is a BRANCH.  This promised priest will be rooted in the work and the will of the Lord.  Consider the following verses: 
Isa 4:2 branch of the Lord; Isa 11:1 out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots; Jer 23:5 Branch of righteousness.   The word branch here means a branch that grew.  It comes from the root word meaning sprout, with intent to bring forth, bud, or grow.   This promised priest will come and grow.  As He grows we will see He is rooted in the work and the will of the Lord.  

The coming priest is a STONE.    We see the phrase “for behold” again in verse nine.  This stone that the Lord will put in place is a cornerstone.  Isa 28:16  In the Old Testament a “rock” is a sign of power and strength, and a stone is similar except you build on a stone, not a rock.  This “cornerstone” is a foundation of things to come!  This stone has two unique qualities about it.

1. The stone has seven eyes.  Are these eyes on the stone the eyes of the Lord? Zec 4:10  Perhaps, but I am in no way being dogmatic about that possibility.  The number 7 in Scripture is the number of perfection.  The eye is often referred to as intelligence.  If you apply that to the promised priest, He will need to have perfect intelligence, or omniscience.  Isa 11:2
    2. The stone will be engraved.  The engraving of the stone will make it precious and that’s why Peter refers to it in 1Pe 2:7.  The stone and its engraving are valuable to those who believe, remember, belief cannot be separated from obedience!  God will do the engraving on this new stone just as he did on the Old. Ex 31:18; 32:16.  The iniquity is removed on that one day the stone is engraved!!  This promised priest will need to be the cornerstone of a new foundation, be omniscient, and be engraved by God!

    This promised priest brings unity and peace.
      Everyone will join in this party under the vine.  This is a reference to all people being invited into the party.  I read in the Talmud(Rabbinical teachings and discussions) Yoma 7:4 that after the high priest performed his solemn duties on the day of atonement he was escorted home in a festive manner, and that day was treated as a holiday today!  Do we look at the day our sins were atoned as a holiday?  The peace that is offered by the promised priest will be from the forgiveness of sin.   The forgiveness of sin makes possible, first peace with God, and then peace with fellow man.  This promised priest will be over all people whether Jew or gentile.  There will be no more divided kingdoms as in Old Testament times. The coming priest will start peace and unity!  

    Wow, where can a man like that be found. Do you a man that can meet the criteria in this prophecy?  I have one man in mind.

    Prophecy Fulfilled!
     This promised priest must be a servant     Phi 2:8 Jesus was beyond a servant

    This promised priest must be a branch      Jn 15:1 He is no longer a sprout.  He i with fruit.

    This promised priest must be a stone        1Pe 2:4 “Living stone” Jesus is a living foundation!  

    This promised priest must be omniscient    Jn 16:30 Apostles knew it Col 2:3

    This promised priest must be engraved by God    Isa 53:5 The wounds inflicted on Jesus by men was in reality an engraving by God!   

    This promised priest will bring unity and peace    We already know Jesus is the true vine from Jn 15. The thing that must be noted is that in order to be a part of the vine you do not have to be a certain race, gender, or nationality.  You simply must abide in him!  Heb 4:14; 5:8-10

    You must make a decision the information placed before you today.  Is Jesus our promised priest of the Old Testament?  If you believe he is the Messiah, the anointed, do you acknowledge his authority?  Are you obedient to all his commands concerning entrance into his kingdom?    **Notice that this prophecy has nothing to do with how the king is received, but that he is coming! Jesus is King whether we choose to accept him as such or not.

    Today, tell someone about the promised priest, Jesus Christ, that came to make an atonement for our sins.  He humbled himself and willingly became our perfect sacrifice.  Jesus is our Passover Lamb.         

    Hear The Word-  Rom 10:17; Acts 4:4

We Must Believe or Have Faith-  Heb 11:6; Acts 16:31

We Must Repent-  Lk 13:3; Acts 17:30

We Must Confess Christ Before Others-  Mt 10:32; Acts 8:37

We Must Be Immersed Into Christ (Baptized)-  1Pe 3:21; Mk 16:16; Acts 2:38  

     We Must Remain Faithful-  Rev 2:10; Acts 14:22    

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