Where is our Priest?
‘and speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD : even he shall build the temple of the LORD ; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both. ‘ Zechariah 6:12-13
This week we are exploring the implications of this passage. For this week, we are focused on the subject of Jesus as Priest. As with many prophecies, they have layers of meaning. Yes, Jesus fulfilled this text, but there is still meaning in it for us today. We live in the time between Christ’s first coming and his second coming. What does this ancient prophetic voice have to say to us?
Zechariah tells us that there is a ruler who will also be a priest for us. For most of us, kings and priests are not offices that we encounter in our lives. Even if they were, we may miss the unusual idea that a king could be a priest. In Israel, priests were one thing and kings were another; they had different roles. But this passage is not the only one to speak of a king-priest. Hebrews 7 teaches us that Jesus is both king and Priest. He rules and he functions as an ambassador between God and humanity. The question is, how is this prophecy still being fulfilled for us today?
Notice that Zechariah tells us that it is the Priest’s responsibility to build the temple. That is curious to me, and I don’t often think of a priest creating the place of worship. Yet, that idea reminds me of another text. In Matthew 16:18, Jesus says, “I will build my church.” You see, Jesus is our Priest, and he is building US (the church) as the temple. Jesus is not absent as a priest-king; instead, he is actively building his church to be a place where both we and the world can encounter him.
In this season of Advent, we contemplate the darkness of the world, and we anticipate the coming light of Christ. Take a moment to reflect on the reality that you are the temple where light has come, is coming, and will come more and more. God is not far off; he is building in you and all of his church, a temple for his light. Ask him to shine in you!
By Aaron Bjorklund