Jesus is the branch of David and Priest of Go
“He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:2-6 NIV
“Listen, High Priest Joshua, you and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,’ says the LORD Almighty, ‘and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day.” Zechariah 3:8-9 NIV
“Tell him this is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the LORD. It is he who will build the temple of the LORD, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two.” Zechariah 6:12-13 NIV
What were the Jewish people looking for in a Messiah in the year of 30 AD? Messiah is the Hebrew word for the anointed one; it is translated as Christ in Greek. Many Jews hoped for a Davidic king who would overthrow their rulers – freeing Israel from Roman domination. Some looked for two Messiahs, a priest and a king who would work together as their leaders did in Zechariah’s time.
The Old Testament prophets used many descriptive terms when prophesying about the coming Messiah. Isaiah calls him a branch or shoot from David frequently, as Zechariah did. Jesus fulfilled this as his mother was from the line of David. But in Zechariah 6:12-13 the Messiah as priest is emphasized. “Tell him this is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the LORD. It is he who will build the temple of the LORD, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two.”
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John do not seem to indicate that the Jewish people were looking for a Messiah priest. Yet, there are many prophecies that point to the Messiah as a priest. David talks of Messiah in Psalm 110:4, “The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” Genesis 14:18 tells us that Melchizedek was a king/priest in Salem (Jerusalem) in Abram’s day, and he knew and served God Almighty. A priest’s job is to intercede before God on the behalf of others.
The author of Hebrews 7:17 speaks of Jesus; “For it is declared: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” He goes on to say, “but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to completely save those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them,” Hebrews 7:24. Zechariah had prophesied that the Messiah would, “remove the sin of this land in a single day,” Zechariah 3:9b. Jesus perfectly fulfills this prophecy – he is the priest who lives forever, his sacrifice offers atonement for all sin, and he is seated at the right hand of God, interceding on our behalf. Think on these things and give thanks to God.
By Grace Hunter