Timely and timeless Lord, I want a strong relationship with you, one that will be for today and all times.
Read ZECHARIAH 6
6 I looked up again, and there before me were four chariots coming out from between two mountains—mountains of bronze. 2 The first chariot had red horses, the second black, 3 the third white, and the fourth dappled—all of them powerful. 4 I asked the angel who was speaking to me, “What are these, my lord?”
5 The angel answered me, “These are the four spirits[a] of heaven, going out from standing in the presence of the Lord of the whole world. 6 The one with the black horses is going toward the north country, the one with the white horses toward the west,[b] and the one with the dappled horses toward the south.”
7 When the powerful horses went out, they were straining to go throughout the earth. And he said, “Go throughout the earth!” So they went throughout the earth.
8 Then he called to me, “Look, those going toward the north country have given my Spirit[c] rest in the land of the north.”
A Crown for Joshua
9 The word of the Lord came to me: 10 “Take silver and gold from the exiles Heldai, Tobijah and Jedaiah, who have arrived from Babylon. Go the same day to the house of Josiah son of Zephaniah. 11 Take the silver and gold and make a crown, and set it on the head of the high priest, Joshua son of Jozadak.[d] 12 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. 13 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[e] will be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two.’ 14 The crown will be given to Heldai,[f] Tobijah, Jedaiah and Hen[g] son of Zephaniah as a memorial in the temple of the Lord. 15 Those who are far away will come and help to build the temple of the Lord, and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. This will happen if you diligently obey the Lord your God.”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘O Jesus … my Prophet, Priest, and King … accept the praise I bring.’1
In Zechariah’s first vision,2 horses are linked with a report that the nations that had oppressed God’s people were at peace. Now, in his eighth and last vision, horses and chariots of war execute God’s promised judgement on those nations (verse 8 conveys the idea of God’s wrath against them being appeased, giving his Spirit rest). Next comes the unprecedented coronation of a high priest, Joshua, as king to oversee the completion of the Temple. Zechariah thus gives the returnees renewed assurance that their oppressors will get their comeuppance and their reconstruction work will have a successful conclusion. But something much greater is indicated in Zechariah’s vision!
No priest had been crowned king before, nor had a king become a priest, except Melchizedek3 (King Uzziah had been punished for trying to burn incense).4 One only would be able to legitimately fulfill both functions. He is called Jesus (the Greek form of Joshua/Jeshua) and is foreshadowed here by the high priest of the same name. Joshua’s designation as ‘the Branch’ in verse 12 anticipates his greater namesake.5 It is the Priest and King – Jesus – who is building the Temple of the Lord which the Spirit of God indwells.6 That Temple is being built not only with Jewish but also with Gentile followers of Jesus (‘Those who are far away’, v 15).7
In Zechariah’s final nocturnal vision we thus have a glorious picture of the Messiah. As a priest, Jesus Christ offered himself as a sacrifice for our sins on the cross. As David’s greatest son and God’s only Son, his royal lineage is beyond compare. One day, every knee shall bow at his name and every tongue confess that he is Lord. Why not do that right now?
Christians, as ‘a royal priesthood’,8 have free access to heaven’s throne room. Our prayers rise like incense before God.9 Give thanks for this amazing privilege!
Gracious Lord, I rejoice today that your kingdom is for all people in all places. Bless those who share the gospel in distant lands.
1 J Newton, 1725–1807, ‘How sweet the name’ 2 Zech 1 3 Gen 14:13 4 2 Chr 26:16–19 5 Isa 11:1,10; Jer 23:5,6 6 1 Cor 3:16 7 Acts 2:39; Eph 2:13 8 1 Pet 2:9 9 Rev 8:4