Morning! My name is David Sorn, and I’m the Lead Pastor here.
If you’ve grown up in church or even been a Christian for a few years, you’ve probably heard people say, “Jesus fulfilled hundreds of prophecies from the Old testament”
Christians say that a lot, and it’s one of the key components to why many of us have such a strong faith in the Bible.
But think through this scenario with me:
Let’s say you’re talking to a friend or a co-worker, and you say, “I believe Jesus is the Son of God, I mean, c’mon, he fulfilled hundreds of prophecies!”
And let’s say they say, “Like what? Name some predictions that came true!”
What would you say?
Seriously, what would you say?
I think we might get a few Christmas ones.
Like, he was born of a virgin.
Or born in Bethlehem.
But I’m not sure we’d get much past that.
And yet there are indeed literally hundreds more prophecies that He fulfilled.
And so one of the reasons I wanted us to study Zechariah together this summer was to show you MANY of these prophecies.
As we turn now to Part 2 of Zechariah, this will come more into play.
Zechariah’s 8 night visions are now over, and in the weeks to come Zechariah will be sharing a number of powerful prophecies about what Jesus, the future Messiah, will be like.
So let’s open our Bibles to Zechariah chapter 6
If you’re using a Bible from our Welcome Tent, we’re on page 648
If you’re using your phone, just use the Renovation App, and tap Summer Services, and Weekly Verses
If you’re here for the first time, let me tell you who Zechariah was in the Bible.
He was a prophet who ministered about 520 years before Jesus.
And he was speaking to Jews who had just come back to Jerusalem from a long exile in Babylon.
Or, this is 18 years after Daniel & the Lions Den…if that helps 😊
And today, in chapter 6, we’re going to see that God asks Zechariah to essentially enact an earthly drama that will have rich meaning for God’s people.
You see this same thing a lot in Ezekiel
If you’ve ever read that book, you’ll see that God asks Ezekiel to do all sorts of dramatic things to get his point across.
And as we go through our passage today, let me say this:
As a Bible-teaching church that spends most of our year going verse-by-verse through Books or sections of the Bible, we get to come across a wide range of passages.
So our messages feel more varied than what you might even be used to
Sometimes they’re very applicational, while another passage leans a bit more emotional or inspirational.
Still another quite philosophical.
And sometimes, like today, honestly there is just a lot to learn.
We’re gonna learn more about who God is and what His story throughout Scripture is.
And that’s okay.
All of those things are needed because all of those things are in the Bible.
SILVER & GOLD
All right, let’s take a look at our passage.
(Zechariah 6:9-10) - NIV
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.”
Okay, so the Jewish people had been in exile in Babylon for anywhere from 50-70 years, and more and more people are starting to come back to Jerusalem.
Some of them with wealth even…as they have prospered in Babylon.
And these 3 wealthy guys have come from Babylon, and through Zechariah, the Lord is about to have them use their silver and gold to create an important symbol that will influence people for centuries to come.
They could have used their silver and gold for their own purposes.
But honestly, no one will remember the gold trim they put on their ancient couches, but this act will last for eternity.
This is similar to what many of you are doing as you continue to amazingly and sacrificially give over this 3-year period to Illuminate for our Building Expansion
Lives are going to be changed for…ETERNITY.
It’s an investment, that we’re all making that will outlast anything else we use our finances for.
By the way, drive by the building this week if you can because they are going to start all of the outdoor work most likely tomorrow (move our ponds & start parking lot, etc.)
THE PRIEST KING
Let’s keep reading to find out what they did with their silver and gold:
(Zechariah 6:11) – NIV
11 Take the silver and gold and make a crown, and set it on the head of the high priest, Joshua son of Jozadak.
Now, this is an act that actually would have shocked every person in the room.
For a number of reasons.
For one, because of the exile, these people of Judah, hadn’t had a king for almost 70 years.
And remember, no one in the room (outside of Zechariah) would have known that this was just a symbolic act…they weren’t really crowning a new king.
But secondly, let me tell you why this would have been an especially shocking and outrageous action.
God was telling Zechariah to crown the high priest, Joshua as King.
But the High Priest can’t be King!
See, in ancient Israel, in the Old Testament, there were really three different offices of Godly power.
Much like we have our 3 branches of power in the US Government: The Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches
You remember this from 9th grade Civics, right? 😊
And in the Old Testament, before the exile to Babylon, there was:
And some would add, the Prophets
And each had an important leadership role to play in God’s Kingdom.
But the King was not the Priest.
And the Priest could not be the King
There was to be a separation between the civic and religious leadership in Israel.
Probably because God knew that no regular human could handle that much power.
In fact, a couple of times in the Bible you see kings try to act like priests (like King Saul), or especially King Uzziah.
In 2 Chronicles 26, King Uzziah goes into the temple to burn incense on the altar before the Lord (which was the role of the priest!)…
…but as he’s doing so, the Lord strikes him with leprosy.
Because the King is not supposed to be the Priest, and the Priest is not supposed to be the King!
But something is different here in Zechariah.
As Zechariah is putting the crown on Joshua, the High Priest’s head, God says the following…pointing to the future, and pointing to “no regular person”
(Zechariah 6:12-13) - NIV
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 will be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two.’
Now, these two verses (and really this whole playact by Zechariah) isn’t really about Joshua the current high priest, this is a symbolic and prophetic act about a future Joshua.
And by the way, how cool is this?
Joshua, or Yeshua, in Hebrew, is pronounced Jesus in English
Jesus and Joshua is the same name.
They’re just translated differently for us in English so we don’t get them confused
And this “Future Joshua” that Zechariah’s talking about…or this “Future Jesus,” verse 13 says will sit on his throne (as a King) and will also be a priest.
And it says, “And there will be harmony between the two” (the kingship and the priesthood)
And that may seem normal to us, but this was basically unthinkable to Zechariah’s listeners.
And yet, that’s exactly who Jesus was.
The King of Kings
And our High Priest!
Hebrews chapter 7 explains in depth how Jesus was a priest, and I encourage you to read it later.
But let me show you one part of it
(Hebrews 7:23-25) – NIV
23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
So, in other words, Jesus, like a priest, is our mediator…He represents us in front of God by (like a priest) attending to the sacrifice for our sins…in fact, he was the sacrifice for our sin.
And he is our HIGH priest, in that, unlike the other priests, he never sinned, and he never dies.
And Hebrews 7 also quotes a very famous prophecy from Psalm 110:4, where it says the Messiah will be a priest in the order of Melchizedek
Well who was Melchizedek?!?
Melchizedek was a priest of God (before the Levitical priests of the temple were even established in the time of Moses), and Melchizedek blessed Abraham in Genesis 14.
And Melchizedek brought bread and wine to Abraham (like Jesus who brought bread and wine at the Last Supper)
And Abraham then tithed, gave 10% of what he had to Melchizedek
And Melchizedek, wasn’t just a priest, it says he was also…a King!
The King of Salem, the old name for Jerusalem.
And so the Bible prophesies in Psalm 110, and here in Zechariah 6, that the messiah will be like a priest, AND King on his throne (a priest-King, like Melchizedek)
And that’s who Jesus is!
He is the King of King, the Lord of Lords, and the Bible says the government (the ruling of the world) will be on his shoulders.
And yet, He is also the priest who gave the sacrifice to die for our sins.
And again, we’re looking at a prophecy about Jesus the Messiah, made 520 years before He came to Bethlehem as a baby.
And you can read this today and go, “Oh yeah, priest and King, that’s neat”
But it’s not neat, it’s amazing. It’s miraculous!
People couldn’t even work out how this would happen!
And yet it happened!
In fact, we have plenty of Jewish sources from BEFORE Christ, that say that verse 12 & 13 of Zechariah 6 are key verses for what the coming Messiah will be like!
In part because other prophets said similar things.
Other prophets like Isaiah & Jeremiah also prophesied about the messiah by calling him the Branch (like we see in verse 12)_…a future King from the line of David…
…a “Branch” that can save, not only those in Israel, but will branch out, and bring fruit to the Gentiles (to the non-Jews as well)
And we see twice in our passage that this Messiah will build the temple of the Lord.
Which is an interesting thing to say because they were in the process of literally rebuilding an actual temple.
But here, the prophecy is deeper.
This Messiah is going to build a temple that will branch out.
Look at what Paul says to the new Christians in Ephesians 2
(Ephesians 2:19-21) – NIV
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.
The Bible says that we, believers in Jesus, because we have God, the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we are the new temple.
And Jesus is branching out that temple all around the world.
A SYMBOL OF THINGS TO COME
All right, let’s take a look at verse 14, which shows that this act of putting the crown on Joshua, the High Priest’s head is meant to be symbolic.
(Zechariah 6:14) – NIV
14 The crown will be given to Heldai, Tobijah, Jedaiah and Hen son of Zephaniah as a memorial in the temple of the Lord.
So Zechariah isn’t actually crowning Joshua as the new King of Judah, but it’s all a symbolic drama…imagery used to point of the messiah that is to come.
And we see that Zechariah was then told to give this special crown to the men in the room, and they will set up in the new temple as a memorial.
Or as a “reminder” many translations say.
In fact, according to Jewish authorities on this second temple, this very crown from Zechariah 6 was then set up, in the temple, for people to see…to remind them of the type of Messiah that was coming.
Can you imagine that?
Imagine living in Jerusalem 100 years before Jesus.
And you had studied the prophecies of what the Messiah would be like when he came.
And when you walked with your children to the temple, you would see the crown from Zechariah 6.
And you could say to your children, “Look at that crown! The Messiah will come for us some day….
…And when he comes, He will wear the crown like a King, but, we see the crown in the temple, because He will also be a priest…offering a sacrifice for our sins.”
And your children would say, “how is that possible to be both? I don’t understand.”
And you would say, “I don’t either, but I know it’s gonna happen because God said it’s gonna happen”
There are so many beautiful prophecies of Jesus like this.
And we will see PLENTY more as we get deeper into Zechariah this summer.
But this is partly why you see A LOT of statements in the New Testament like we see in Luke 24 when the risen Jesus is walking along the road to Emmaus with the two followers who don’t recognize Him at first.
(Luke 24:27) – NIV
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
And we see a number of very similar statements from the Apostle Paul’s ministry.. particularly when he would share the Gospel with the Jews.
For example, when Paul spoke to the Jews in Rome it says:
(Acts 28:23b) – NIV
He witnessed to them from morning till evening, explaining about the kingdom of God, and from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets he tried to persuade them about Jesus.
He didn’t just tell them what Jesus did…he SHOWED them Jesus in the writings of the Prophets!
And again, I think as modern day American Christians, too many of us read those passages and we think, “When Paul showed them Jesus in the prophets, what did he even say? Like, did he tell them Jesus was born in Bethlehem? What did he say??”
Honestly, it probably looked a lot more like reading Zechariah together.
And Paul probably said: “You’ve seen the crown in the temple when you come at Passover, right?
Well, it’s happened! He is the King! And the Priest!
You know how Zechariah says that he is the branch?
Look what’s happening…the Gentiles are coming to faith before your very eyes!
You know how Zechariah said that the Messiah would build the temple?
He’s building it right now, his spirit is building it and branching it out all over the world.
Paul showed them Jesus, in the prophets!
And look at how our final verse wraps this up.
(Zechariah 6:15) – NIV
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.”
Those who are far away…the Gentiles…will come from all over the world, and the temple will be built.
God’s Kingdom will spread all over the earth.
And Zechariah says, if this happens, YOU WIL KNOW THAT THE LORD ALMIGHTY HAS SENT ME TO YOU.”
And my friends, this is why reading the Prophets in the Old Testament is so important to our faith.
I realize that this summer we’re in perhaps the most neglected part of the entire Bible..
But listen Zechariah is right.
And this is why reading the prophets matters:
If Zechariah’s words prove true.
And the Messiah does turn out, 500 years later, to be exactly like Zechariah described.
And God’s Kingdom IS now branching out to even those far away…
And the Messiah did end up being a Priest, King
And He did FLY away our sin like Zechariah 5 said
And He did, through our faith, snatch us from the fire, give us new clothes, and remove our sin in a single day as Zechariah 3 said…
And on and on…
If He fulfilled all of those prophecies, then we really have no logical choice but to believe that God sent him…and that His words are true, and that this book is true.
To deny its truth, is to deny reason.
To look at a book with hundreds, not 5, not 10 (which would be impressive enough by itself), but hundreds of prophecies fulfilled, and say, “That book it’s just legend and myth,” is an indefensible position.
Think of it this way: If you published a book this year, and make 300 predictions about the next 50 years…and ALL of them came true.”
How would people treat your book?
Would they would say, “Ah, that’s just a children’s story…it’s basically myth.”
No way, even after your first 5 of your predictions came true, you’d be on every podcast and TV show in the nation.
And some of you need to hear to hear this, or be reminded of this, today.
Perhaps you’re kind of exploring and investigating Christianity…and maybe you still have some doubts.
But I urge you to look at this book with fresh eyes.
If it were a book that was published 50 years ago and 300 predictions came true, what would you think of it?
See it anew!
This is not a legend, not a myth, and certainly not a children’s story…not just another religion.
This is God’s Word to humanity.
God has spoken to you…and it’s in this book.
And that fact that this is God’s Word is proven by the hundreds of fulfilled prophecies.
Would you open it up again yourself this week, and study it?
We’d love to give you a Bible on your way out today if you don’t have one, at the welcome tent.
There’s even an insert in there that will show you where to start reading.
If you want to know more about following Jesus for the first time and how He died for you, you can see our follow-up team on the front right of the stage.
And for those of you that are Christians, I pray that this Word today may renew and strengthen your faith in God’s Word.
Pick it up again this week.
It is the revealed Word of God for your life.
God wants to speak to YOU through it.
He wants to tell you more about who He really is.
And He wants to continue to talk to you, and guide you, and show you His love and care.
Open the Word of God again this week. Let me pray.
Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN
You may use this material all you like! We only ask that you do not charge a fee and that you quote the source and not say it is your own.