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THE BRANCH PART 4

Christmas 2017  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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This morning we have come together to worship the King of kings, and Lord of lords by celebrating His birth. We have been singing about His birth as well as about the impact of His life, death, and resurrection from the grave.
I invite you to take your Bible and turn to . Zechariah is the second to last book in the O.T. So if you get to Matthew, the first book of the N.T. simply turn backwards a few pages and you should be able to find it.
Over the past several weeks we have been looking at the O.T. concept of the Branch, as it relates to the coming of Messiah. The Branch concept refers to the idea that the Messiah will re-establish what is perhaps perceived to be a dead or dying Davidic throne. At the time of the writings of Isaiah and Jeremiah there were still descendants of David on the throne in Judah. But by the time of Zechariah there had not been a king on the throne for several decades.
The prophet Zechariah was what is called a “post-exilic prophet.” That simply means that in the historic timeline his ministry occurred after the Babylonian exile. He would have been among the remnant which returned to Jerusalem under the leadership of Zerubbabel son of Berechiah and Joshua son of Jehozadak. Zerubbabel was a descendant of King David, and Joshua was a descendant of Aaron, and was the high priest of Israel at that time. The historic account of this is found in the Book of Ezra. Contemporary with Zechariah was the prophet Haggai. These men were used by God to encourage the remnant to rebuild the Temple which had been destroyed during the Babylonian invasion.
The Book of Zechariah is the longest of the minor prophets. Its style is very apocalyptic — resembling the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ in is style.
For today I will not seek so much to do an exposition the text as much as to focus on the texts fulfillment in Jesus of Nazareth, the Branch of David, the Messiah. As we meditate on our text we will look at the Branch as builder, priest, and king. And then we will consider the appropriate tribute that we should bring to this priestly king.
To set the stage look with me at .
Notice the opening words of this vision: “The word of the LORD also came to me...” This is a common formula among the O.T. prophets. Because it is so common it is easy to overlook the significance of this statement. This is not a man-made story that is being shared. It is the divine revelation of God. As Peter once stated
1 Peter 1:20–21 NASB95PARA
For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
2 Peter 1:20–21 NASB95PARA
But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
Because it is a direct communication from God it is reliable and useful.
As previously mentioned, Zechariah was prophesying at a point in time after a remnant of exiles had returned to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. Apparently some of the men who had stayed behind in Babylon came for a visit. The prophet was instructed to go to them and received the gift they had brought for the temple. He was to melt down the precious metals and use the ore to fashion an ornate crown which was to be placed on the head of the high priest, Joshua son of Jehozadak. This was not the typical headdress worn by the high priest of Israel. Rather it was an elaborate kingly crown. This crown resembles the once mention in .
Revelation 19:12 NASB95PARA
His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself.
God is not telling the prophet to anoint Joshua as king. But the priest is being used as a type of Christ. O.T. typology is something that prefigures the coming Messiah. There are many types. Isaac was the son of Promise which typifies Christ. He was also offered as a sacrifice which also typifies Christ. The book of Hebrews spends a lot of time looking at types.
It is interesting that in this type even the name typifies Christ because Joshua is the O.T. equivalent of the name Jesus. They both mean that Yahweh saves. The specific point of this type is to show that Messiah will combine the offices of priest and prophet. We will look at this more in a few minutes. For now let’s look at as we consider the coming Branch as the builder of the temple of the LORD.
THE BRANCH AS THE BUILDER
Here in this verse we have a reference to the Branch which has been our focus of study this Christmas season. Notice the phrase: “Behold, a man ...” Some commentators have pointed out that Pilate’s statement in may have been used by John to point to the fact that Jesus was the fulfillment of this Messianic prophecy.
John 19:5 NASB95PARA
Jesus then came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold, the Man!”
A. JESUS IS THE BUILDER
Notice that our passage refers to the Branch as being the builder of the temple of the LORD. Now it is obvious that this is not referring to the temple which was rebuilt by the returning exiles of Judah. That is because that temple’s builder was Zerubbabel and not Joshua. This is referring to the millennial temple that Christ will build during His Second Advent.
Though Christ is not sitting on the earthly throne that He will one day inherit, He is even now in the process of building His church. After Peter’s great confession of who Jesus is, our Lord stated this in
Matthew 16:17–18 NASB95PARA
And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
The Apostle Paul stated the Jesus was the cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
B. JESUS IS THE FOUNDATION
Not only is Jesus the builder but He is also the foundation of this spiritual house that is being built. The Apostle Paul stated the Jesus was the cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
Charles Spurgeon wrote:

We may not forget that he who is the foundation is also the builder of the spiritual house: “He shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory.” There is but one who is the true architect and master-builder of the church of God, even Jesus Christ. His hands have laid the foundation of the house, his hands shall also finish it. So great is the fulness of our Lord Jesus that no figures can exhaust his character; he is not only foundation and builder, but he is the “head stone of the corner”; the pinnacle as well as the basement, the Omega as well as the Alpha, the finisher as well as the beginner.

Let’s turn our attention now the the Branch as priest.
THE BRANCH AS THE PRIEST
Note for a moment. In the coming Messiah the offices of priest and king will be synthesized into one person, the priestly King Jesus. Under the Old Covenant priests were descended from Aaron, which Jesus was not. And we also are aware that the coming King is to be of the tribe of Judah and the house of David. But God had promised through David that the true Son of David would be both priest and king.
Zechariah 6:13 NASB95PARA
Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the Lord, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices.” ’
Psalm 110:4 NASB95PARA
The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind, “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.”
The author of Hebrews spends a great deal of time developing this theme. We do not have time to fully exhaust this today, but just to give a quick synopsis.
A. A SYMPATHETIC PRIEST
First we see Jesus mentioned as being a sympathetic High Priest. ,
Hebrews 2:17 NASB95PARA
Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
Hebrews 4:15 NASB95PARA
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
B. A PRIEST FROM A DIFFERENT ORDER
As previously stated Jesus is a priest from a different order. Once again the writer of Hebrews states in
Hebrews 7:11–12 NASB95PARA
Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron? For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also.
What a wonderful thing it is that we have such a great High Priest.
Hebrews 7:25–28 NASB95PARA
Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.
C. A MEDIATOR
One of the crucial aspects of the High Priest is to be a mediator between God and man. And that is exactly how Paul described Jesus in
1 Timothy 2:5–6 NASB95PARA
For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.
There is so much more that could be said regarding Christ as our High Priest of the New Covenant. But for now let’s move on to consider the Branch as the King.
THE BRANCH AS THE KING
A. AN HONORABLE THRONE
B. GOVERNMENTAL PEACE
OUR TRIBUTE TO THE PRIESTLY KING
As we draw our time to a close I believe there is a nugget of application that we can find in the verbiage of .
A. TAKE the best you have and give it as an offering to Christ
B. MAKE a crown of memory — contemplating all He has done
C. SET the crown on His head by doing all to His glory
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