A few days ago, I commented on the unique picture of Christ that we are presented with in the story of Ezra. Specifically, we see a glimpse of Christ in the two men who led the temple rebuilding effort, Zerubbabel, the Governor of Jerusalem and ancestor of Jesus, and Jeshua, the High priest. These two men, a king and a priest, lead the construction of the place where God and man meet. Jesus is both the King and the Priest and He IS the place where God and man meet.
Today, we get an even clearer picture of the King and Priest, but this time, it is just through Jeshua, or Joshua, as he is called in Zechariah. Here is Zechariah 6:9-15:
9 And the word of the LORD came to me: 10 “Take from the exiles Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah, who have arrived from Babylon, and go the same day to the house of Josiah, the son of Zephaniah. 11 Take from them silver and gold, and make a crown, and set it on the head of Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest. 12 And say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: for he shall branch out from his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD. 13 It is he who shall build the temple of the LORD and shall bear royal honor, and shall sit and rule on his throne. And there shall be a priest on his throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” ’ 14 And the crown shall be in the temple of the LORD as a reminder to Helem, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Hen the son of Zephaniah. 15 “And those who are far off shall come and help to build the temple of the LORD. And you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. And this shall come to pass, if you will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God.”
Now, there’s a lot going on here, but let’s break it down. God tells Zechariah to make a crown of gold and put it on the head of Joshua, the high priest, and then proclaim that there is a man coming (the Branch – see Jeremiah 23:5 and Jeremiah 33:15) who will build the temple. He will be a priest, and He will sit on the throne. King and Priest.
But here is the important thing to remember. Under the Old Covenant (The Law), the Priest was not allowed to be King, nor the King to be Priest. These were two separate offices. But Jesus is not under the Law. His kingship and priesthood goes far back, before the Levites and the line of David. His is a King and Priest with no end and no beginning.
THere was one man like this in the Old Testament called Melchizedek. He was a king and priest in the time of Abraham. And Psalm 110 tells us that the Messiah will be in his order, both king and priest.
At the most recent Gospel Coalition Conference, D.A. Carson gave a sermon on understanding Melchizedek. It is brilliant and very helpful in teaching us how to better understand the Old Testament. You can get it here.
Jesus is our King and Priest. He rules over us, cares for us, prays for us, sustains us, sanctifies us, and saves us, and He is worthy of all our praise.