Monday, July 31, 2017

Zechariah 3 sermon prep - part 1

Is there a clearer spiritual viewpoint anywhere else in the Old Testament than in Zechariah Chapter 3?  

Zechariah is a work of art.  It contains many literary devices.  It is a book of visions.  There are eight visions in total and the visions have a pattern of:

a b b c c b b a

The first and last vision [a] have similarities and the fourth and fifth visions [c] are similar.  The fourth vision is the richest theologically and Christologically.  It is the fourth vision that drew me to Zechariah.

The fourth vision is of the High Priest of Zechariah's day on the Day of Atonement.  The High Priest; Joshua, is viewed in the spiritual realm in God's Holy court.  The court is presided over by an angel:

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing 
before the angel of the Lord, 
and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. 

And Satan is there beside Joshua ready to lay accusations.  Joshua is not attending in his own right; Joshua attends on behalf the people of Israel.  So, Satan is ready to accuse the people.  Joshua in preparing to go before God's court would have already made the blood sacrifice - Satan would be unsettled that the blood of an innocent had already been poured out for the guilty.

Reading Zechariah Chapter 3 as a whole, one learns that the vision into the spiritual realm has ordinary and extraordinary components:

i) It is ordinary as it is illustrating that which occurs in the spiritual realm every Day of Atonement since that Day was constituted under Aaron, and,  

ii) It is extraordinary in that it leads to an understanding that Joshua is in Messianic line to the ultimate High Priest Jesus Christ, and, 

iii) It is extraordinary in that it makes clear to the nation of Israel that in their return from exile God wants them to restore all spiritual practices. God wants this of his people as God has plans for them. 

The fourth vision is extraordinary in that it thematically builds on other material in Zechariah to allow an understanding of the Messianic trajectory of the line of kings and line of High Priests.  That is, all of Israel's kings, and all the prophets come together under Christ.   

More to come!


Note: all links good as at 31 July 2017
Note: Joshua and Jesus are from the same root Hebrew word.

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