What does it mean when God, through the prophet, tells us the Branch will be both priest and king? That’s not how it worked back in Zechariah’s day. Got me to thinking…
A priest was responsible for the spiritual care of the people. The priest was the one who offered sacrifices day after day for the sins of the people. He wasn’t a soldier, or a ruler. He stayed pretty close to the Temple, and his concerns were for the relationship the people had with God.
A king, on the other hand, ruled the people. A king made the laws, and had an army around him to uphold those laws. The king was feared, sometimes loved, respected, and obeyed. The king was responsible for the physical welfare of the people.
Now Zechariah is told to take a crown of gold and silver, and place it on the head of the high priest as a picture of what was to come. There is a Branch coming who will not be a priest OR a king, but a priest AND king.
This One, Zechariah tells us, will branch out to build the Temple. This Branch will sit on His throne and rule in majesty and glory – a Priest on the throne. And there will be harmony between the two.
Jesus is that Branch, that Priest on the throne! This Priest/King not only made the laws, He made the ultimate sacrifice for those of us who break those laws. HE became that sacrifice once and for all.
This Priest/King invites His children into the throne room where we can enjoy His Presence, eat at His table, be clothed in His righteousness. This King, who rules with an iron fist, also loves and forgives us when we bow before Him.
I don’t need to go to a priest for one thing, and to a king for something else. It made me think of I Peter 1:3:
His divine power (King) has given us everything required for life (King) and godliness (Priest) through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory (King) and goodness. (Priest). (words in parentheses mine)
Jesus is everything I need. I can trust Him with my physical health, my day to day needs, and I can trust Him with my soul, my eternity. Do you know Him?