Friday, December 9, 2011

Reconciled to God

Monday, December 5 - Zechariah 6:12-13

Zechariah 6:12-13
New Living Translation (NLT)

12 Tell him, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Here is the man called the Branch. He will branch out from where he is and build the Temple of the Lord. 13 Yes, he will build the Temple of the Lord. Then he will receive royal honor and will rule as king from his throne. He will also serve as priest from his throne, and there will be perfect harmony between his two roles.’

This passage speaks of the Messiah rebuilding the Temple. Jesus has built and is building the living Temple, the church, the Body of Christ. This temple that was prophesied is a living temple rather than bricks and mortar. Not exactly what was expected. But what an infinite blessing it is to be a part of that Temple! We ARE the temple that was foretold in Zechariah!

Matthew 16:18 (NLT) - Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.

1 Corinthians 3:16 (NLT) - Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?

1 Peter 2:5 (NLT) - And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God.

This is also another prophecy of the reign of Christ, of his role as the one who reigns on the throne of David forever. It ties in very closely with our scripture from Sunday – the branch that comes from the root of Jesse that we saw in Isaiah 11.

This Branch would rule as king and also as priest. These were two very different roles in the period in which the Old Testament was written, filled by people from two different tribes (king - Judah, priest – Levi) but we see throughout scripture that Jesus embodies both roles and a third as well, that of prophet. So Jesus is king – our ruler and authority, reigning over all the earth and all creation, over the church and over our hearts. He is priest – the one who mediates between God and man. He is the one who enables us to worship AND the one we worship. He is supreme prophet – the one who not only speaks the words of God but IS the Word of God (John 1; remember last week we saw the prophecy of Jesus’ role as a prophet like Moses – Deut. 18).

Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised. God gave his law through angels to Moses, who was the mediator between God and the people. (Galatians 3:18-20)

Now a mediator is helpful if more than one party must reach an agreement. But God, who is one, did not use a mediator when he gave his promise to Abraham. (Galatians 3:19-21)
For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 2:5)
Jesus Christ, as prophet, priest, and king, has reconciled humanity to God. And he in turn has given us the ministry of reconciliation today.
16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
 18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

I hope that you are reconciled to God today through Jesus. I hope that you feel loved and cherished by God as a result.
What are your thoughts on these scriptures? I’d love to hear them.

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