By Not Known
The news of God’s mercy in Jesus calls us to a life that is changed from the inside
out (Rom 12:1-2). The New Testament never lets us off the hook, as though the
message of grace is an excuse of sin, but repeatedly calls us to a life worthy of the
Lord (1 Thess 4:8).
Those who are using Bible in 13 heard that call as we read through the Sermon on
the Mount earlier this week. Jesus has little interest in ostentatious religious acts
(e.g. Mt 6:1-18). What he wants is the doing of God’s will in a life of active faith,
love and obedience (e.g. Mt 6:25-7:27). In short, we must treat him as our king.
This links to a theme in Zechariah 5. In Zechariah’s day (about 520BC), Israel was
preoccupied with rebuilding the temple. Then worship services could recommence.
But it would never be enough just to restart church services. Sin had to be
removed from the land if God was going to return and stay with them.
God’s people should remember the cause/effect rule of sin and judgement that
caused their ancestors to lose the land and temple (Zech 1:2-6). Zechariah goes on
to apply this in ways reminiscent of Amos and predictive of Jesus (Zech 7:1-10).
Israel had to treat God as their king.
But here’s the problem – we fail to consistently treat God as king. And so we need
a priest to intercede for us before God. Thus Zechariah speaks of how God forgave
the sins of Joshua the priest so he could recommence sacrifices on behalf of the
people (Zech 3). Even better, Zechariah looks ‘over the horizon’ to a day when
God would provide a combination priest / king (Zech 6:9-16). This was unknown in
Old Testament times, outside of the elusive Melchizedek (Gen 14:17-20).
That brings us to Jesus. He is often referred to as ‘king’ or ‘Lord’. This means that
he is meant to rule over us. He is also our priest, after Melchizedek’s pattern (Heb
7). Jesus has a perfect and permanent priesthood. Jesus never needed sacrifice for
himself. That makes him different to every other priest. It is also why no more
priests were needed after him.
Let’s gladly come to Jesus as our priest and king. Let’s look to our priest with faith
in his sacrifice that covers our sins. Let’s commit to our king as ruler over our
lives. Let’s respond to God’s mercy with a faith and life that are worthy of Jesus
our priest and king.