Thursday, April 21, 2011

Promises of Rescue, Promises of our Messiah

 Zechariah  6:9-13 ESV

And the word of the LORD came to me: "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. 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.
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. 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."'

Joshua doesn't mean "Branch" it means "God Saves" so what is the Lord saying in this passage written 500 years before Jesus was born? Well, take a look at this:

The Lord told Zechariah that as he set the crowns on the head of Joshua the high priest, he should speak the words: "Behold the man whose name is THE BRANCH." The man that Zechariah was bidding us to notice was Joshua himself. He said that the name of this Joshua who lived more than five hundred years before Christ was THE BRANCH. The prophet's declaration can be understood in various ways, but only one way agrees with the facts. The actual name of this Joshua was not THE BRANCH. And he was not the Christ who would also bear that name, for the Joshua in Zechariah's day has never ruled the world and the Old Testament never predicts that he will yet rule the world. The right interpretation of the words concerning this Joshua requires us replace THE BRANCH with something equivalent. We must treat the oracle like an expression in algebra or logic. THE BRANCH equals "a name of Christ." Therefore, after making the appropriate substitution, we discover that what the oracle is truly saying is this: "Behold the man whose name is a name of Christ."

In fact, the name of Joshua the high priest anticipated the very human name that the parents of Christ would bestow upon Him. "Joshua" is an English transliteration of the Hebrew Yeshua, exactly the same name that is spelled Iasous in Greek. From the Greek Iasous has come the English name "Jesus." In other words, the names "Joshua" and "Jesus" are identical in Hebrew. Thus, English translations of the Bible unnecessarily mystify Zechariah's prophecy. The high priest with a name of Christ was none other than a man called Jesus. Only a man determined at all costs to deny the supernatural character of the Bible would shrink from the obvious conclusion that Christ would also be called Jesus.  Stanley Edgar Richard via his website "The Moorings"

Five Hundred Years Later:

Matthew 1:18-25

Now the birth of Jesus Christ  took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed  to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

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