Jesus is rebuilding his temple in the last days

December 20, 2021

By Editorial Team

Rebuilding Notre Dame Cathedral

Thus says the LORD of hosts, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both(offices)” Zechariah 6:12,13

Happy Christmas to you and families. We are living between two Advents. Christ has come and Christ is going to come back again. So in these last days, what is Jesus doing? This season, am not delving into Luke or Mathew but to Zechariah for answers.

The Book of Zechariah is amongst the most Messianic of books in the Bible. We are not talking about few prophecies etc, but Christ is the central figure in the book, If this were a Drama, the Lead Actor would be Jesus. In the first chapter he is the man standing amongst the myrtle trees riding a red horse, sending out angels to patrol the earth. In the 3rd chapter, we see Joshua standing before the throne of God and Satan accuses Joshua of his sins, then Christ our Advocate intervenes to rebuke Satan and clothes Joshua with his righteousness. In the 6th chapter, He is the BRANCH, who will build the temple. In the 9th chapter Christ is riding a donkey (fulfilled on Palm Sunday). In 12:10 he is the pierced one, in 13th Chap, he is the Fountain of Blood for our sins, In the 14th Chap, Lord Jesus returns to the earth (from Heaven) to rescue Israel and set up His Millennial Kingdom. There are many more references to Christ (see Mathew Henry, John Gill etc), you would do well to study them.

Zechariah prophesied to the captives that returned from Babylon. Cyrus the Great gave them permission to go back to their homeland and rebuild the Temple. A feeble remnant of 50,000 Jews had returned (538 B.C) to resettle in Jerusalem and the towns. Zerubbabel was the Governor in Jerusalem and Joshua the then High Priest. So, the Jews returned and began laying the foundation of the temple, but the construction efforts were opposed by local rowdies and gentile politicians, and so the construction was halted permanently circa 536 B.C. This is the state of the Church today. We began something good, but the opposition is too much and we are in despair.

In this context, God shows Zechariah Eight visions (Chap 1:7-6:8) encouraging the remnant. These are fascinating visions – actual events happening in Heaven and earth. In these God comforts Zechariah with good and comforting words that He has returned to Jerusalem with great mercies. He is jealous for it and has begun to handle the matters. God encourages Zerubbabel, Joshua and the believers to restart the work. God tells Zechariah that He will send forth Jesus who will help them rebuild the temple. I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH, and HE will build the temple. (6:12,13). This Priest (Christ) will also be King. And so the two offices of King and Pastor will be one in the Lord.

Here are 4 lessons from these chapters.

  1. Restart the work, for I am with you says the Lord: Fear not, for I am with you, do the work (Hag 1:12-15, 2:4). So encouraged by the exhortations of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, the Jews restart the work in 520 B.C.
  2. Do not despise the day of small beginnings (Zech 4:10). It may be a small beginning, but start somewhere. It may not be a great progress, but little is also good. This work will progress only by the Holy Spirit. Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord of hosts (4:6)
  3. You will begin and you will also finish: the hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of the temple and he will also finish it (Zech 4:9). What an encouragement. You may have begun something small for Christ, but he will enable you to finish it. It could even be a new office project, a family matter, some local issues whatever. His double portion of Grace (4:7) will strengthen you to accomplish the task to its completion. So in 515 B.C, the temple was completed and rededicated to the Lord. You got to read Ezra, Haggai and Zechariah to understand the whole story. This Second temple stood for the next 500 years till Jesus came, that’s when Herod started refurbishing and adding structures to the Temple complex. Finally it was destroyed in 70 A.D as we all know.
  4. The fasts and mourning will turn to Thanksgiving feasts. Israel commemorated the destruction of Jerusalem and the siege in 3 fasts every year where they would remember and mourn (Zech 7:1-3). But now they are back in the land, God has been gracious to them. So the Holy Spirit tells the Jews to stop mourning and instead celebrate them as Thanksgiving feasts (8:19). God himself will wipe away every tear (Rev 7:17).

I want to close with this word. This is the work of Christ now, He is rebuilding his temple in the last days. We are the Temple of God, not brick structures. He has taken cognizance of our weakness and is coming personally to encourage and strengthen us. Draw near to him by reading the Word. Read the Books of the Bible you haven’t read. Don’t just focus on the manger and wise men stories and baking cakes.

This Christmas the world is in despair with Covid/variants, Covid rules, travel restrictions, and other pressures of life. But take heart, Jesus himself has come down to repair and rebuild your life. He that touches you, touches the apple of His eye. Thus says the Lord of hosts, I am jealous for Zion with a great jealousy (8:2,3). May the Lord visit you and your families this Christmas season and encourage you. And use you to touch friends and neighbours.

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