Monday, May 3, 2010

Four Titles of the Messiah part 1

Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats: for the LORD of hosts hath visited his flock the house of Judah, and hath made them as his goodly horse in the battle. Out of him came forth the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow, out of him every oppressor [ruler] together. Zechariah 10:3-4

"[This post] is focused in on the vast riches contained in just a small portion of Zechariah's writings. Remember that in the last part of verse three, Zechariah wrote, ...For the LORD of hosts has visited His flock, the house of Judah, and will make them like His majestic horse in battle. Zech. 10:3 Such strange symbolism contained in that phrase! It is as if God was going to use the tribe of Judah as His vehicle of entry.

First, the Lord had said that Judah would be like God's majestic war horse in battle – that He would somehow ride them as He entered a war. Next, we read that from Judah would come four things which were one: the Cornerstone, the Tent Peg, the Bow of Battle, and Every Ruler. What could be described with four such diverse things, yet be one?

As the first probably indicated to you, these are Messianic titles – four descriptions of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, before we examine these four titles, notice that these will come "from them." Remember, the context tells us that the "them" is the tribe of Judah. From them would come this Messiah of these four titles.

We know that Jesus Christ came from the tribe of Judah, being a direct descendant of King David. That is why one of His titles is, ...the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah... Rev. 5:5 You may be aware that this is not the only Messianic prophecy to be centered around the tribe of Judah. In Genesis 49, Jacob was speaking prophetic blessings over each of his twelve sons.

Of Judah he said, The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes, and to Him {shall be} the obedience of the peoples. Gen. 49:10

Judah was described as holding the scepter. The scepter was the symbol of dominion and authority, specifically tied to capital punishment. You may remember that in the book of Esther, it was said, ...any man or woman who comes to the king to the inner court who is not summoned, he has but one law, that he be put to death, unless the king holds out to him the golden scepter so that he may live... Esth. 4:11 The scepter was the symbol of the power of life and death in the hands of the government.

Jacob prophesied that this scepter would not depart from Judah until Shiloh came. Shiloh, meaning "one who brings peace," was the Messiah. So Messiah, according to this Scripture, had to come before the right to administer capital punishment was taken away from Judah. Well, at one point in history, this prophecy was thought by the Jews to have failed.

In 30 AD, the Roman Empire took the right of capital punishment away from the Jewish Supreme court, which had remained in Judah. "The high priest that year went through Jerusalem in sackcloth and ashes bewailing that the Word of God had been broken, that the scepter had departed from Judah, but Shiloh had not yet come" (Missler).

Less than three years later, a man arrested by the Jews for blasphemy as brought to Pilate, (John 18:31-32) Pilate therefore said to them, “Take Him yourselves, and judge Him according to your law.” The Jews said to him, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death...” This was obviously a sore point for them. They thought that Shiloh hadn't come. Of course, we know that the man in their custody was Jesus. Shiloh had in fact come before the scepter departed from Judah! And so Judah was the horse on which Jesus rode into His earthly ministry.


1 comment:

  1. God's word is always fulfilled, even if it's not in the way we had thought (or hoped).