12Tell 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. 13Yes, 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.’

Zechariah 6:12-13

In the Old Testament, the office of king and priest were always kept separate. The king did not act as priest for the people and the priest did not rule as the king.

Saul was Israel’s first king. In the first years of his reign, the Philistines were coming against them and Samuel commanded Saul to wait for him to offer a sacrifice. Saul grew impatient waiting and decided to offer the sacrifice himself. It cost him dearly, for the Lord took the kingdom from his family.

Later, Saul did not obey the commands of the Lord and Samuel confronts him, saying, “Although you may think little of yourself, are you not the leader of the tribes of Israel? The Lord has anointed you king of Israel. And the Lord sent you on a mission and told you, ‘Go and completely destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, until they are all dead.’ Why haven’t you obeyed the Lord? Why did you rush for the plunder and do what was evil in the Lord’s sight?”

Saul was confused about his role. He was anointed king, but tried to perform priestly functions and develop his own standards for being the king. It cost him the throne.

In Jesus, the two roles — priest and king — are combined flawlessly. He stands in the gap, interceding for us, having offered the perfect sacrifice for our sin. He also rules over all creation; he is the perfect representation of God our King. He is the perfect King Priest.

 3The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.

Hebrews 1:3

1Here is the main point: We have a High Priest who sat down in the place of honor beside the throne of the majestic God in heaven. 2There he ministers in the heavenly Tabernacle, the true place of worship that was built by the Lord and not by human hands.

Hebrews 8:1-2

26He is the kind of high priest we need because he is holy and blameless, unstained by sin. He has been set apart from sinners and has been given the highest place of honor in heaven.

Hebrews 7:26

He isn’t like the human priests or kings of the past. He is exactly what we need! As you look forward to celebrating his coming as a baby, remember to look beyond the manger to his return as glorious King!

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