READ : Zechariah 3:8-10
I will remove the guilt of this land in a single day. (v. 9)
This fourth vision of the prophet carried an astonishing promise. A servant called the Branch was coming who would do an amazing work of God: in one grand sweep, the sin problem would be solved. No more waiting, no more symbolic sacrifices. Boom! Guilt’s gone.
The immediate identity of the Branch was Zerubbabel, who led the people in rebuilding the temple. But another, more distant Branch is meant. His identity may be obscure here but he is coming for an extraordinary mission. Through this later Branch, God will wipe away the power of sin for all time. This second Branch will be the Savior whose death and resurrection will bring what we most want and need. Zerubbabel precedes him, as did David, Joseph, Moses, and Mary. Zerubbabel is important, but the second Branch is, above all others, the bearer of hope and light. He brings peace with God.
Could Zechariah’s people possibly discern the significance of this Branch? Likely it was a glimmer at best. In many places today, the story of Jesus is still only faint and distant. What about us? Have we heard and seen the amazing things God is doing?
Jesus was Zechariah’s hope, and ours. Jesus alone broke sin’s hold on the cross in a single terrible, fine day.
As Jesus is the Branch, Lord, make me a growing twig.