“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.’” And the crown shall be in the temple of the Lord.” Zechariah 6:9,11-14a
“For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
Branches come from trunks come from roots, bearing their sap and strength as they reach skyward, growing stable enough to hold weight yet always stretching higher. Temples are sanctuaries of worship, yet in God’s divine ordinance, also the seat of His government. These apparent dichotomies are exquisitely unified in the Person of Jesus, our royal King and Great High Priest. (Hebrews 4:14-16; Revelation 17:14; 19:16)
Only this Ruler, only in God’s kingdom, reigns and mediates the Perfect One, uniting both roles in peaceful counsel to His own. The grace of peace. The peace of reconciliation between sinner and Savior, between men and men. Indeed, the supernatural union of God and man in the incarnated Christ is a picture of reconciliation in itself: humanly impossible, yet gloriously and irrefutably manifested. (1 Corinthians 1:10; Ephesians 4:1-7; 1 Timothy 2:5)
What bearing does Christ’s counsel of peace have in us? Into what cavity of angst, what barrenness of love, what nest of dread or dissension need we welcome His coming? What control need we relinquish in order to prepare room and rein for Him who arrives bearing royal honor?
And how can I multiply grace and peace to others in His name? (2 Peter 1:2-4)
“Hark! the herald angels sing,
‘Glory to the newborn King:
peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!’
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
join the triumph of the skies;
with th’angelic hosts proclaim,
‘Christ is born in Bethlehem!’
Christ, by highest heaven adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
late in time behold him come,
offspring of the Virgin’s womb:
veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
hail th’incarnate Deity,
pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus, our Immanuel.
Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
risen with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by,
born that we no more may die,
born to raise us from the earth,
born to give us second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
‘Glory to the newborn King'” ~Charles Wesley (1739)
Lord, hone in me Your divine nature, that Your counsel of peace become mine. Compel me to bring grace and peace and joy to others in Your name. (2 Peter 1:2-4)