March 14, 2014
Zechariah 3:8, 9
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Some of the symbols used in the Bible are hard to understand. One such symbol is the stone mentioned in Zechariah 3:9. In the twelve versions of the complete Bible that I own, eight describe the stone as having “seven eyes.” Five translate “eyes” as “facets” – a precious stone cut with “seven facets” as if by a gem cutter. Yes, I know I said I have the complete Bible in twelve versions. And I know that eight and five equal 13! But one – The Amplified Bible – translates the Hebrew word ‘ayin as both “eyes” and “facets”! Here – in abbreviated form – is Zechariah 3:8 and 3:9 from The Amplified Bible:
…behold, I will bring forth My servant the Branch….For behold, upon the
stone that I have set before Joshua, upon that one stone are seven eyes or
facets….Behold, I will carve upon it its inscription, says the LORD of hosts,
and I will remove the iniquity and guilt of this land in a single day….
“The stone” represents “…My servant the Branch.” “The Branch” refers to the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. Isaiah 11:1 and 2 shows this plainly:
There shall come forth a rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow
up out of his roots. The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of
wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of know-
ledge and of the fear of the LORD….
So The Stone is the Messiah. And it is a Seven-Faceted Stone. How – in seven ways – is Jesus Christ depicted in the New Testament as The Stone?
Luke 20:17 and 18 shows the first three ways we will examine The Seven-Faceted Stone, Jesus Christ: “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone…. Whoever falls on that stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”
1. “…the chief cornerstone….” – Paul expands on this idea in Ephesians 2:19-22:
Now, therefore, you are…built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets,
Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building,
being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also
are built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit.
Peter calls us “…living stones…” in I Peter 2:5. Together, we are becoming a fit place for the Lord to dwell. In the Old Testament, it was the physical temple. When Solomon’s temple was completed – around 964 BC – God came and dwelt in the Holy of Holies. It says in I Kings 8:10 and 11:
And it came to pass…that the cloud filled the house of the LORD, so that the
priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of
the LORD filled the house of the LORD.
But Stephen testified in Acts 7:48: “…the most High does not dwell in temples made with hands….” Now – in New Testament times – God’s temple on earth is believing people! Since Pentecost Jesus Christ abides within Christians by the Holy Spirit! (see Acts 2; John 14:16, 17; I Corinthians 3:16).
It is a temple under construction! The cornerstone has been laid, and the living stones are being formed and fitted in place as sinners accept Jesus as Savior and then mature in Him as Lord.
So are you allowing The Lord to shape you into a living stone, built together with other Christians as a fit dwelling place for Himself? The pattern is the chief cornerstone, and – when completed – this living temple will be a testimony of God’s grace and power for all creation to see. So submit unto Him – individually and together with other believers. God is doing an amazing work!
More in Monday’s blog.