Old Testament Symposium: Several symbolic acts prophetic of the Savior

Israelite religion featured groups and individuals who expressed themselves with symbolic actions. For instance, Moses and Joshua removed their shoes while standing upon holy ground (Ex. 3:5, Josh. 5:15); Saul cut up two oxen and sent the pieces throughout Israel as a warning that the oxen of individuals who failed to rally around the king would be destroyed in like manner (1 Sam. 11:7); Solomon spread his hands toward heaven during the dedicatory prayer of the temple (1 Kings 8:22); Elijah divided the waters of the Jordan River by smiting them with his mantle (2 Kings 2:8); Elisha cast salt into a spring to heal its bitter waters (2 Kings 2:19-21); and Abraham took a heifer, she goat, and ram, and "divided them in the midst and laid each piece one against another" (Gen. 15:9-10), after which he may have passed through the two parts. (See Jer. 34:18.)

Many prophetic symbolic actions are . . . built upon a Christ-centered principle. Such symbolic actions are by nature prophetic or archetypical and look forward to a future event that has greater significance than does the prototypical or original symbolic action. Two examples of such [Christ-centeredT actions will serve to demonstrate this idea. The binding and offering up of Isaac by Abraham on Mount Moriah anticipated the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. According to the book of Jacob, Abraham represented Father in Heaven and Isaac was an archetypal representation of Jesus. Abraham and Isaac were, of course, shadows when compared to the Heavenly Father and Son, and their dramatized prophecy a miniature model of the true and real moment when Jesus accomplished the atonement.Zechariah's actions connected to the making of the crowns is replete with Christological symbolism. (Zech. 6:9-15.) . . .Zechariah is commanded to:

"Take silver and gold and make crowns, and set [oneT upon the head of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest. And speak unto him, saying, Thus spaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is THE BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne." (Zech. 6:11-13.)

Several symbols belonging to this passage have Jesus as their referent. The name Joshua is the Hebrew equivalent of the Greek Jesus. Joshua, the high priest, has reference to Jesus the "great high priest." (Heb. 4:14; 3:1.) The Branch identified in the passage is Jesus (Jer. 23:5-6; Isa. 11:1-5, Zech. 3:8-10.) The reference to regalia, i.e., the crowns, the throne, and to the statements regarding the glory, sitting and ruling upon the throne point to Jesus as the "King of Zion" (Moses 7:53), "King of glory" (Ps. 24:7), and the "King of Kings and Lord of Lords." (Rev. 19:6.) In addition, the duplicated reference to temple speaks of the coronated and enthroned Jesus Christ. It is evident, then, that Zechariah's participation in the coronation of Joshua, the high priest, prophesied of the future coronation of Jesus Christ.

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