Zech. 3:6 Then the angel of the LORD assured Joshua, saying 7 “Thus says the LORD of hosts: If you will walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here. 8 Now listen, Joshua, high priest, you and your colleagues who sit before you! For they are an omen of things to come: I am going to bring my servant the Branch. 9 For on the stone that I have set before Joshua, on a single stone with seven facets, I will engrave its inscription, says the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the guilt of this land in a single day. 10 On that day, says the LORD of hosts, you shall invite each other to come under your vine and fig tree.”
The words of the prophet Zechariah brought hope to the beleaguered people of Jerusalem. They had returned from exile in Babylon and were weary, wondering about all that the future might have in store. The promise of a Branch was powerful for them for it was the continual and on-going commitment of a Messiah who would set God’s people free. For a people who had been held captive this was really good news.
Already God was preparing his people for the type of Messiah who would come, for he would not be a political leader, but would be a spiritual leader. He would be able to remove the guilt of his people in just a single day.
Not only is guilt to be removed but there is an invitation to rest. The vine and the fig tree are a place of comfort and relaxation for those who are not at war. This is the place where there is no anxiety for there is peace. It is an invitation to rest in the Branch.
As God’s people awaited the Messiah they weren’t exactly sure what all of that would mean for them. In reality it was more than they could have ever imagined for the Branch, while sounding like something small, would become mighty.
Just imagine a branch as compared to a beautiful and mighty tree. Aren’t we drawn toward the things that appear great from a human perspective? Of course we are, and yet those things may not provide for us what it is that we truly need. Jesus was to be the Branch and he would provide a place of rest for his people.
As we anticipate the Advent of our Savior we are invited into that rest. In one day Jesus brought salvation to the whole world, if only we would rest in that Branch. With the hustle and bustle of life we become so caught up in doing things that we forget about slowing down and resting in him.
Jesus came as the “Prince of Peace” and that was to be realized on may levels.
If all of God’s children would live into his peace there would be no need for war.
If all God’s children would live into peace there would be no political turmoil or school shootings, or terror attacks.
If all God’s children would live into peace there would be no discord in interpersonal relationships.
If all God’s children would live into peace we wouldn’t worry about tomorrow.
The only time people had the opportunity to relax and sit under the fig and vine was when there was peace. The anticipation of the Savior was an anticipation of rest from anxiety. The Messiah has already come and as we celebrate his advent we are invited into his rest. It’s time to take a load off and relax under the Branch who brings us his peace.
Lord, thank you for the comfort of your Branch. Amen.
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