Thursday within the Octave of the Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ
Scripture: Zechariah 6:9-15 (NKJV)
9 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 10 “Receive the gift from the captives—from Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah, who have come from Babylon—and go the same day and enter the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah. 11 Take the silver and gold, make an elaborate crown, and set it on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest. 12 Then speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, saying:
“Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, and He shall build the temple of the Lord;
13 Yes, He shall build the temple of the Lord. He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule on His throne; So He shall be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”‘
14 “Now the elaborate crown shall be for a memorial in the temple of the Lord for Helem, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Hen the son of Zephaniah. 15 Even those from afar shall come and build the temple of the Lord. Then you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you. And this shall come to pass if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God.”
In our Lord Jesus Christ we have both an High Priest and a Lamb for sacrifice. Our High Priest offers up Himself on the tree of the holy cross for our sins and the sins of the whole world. His Name is “BRANCH.” He is the branch from the stump of Jesse, Who took on our flesh, so that He might redeem us from sin, death and the devil.
On the cross—on the altar of His sacrifice for all mankind—He tore down the old Temple, which required the daily sacrifice of animals to bring forgiveness to those who brought their sacrifice in faith. But on the third day He rebuilt the Temple and rose again from the dead, so that no longer do we have to sacrifice animals, but His once-and-for-all-time sacrifice serves to bring forgiveness, life and salvation to those who cling to Him in faith.
We now have a memorial of this sacrifice—of His suffering and death on our behalf—in the meal of His Body and Blood given under bread and wine. This meal gives forgiveness, life and salvation to all those who partake of it in faith, by the power of the Holy Ghost’s working through that meal. Many come from all over the world to receive the gifts that meal bestows, as we remember our Lord and Savior’s sacrifice for us and receive the crown of eternal life.
We pray: O Almighty and Eternal God, Who hast bestowed on us the crown of life through the death of Thy Son, grant us faith to show forth in our lives that which we profess with our lips; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.