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Research paper topic: Zerubabbel As Man From God - 1160 words
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.. But more importantly, what was accomplished pointed to a future time when the greater son of David, the Messiah Jesus would come to the Temple. It is, also, important to understand that the fourth oracle by Haggai in 2:20-33 was addressed to Zerubabbel under the Davidic covenant. As previously noted, he was a descendant of the line of David through Jehoiachin. In the book of Jeremiah, God had earlier likened Jehoiachin to a signet ring on His hand that He would be pulled off and discarded (Jer 22:24-25). In Haggai, God uses the same imagery of the signet ring, however He reverses it, this time describing Zerubbabel, a descendant of Jehoiachin, as a valued signet ring on the hand of God.
This confirms that God had reaffirmed the Davidic covenant with the line of David. Zerubbabel is, now, shown to be one of the Davidic covenant whos Gods wrath is non-longer upon. He becomes a legal substitution for a king, in order to perform a work under the Law that Christ would, later, perform under Grace. For Zerubbabel it was the rebuilding of the Temple for God to dwell in, a place for Gods people to come and seek forgiveness through sacrifice. Zerubbabel, however, rebuild a new Temple, much different from the type and kind that Solomon had constructed in all of its earthly glory. But Solomons glory failed because his human nature did not keep focus on God.
This was the same loose of focus that the first ruler that God placed in the world had: Adam. Adam lost the communion of heart with God. Christ would restore that ability for all people to have that communion by building a new Temple in the hearts of those who accepted Gods Grace, thus making it each born-again person a living Temple that God indwells. This new Temple of the human heart being born-again was as radically different from Zerubbabels Temple. The parallels are that each, Zerubbabel in his work of restoring the physical Temple to the people, and Christ in his work of restoring the heart to God, were performing Messianic functions in Gods process to restore man to Himself.
Both were endued and acted by the power of the Holy Spirit, with Zerubbabels work pointing toward Christ. Likewise, Zerubbabels Temple was quite different from Solomons Temple. Zerubbabels Temple lacked the grandeur of the one build by Solomon; the land, also, was far less glorious than in the days of Solomon when the first Temple was built. There were meager resources, causing some of the people to fail to realize that God was not interested in the grand scale of the Temple, but rather in the hearts of men. Many of the people, also, failed to realize this same thing when Christ came. The result was that while the Jewish nation rejected Christ, the gentile nations accepted Him.
Also, it is without saying that Haggai, Zechariah, and their contemporaries desired to have the gentile domination ended in Jerusalem, and Davidic rule restored in their own time; however, Zerubbabel would not be this Davidic king. Instead, he would point forward to an eschatological day when God would shake the heavens and the earth as stated in Haggai 2:6-7, 21. Gentile domination, basically, remained upon the land, and was still in control when Christ came. The reason was that in Christ time, just as in Zerubbabels time, God used the gentiles to keep the hard-heartedness and stiff-neckness of the Israelites under control. The people had proven to God time and time again during their history that they could not be trusted to maintain their responsibility to keep the Temple and their covenant unless their was physical control over them. God chose to use a gentile sword to keep them in under control until His purpose and will was fulfilled with Christs work on the Cross.
Zerubabbels administration as a Davidic prince was part of the process to prepare the Jewish nation for the coming of the true Messiah. Zerubbabels rebuilding of the Temple was only a provisional step in anticipation of the events to come. It is in approaching the New Testament that the Zerubabbels work reaches forth in time. The visible presence of God would not, finally, appear in the second Temple until Jesus came and as is described in John 1:14, " The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." In fulfillment of Gods plan for humanity, the wealth of nations came to Jerusalem in the gifts of the gentile wisemen (Matt 2:1-12).
The new Temple of Christ was to be made of living stones, Jews and Gentile alike (1 Cor 3:16-17; 1 Peter 2: 4-10). Zerubbabel rebuilt the earthly temple with earthly stones, and it was a Temple that no gentile could help reconstruct or enter into the congregation to worship God. Christ kingdom, however, would be a new kingdom, one that transcends the world and rules over all things. Zerubbabel administered an earthly realm that was ruled over by a gentile ruler, who himself could not enter into worship with the congregation in the Temple that Zerubbabel had built, but limited only to the outer court. Yet, just as gentiles brought their wealth to Christ, symbolic of the wisemen, so did the gentile ruler who sent Zerubbabel to rebuild the Temple supply the wealth of the nations for construction. Both Christ and Zerubbabel introduced the Temple of God to the nations, each performing their own task, with Zerubbabels work pointing toward Christ.
The final end of the process is spoken of in Rev 21, with all things being only a step toward the consummation of all things, which will be made new again, and the dwelling of God will be with men. The election of Zerubbabel to go and rebuild the Temple was tied to more than the inauguration of a Davidic prince; it can be likened to Christ coming and rebuilding the relationship structure between God with man. The work of each prefigures a cataclysmic change in the cosmos (Haggai 2:6-7, 21-22). The writer of Hebrews views this eschatological age as already having been inaugurated in the person of Christ (Heb 12:26-29). In closing, the Temple that Zerubbabel rebuilt was only for the remnant that God had chosen to reestablish in the land. The work of Zerubbabel through the Holy Spirit made it possible for those whos hearts were bent toward God to come back to Him and have a Temple to worship in.
More notably, the work of Christ was to allow all who want God to be able to have Him live within their heart, and they themselves be a living Temple, and to have an intimate relationship with God. Unfortunately, just as in Zerubbabels time, there will be only a remnant of people, out of all of humanity, whos hearts will turn to God for His salvation.
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