Holiness to the Lord

The work of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah was similar. Haggai’s message was plain and simple: the temple would be rebuilt. Zechariah’s message was mainly figurative, wrapped in visions and figurative language. Certainly, the temple would be rebuilt, the nations challenging Judah would be destroyed and Jerusalem would be rebuilt and inhabited by God’s people again.

Much of Zechariah’s prophecy, however, found its way into the New Testament. Zechariah told of the coming king riding on a donkey in Matthew 21:5. Judas’ price of 30 pieces of silver is found in Zechariah. The scattering of the disciples after Jesus’ arrest is in Zechariah 13:7.

One often overlooked prophecy is in Zechariah 14:20 in which the prophet wrote, “On that day the bells of the horses will bear the inscription ‘Holy to the Lord’” (Zechariah 14:20). The phrase was well known by Judah because it was engraved on the crown the high priest wore on the Day of Atonement.

God’s wish for Israel and Judah was, above all, that it would be true and faithful to him. He wanted them to live holy lives because he is holy. In a way, the high priest’s crown was an encouragement to all of Israel to imitate God’s sinlessness.

Israel and Judah failed miserably in this. But Zechariah wrote about a future kingdom in which this holiness was not only possible. This holiness to the Lord would be characteristic of God’s people. This kingdom in which righteousness dwelled (Jeremiah 31:23) is the one, true church Jesus built (Matthew 16:18).

There is just one entry into the kingdom of God, the church. Peter commanded it in Acts 2:38 and Acts 10:47-48. Zechariah wrote about the righteous people of God. They are not perfect, but they are obedient and faithful, and the blood of Jesus keeps on cleansing them of all sin (1 John 1:7).

Are you a member of the church Jesus built? Obey the gospel today!

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