By Karen Thompson
Fourth in a Four-Part Series
The Two-Fold Calling of Jesus
in Isaiah 61 and Zechariah 9
“The First and Second Coming of Jesus”
This is the fourth installment in our series on Jesus’ two-fold calling. It’s been a fascinating study, looking at the prophecies that give us insight into the details of Jesus’ calling as both king and priest. So far in this series, we’ve looked at Zechariah chapters 3 and 6 and Psalms 110. In this post, we’ll look at two more prophecies of Jesus’ two-fold calling: yet another one in Zechariah and one in Isaiah.
The Spirit of the Lord Is Upon Me
Let’s first look at the prophecy in Isaiah chapter 61.
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God…” (Isa. 61:1–2).
Isaiah chapter 61 is a Messianic prophecy which foretells Jesus’ First Coming and His Second Coming. The very first verse prophesied Jesus’ First Coming. In fact, when Jesus was on the earth, He read this verse out loud in a synagogue. Jesus read it after He spent 40 days in the wilderness, being tempted by the Devil. After Jesus resisted Satan’s temptation in the wilderness, He returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit. God used Jesus mightily to pour out His glory on His people, and “there went out a fame of Him through all the region round about” (Luke 4:14).
Jesus eventually went to His home town of Nazareth to minister. As was His custom, He went into the synagogue to teach. When He stood up, the book of Isaiah was given to Him. He read Isaiah’s prophecy: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18–19). He closed the book, sat down, and with all eyes on Him, He said, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears” (v. 21).
The entire chapter of Isaiah 61 is a prophecy about Him, but Jesus only read the first sentence and then said, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” Jesus stopped after He read “to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” Why did He stop? If the entire prophecy is about Him, why didn’t He finish reading the entire chapter? He stopped reading because the next words were, “and the day of vengeance of our God…” (v. 2). The rest of the chapter will not be fulfilled until His Second Coming. The day of God’s vengeance didn’t happen during His First Coming. The day of God’s vengeance is when He pours out His wrath upon the nations, when He shakes the earth. Jesus stopped reading because the rest of the chapter would not be fulfilled until Jesus’ Second Coming.
He Is Just and Having Salvation
Now let’s look at the prophecy in Zechariah.
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth” (Zec. 9:9–10).
This prophecy in Zechariah also prophesied both the First Coming and Second Coming of the Lord. The first verse prophesies Jesus’ First Coming when He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, the day when He became the Sacrificial Lamb for the whole world. Right before the Passover, Jesus and the disciples traveled to Jerusalem. When they arrived at the Mount of Olives, they paused their journey. Jesus then sent two disciples to a village to get a donkey and bring it back. When they brought the donkey to Jesus, they put clothing on its back and Jesus descended the Mount of Olives riding a donkey. His entrance into Jerusalem was very dramatic. Multitudes of people followed Him down the mount toward the east gate of Jerusalem. In fact, the Bible says not just a multitude of people, but a “very great” multitude of people followed Him. Many of them spread their garments before Jesus to pass over. Others cut branches off trees and spread them out before Him. He was surrounded by the multitude. As they accompanied Jesus, they cried out saying, “Hosanna to the son of David: blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; hosanna in the highest.” The sight and sound of His entrance into Jerusalem raised quite a stir. When Jesus entered Jerusalem surrounded by the jubilant multitude, Matthew said “all the city was moved.” They asked, “Who is this?” They replied, “This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.” (Matt. 21:1–11)
When Jesus entered Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, He knew He was going to His death. He knew His purpose in coming to Jerusalem during Passover was to be offered up as a sacrificial Lamb for all of mankind. Through His death and resurrection, He redeemed mankind when He ascended into heaven and became our high priest. The book of Hebrews tells us how He entered the holy of holies in heaven and poured out His own blood for our sins.
“Christ being come a high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Heb. 9:11–12).
Jesus’ First Coming was for the purpose of fulfilling His calling as high priest. When He entered into the heavenly holy of holies and poured out His very own blood for our sins, He became high priest, not just for His own people but for the whole world!
His Dominion Shall Be From Sea Even to Sea
Verse 10 prophesies the Second Coming of the Lord.
“And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.”
In the phrase, “I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim,” the word Ephraim is often used to refer to the northern kingdom of Israel, because Samaria, the capital city of the northern kingdom of Israel, was located in the area belonging to the tribe of Ephraim. Also, compared to the other tribes, Ephraim was much larger in population.
When it says, “I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem,” it’s referring to an end of war. The chariot and the horse, or war horse, being cut off means there will be no more war in either the northern (Ephraim) or southern (Judah) kingdoms. This phrase indicates that Messiah will bring conflict to an end for the children of Israel. Even though the northern kingdom of Israel had long been lost, the prophets all prophesied as though it was not. This is just one of many verses where the prophets prophesy how God will restore the northern kingdom, the lost ten tribes of Israel.
And then the last part of the verse: “…and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.” Jesus will speak peace to the “heathen,” which is a word that refers to the Gentile nations. This means Jesus will bring peace between Israel and her enemies.
Lastly, the phrase “his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth” means His rule and authority will be throughout the earth. We see this same phraseology in Psalms chapter 72: “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust. … Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him” (Ps. 72:8–11).
At Jesus’ Second Coming, He will fulfill His calling as king. This is when He comes to rule the nations with a rod of iron. It is when He becomes King of Kings and when His dominion will extend from sea to sea and to the ends of the earth. But before He becomes king over all the nations, the first thing He must do is defeat Antichrist in battle. Let’s look at the vision the apostle John had of the Lord returning to earth to defeat the Antichrist figure in the battle of Armageddon.
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.” (Rev. 19:11–16).
Riding on a white horse, Jesus comes with His army. Out of His mouth goes forth a sharp sword and with it, He smites the nations. Notice it is written on His clothing the words “King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” He has come to fulfill His calling as king!
Zechariah chapter 14 says Messiah will come back when the nations are gathered together against Jerusalem. His entrance into Jerusalem will be dramatic. Zechariah says Jesus will touch down on the Mount of Olives: “Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east” (Zec. 14:3–4). With His army behind Him riding on white horses, He touches down on the Mount of Olives and then enters Jerusalem by way of the east.
The First and Second Coming of the Lord Have Twin-Like Elements
Now I want to show you something awesome! Does Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem when He came to fulfill His calling as king sound familiar? It should! It’s very similar to Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem when He came to fulfill His calling as high priest. The First Coming and the Second Coming of Jesus share twin-like elements. Let’s compare them.
When Jesus came to fulfill His calling as priest, He came to Jerusalem.
When Jesus comes to fulfill His calling as king, He will come to Jerusalem.
Before entering Jerusalem to fulfill His calling as priest, He descended the Mount of Olives.
Before entering Jerusalem to fulfill His calling as king, His feet will touch down on the Mount of Olives.
At His First Coming, Jesus entered Jerusalem riding a donkey.
At His Second Coming, He will enter Jerusalem riding a horse.
To fulfill His calling as priest, Jesus entered Jerusalem by way of the east.
To fulfill His calling as king, He will enter Jerusalem also by way of the east.
At His First Coming, Jesus was accompanied into Jerusalem by His followers singing Hosanna.
At His Second Coming, Jesus will be accompanied into Jerusalem by His army riding on horses.
How cool is that? Studying the Bible is like digging for hidden treasure. You never know what gems you’re going to find!
In conclusion, when it comes to the topic of end times, it’s important we are able to be conversant with regard to Jesus’ two-fold calling as priest and king. We should all be at the ready to discuss the purpose of Jesus’ First Coming and the purpose of His Second Coming. At His First Coming, He offered up His own blood as our High Priest in the heavenly holy of holies for a propitiation for our sins. And we eagerly await His Second Coming when He will fulfill His calling as King of Kings.
What did the policeman say to the traffic jam of emails? “Let’s go, people. Let’s keep it moving forward!”
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