Finding Jesus in Haggai
Wouldn’t it be great if we knew when a challenging event would be over: World War II, the Great Plague of London, the Holocaust, or even slavery in America? It would bring great comfort to those suffering to know an end was in view.
Israel mercifully knew the date for the completion of captivity: 70 years. The release of the Jews by King Cyrus came right on schedule, the remnant returned, and began rebuilding the Temple and the city. We fast forward about 18 years.
Haggai, a prophet to the returning remnant, wrote to stir up the political and spiritual leaders of Israel, Zerubabbel (governor) and Joshua (high priest) but also the people. His messages were sent to those who had become discouraged, even fearful, and quit their rebuilding project. Their focus became themselves, consequently God asked them if their way was working for them, which it wasn’t, then to return to Him and complete their assignment.
Where do we find Jesus in Haggai? The rebuilding of the Temple was for one purpose: Messiah’s arrival. The glory of His presence would once again occupy this designated place and it’s opulence would be greater than Solomon’s Temple. How would that be possible? As an infant, Jesus would be presented there (Matt. 2:22), as an adult He would teach and worship there during His first coming.
In two short chapters we realize that Haggai is reminding the people of their King Who will be appearing:
Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I am about to shake the heavens and the earth, and to overthrow the throne of kingdoms. I am about to destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations, and overthrow the chariots and their riders. And the horses and their riders shall go down, every one by the sword of his brother. On that day, declares the Lord of hosts, I will take you, O Zerubbabel my servant, the son of Shealtiel, declares the Lord, and make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you, declares the Lord of hosts.” (Haggai 2:21-23 ESV)
Zerubbabel and Joshua are foreshadows of Christ: King and Priest. He is our political and our spiritual Leader Who, on That Day, join us as partners. The signet ring indicates a bonding together in fellowship and loyalty. We wear wedding rings today to indicate a marriage relationship that is intimately connected to one person. We must never forget that Jesus Christ, our Bridegroom, will be returning to claim us as His Bride.
History tells us that about forty years after the death and resurrection of Christ the Romans tore down that second Temple. Many years before Ezekiel had prophesied (ch. 40-43) that there will be a third Temple built in the same place and the glory of the LORD will again fill that Temple. We can’t lose our focus today as we prepare our hearts for His Second Coming as it will be an unmistakeable, glorious Day.