By Elizabeth Prata
We know Jesus is the Man-God. His divinity was on display when He healed, did miracles, or taught with such authority that the hearers were astounded.
His human nature was on display when He was weary (John 4:6), hungry (Mark 11:12), or thirsty (John 19:28).
When Jesus appeared before the magistrate, Pilate said to the crowd, Behold the man. Here is the verse:
So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” (John 19:5)
Most of us are familiar with that phrase, and that momentous event in the life of Jesus. But did you know that Zechariah said it first? In one of the many visions God gave the prophet Zechariah, the phrase appears. Thus Pilate’s utterance was a fulfillment of an Old Testament picture pointing to a New Testament truth.
And say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: for he shall branch out from his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD. (Zechariah 6:12)
Though the vision actually shows Joshua being crowned, it is in reality a picture of the crowning of Jesus. The Jamieson Fausset Commentary explains further:
Behold, the man—namely, shall arise. Pilate unconsciously spake God’s will concerning Him, “Behold the man” (Jn 19:5). The sense here is, “Behold in Joshua a remarkable shadowing forth of Messiah.” It is not for his own sake that the crown is placed on him, but as type of Messiah about to be at once king and priest. Joshua could not personally be crowned king, not being of the royal line of David, but only in his representative character.
[Source: Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 1, p. 723). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.]
Roy Gingrich’s outlines on the prophetic books are helpful here explaining Zechariah’s vision of Joshua’s crowning, and the Heavenly utterance “Behold the Man whose name is the branch!”
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE CROWNING OF JOSHUA
The crowning of Joshua, a priest, with a regal crown symbolizes the future crowning of Christ, a priest (after the order of Melchisedec), with a regal crown (as Israel’s and the world’s, King) at His Second Advent.
During Christ’s earthly ministry, He was crowned with a crown of thorns, Matt. 27:29; during His present sitting at His Father’s right hand, He is crowned with a crown of glory and honor, Heb. 2:9; at His Second Advent, He will be crowned with many crowns, Rev. 19:12 (as the King of Israel, Matt. 27:37, and as the King of all the earth’s Kings, Rev. 19:16).
THE PROPHECIES CONCERNING THE MESSIAH (Zechariah 6:12, 13, 15)
(Here we have one of the Old Testament’s most complete, yet concise, prophecies concerning the person, the office, and the work of the coming Messiah.)
1. The Messiah will be the antitype of Joshua (6:12).
To “behold the man,” Joshua, was to “behold the man,” the Messiah, for the one is typical of the other. The Jews, at Christ’s first advent, “beheld the man,” the Messiah, crowned with thorns, John 19:5. The Jews, at Christ’s second advent, will “behold the man,” the Messiah, crowned with many crowns, crowns of glory, Rev. 19:12.
See the four “beholds,” Zech. 6:12; Isa. 42:1; Zech. 9:9; Isa. 40:9.
[Source: Gingrich, R. E. (1999). The Books of Haggai and Zechariah (p. 34). Memphis, TN: Riverside Printing.]
Here are the four Beholds Mr Gingrich mentioned.
Behold the Man!
And say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: for he shall branch out from his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord. (Zechariah 6:12)
Behold the Servant!
Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my Spirit upon him;
he will bring forth justice to the nations.
Behold the King!
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Behold your God!
Go on up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good news;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good news;
lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Behold your God!”(Isaiah 40:9)
We’re entering the Thanksgiving season, and gratitude and thankfulness are much on our minds. I am thankful for the fact that I shall behold Him! All knees will bow and all tongues will confess, meaning all peoples will behold Him, their God. But I’m grateful I shall behold Him as one who is forgiven by His grace, not ashamed or crushed by fear – but worshiping Him rightly- in Spirit and in truth. My gratitude for Him having delivered the means by which to dwell in righteousness now and forever and to behold His face in love knows no bounds. Brethren, WE SHALL BEHOLD HIM, OUR MAN-GOD, Savior, Lord and King!