36, 37. (a) Jehovah’s putting the “stone” before Joshua the high priest was a guarantee of what? (b) Whom did that “stone” picture, and how did Jesus apply Psalm 118:22, 23 in that connection?
36 What, now, about that “stone” that God would put before High Priest Joshua? In a literal way, it would be the stone with which the temple then under construction would be given its finishing touch and be made complete. The foundation of that second temple had already been laid, and so this “stone” would serve as a headstone. So Jehovah’s putting this stone before Joshua was a sign guaranteeing that the temple would be completed, despite any resistance on Satan’s part. That stone, too, was symbolic of the Messiah, the Anointed One. Picturing the Messiah as a stone, Psalm 118:22, 23 (By) said: “A stone that the builders had rejected has become the head of a corner. This was from Jehovah, it is a wonder to our eyes.” In the year 33 C.E., Jesus, when speaking to the Jews who rejected him as the promised Messiah, applied this scripture to himself and said to them:
37 “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone that the builders rejected is the one that has become the chief cornerstone. From Jehovah this has come to be, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? This is why I say to you, The kingdom of God will be taken from you and be given to a nation producing its fruits.”—Matthew 21:42, 43. See also 1 Peter 2:4-9.
38. What is signified by the fact that on that one “stone” there are seven eyes?
38 This symbolic “stone” was to be given full divine attention. As confirmation of this the high priest Joshua and his companion priests were to be told, “Upon the one stone there are seven eyes.” (Zechariah 3:9) Not that seven eyes were to be carved upon that stone, to give the idea that those beholding the stone were being looked at in a sevenfold way. With the eyes we fix our attention upon something. Also, as the number seven Scripturally symbolized perfection, the seven eyes upon that one stone mean to say that Jehovah fixes his perfect attention upon that symbolic Stone, his promised Messiah. Others might overlook that symbolic Stone. Or, they might ignore it, reject it, but not so Jehovah. Because of such full attention from Him, it must be something most precious to Him.
39. In what way is it that Jehovah engraves the engraving of that symbolic Stone?
39 Consequently, in showing the complete attention that He gives to this symbolic Stone and its outstanding position and appearance, Jehovah goes on to say: “Here I am engraving its engraving.” In glorious fulfillment of this promise, Jehovah the heavenly Engraver gave the symbolic Stone, his beloved Son Jesus Christ, distinguishing marks of beauty such as he conferred upon no one else. Consequently, Hebrews 1:1-3 speaks of the outstanding Son of God as being the one who is the “exact representation [Greek, kharaktér, meaning ‘impress’] of his very being,” that is, of God’s being. As the symbolic engraved headstone, the Messianic High Priest, Jesus Christ, is given the highest and most responsible position of service in Jehovah’s spiritual temple of worship. This betokened something most beneficial for all mankind.
40. What was the “error of that land,” and how was it to be taken away by Jehovah?
40 With the topstone in place and the temple all completed for the full-scale worship of the one living and true God, what could we expect logically to follow? Blessings, blessings, blessings! Nothing would now be in the way of such blessings, for, as Jehovah went on to say, “I will take away the error of that land in one day.” (Zechariah 3:9) Because of the long interruption that the repatriated Israelites had allowed to take place in the rebuilding of the temple at Jerusalem, the whole land of Judah was lying in “error.” Its inhabitants were looked upon as unclean and the work of their hands in materialistic things was unclean. (Haggai 2:13, 14) But now, come 515 B.C.E., with the triumphant completion of the second temple at Jerusalem the erroneous course of the land of Judah was entirely corrected. So Jehovah was pleased, and he took away the error of inhabitants of the land in the special “one day,” the day when the temple stood complete, with its engraved headstone, and pure worship was inaugurated therein.
41. What stimulus should this give to us today with reference to God’s worship?
41 What a stimulus this should give to us today to put the worship of the true God at his spiritual temple in the first place in our lives! We should not let ourselves be delayed in doing this. We should not let interruptions take place in this effort.
43. What are the reactions of the remnant toward the one whom Jehovah calls “my servant Sprout” and the “one stone”?
43 They are not deceived by any false Messiahs or false Messianic organizations of today. They have identified the one whom Jehovah calls “my servant Sprout.” He is the one whom Jehovah of armies installed in the Messianic throne in the heavens at the close of the Gentile Times in 1914 C.E. and who has now begun his Messianic reign, namely, Jesus Christ. They have identified also the one symbolized by the stone that was laid before High Priest Joshua and upon which stone there were “seven eyes.” They admire how Jehovah has engraved this symbolic Stone with a beauty that befits the high position given to that Stone, and they rejoice that this one has been made the symbolic headstone or topstone, the highest and most responsible one in Jehovah’s system of worship. They are happy to be underpriests under that symbolic engraved Stone, Jesus Christ. They see from the Holy Scriptures that as “men serving as portents” they are under divine command to serve as witnesses to this exalted Stone, Jehovah’s one High Priest, Jesus.