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Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Zechariah: Good and Comforting Words

“I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10).

Restoring the Nation of Israel (Zechariah 10.1-12; 12.1-13.9; 14.1-15)

The restoration, regathering, and regeneration of the nation of Israel occupied chapter 10 of Zechariah. The Messiah is seen as the Cornerstone, Tent Peg, and Battle Bow. Each communicate that He is one to be relied upon. As we continue our look at the revelation in glory of Messiah, we turn to “Him Whom they have pierced” (12.1-13.9).

The Cup of Drunkenness (12.1-2)

Those who lay siege are ultimately the powers of the world just before the revelation in glory of Jesus Christ. It would be quite difficult to place this section of Zechariah in any other time period than that of the revelation in glory of the great King of kings. The cup is God’s wrath poured out during the Tribulation. The nations are drunk with the decimation of Israel. Little do they know that those laying siege will receive a blistering defeat.

The Heavy Stone (12.3-5)

The metaphor now shifts to illustrate the burden that becomes overbearing to the nations. Those who gather against Jerusalem and try to carry it as a prize for victory will find it a burden that will ultimately crush them.

The Firepan in the Woodpile (12.6-8)

The leaders of Jerusalem will lead a successful defense against the antagonist. They will consume their enemies as fire consumes wood. The Angel of the Lord will go before them (8).

The Repentant Mourners (12.9-14)

When Jesus Christ comes at His revelation in glory, He will deliver the Jews that were utterly without hope (9). They will receive from the Lord “the Spirit of grace and supplication” (10a). The Spirit of grace is the Holy Spirit whom the Lord pours out. This unmerited favor of God will be overwhelming to the Jews. They will behold the One they crucified centuries before. The result is great mourning which leads to repentance and salvation (10b-14).

The Fountain of Cleansing (13.1-6)

The fountain of cleansing is the blood of the Lamb (1). “That opening of the fountain took place when the Roman soldier with his spear pierced our Savior’s side, and ‘there came out of it blood and water’” (Baron, 461). Once cleansed, the Lamb wipes away any remembrance of idols (2a). The prophets of these idols and the principalities that motivated them will be exterminated (2b). Any attempt to revive these idolatrous practices will be severely dealt with (3). Such offenders “shall not live.” All devotion will belong to God who transcends earthly ties (3).

The context seems to indicate that verses 4-6 exemplify the principle laid out in verse 3. Out of context, one may think verse 6 is a Messianic prophecy; however, the verse seems to describe a man who is covering up the attempt he made at prophesying falsely by claiming that his wounds he bore were received from friends (contra parents who were seeking to kill him for his deception during this incredible age).

The Refined Remnant (13.7-9)

“I will bring the one-third through the fire, will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people’; and each one will say, ‘The LORD is my God’” (13.9).