Gracious Lord, today I want to speak the thanks I feel, and I ask you to forgive all my complaining.
Read ZECHARIAH 12
Jerusalem’s Enemies to Be Destroyed
12 A prophecy: The word of the Lord concerning Israel.
The Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the human spirit within a person, declares: 2 “I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. 3 On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. 4 On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness,” declares the Lord. “I will keep a watchful eye over Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations. 5 Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the Lord Almighty is their God.’
6 “On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume all the surrounding peoples right and left, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place.
7 “The Lord will save the dwellings of Judah first, so that the honor of the house of David and of Jerusalem’s inhabitants may not be greater than that of Judah. 8 On that day the Lord will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord going before them. 9 On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem.
Mourning for the One They Pierced
10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit[a] of grace and supplication. They will look on[b] me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. 11 On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be as great as the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of the house of David and their wives, the clan of the house of Nathan and their wives, 13 the clan of the house of Levi and their wives, the clan of Shimei and their wives, 14 and all the rest of the clans and their wives.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘… it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.’1
Now begins Zechariah’s second oracle. Jerusalem and Judah become a stumbling block for all the nations that attack them. The Lord himself rescues them, giving them victory over their assailants. Next, God pours upon them ‘a spirit of grace and supplication’, which causes them to grieve for ‘the one they have pierced’ (v 10). Subsequently, all their clans mourn for what they did to him in a movement of national contrition.
John equates ‘the one’ of verse 10 with Jesus, whose side was pierced on the cross by a Roman soldier’s spear.2 God’s only Son was indeed crucified as the result of Jewish opposition, in collusion with the occupying Roman authorities. For too long, the church historically blamed the Jews alone for Christ’s death, accusing them of deicide and ignoring the fact that our corporate human sin made his atoning death necessary. Nevertheless, Zechariah 12 suggests that, at some future date following the siege and deliverance of Jerusalem, the Jews will welcome Jesus as the Messiah they had previously rejected and in whose crucifixion they had participated.
We saw above that it is only after receiving ‘a spirit of grace and supplication’ that the Jews repent and mourn for ‘the one they have pierced’. So must it be for all who turn to Jesus for salvation, both Jew and Gentile. Only by God’s grace can any of us begin to understand our need of God’s forgiveness and cry to him to save us through faith in the Messiah, with our sins nailed to the cross. We are reminded, then, that from start to finish salvation is a work of God. We contribute nothing to it, save our acceptance of it as a free gift.3
‘There but for the grace of God go I!’ Mindful of this, intercede for those you know who are far from God and in desperate need of his saving touch!
Lord Jesus, how thankful I am. You died on the cross that I might live, your body was broken that I might be made whole, your blood was shed that I might be cleansed of my sins.
1 Eph 2:8 2 John 19:34,37 3 Cf Rom 6:23