April 16, 2023
These past 2 weeks we read Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. They were all books of the Bible written by prophets, but our focus today is on Zechariah.
The setting: Remember from previous readings that the Israelites were conquered, and the remaining Jews were exiled to Babylon. Babylon was eventually conquered as well by Persia, and the Persian king Cyrus issued a decree that the Israelites that were in exile could go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. The foundation of the temple was laid, but the building stopped. God used the prophets Haggai and Zechariah to encourage and motivate the Israelites to continue with the building of the temple. Through Zechariah, God said so much more. He saw God working at the time, in the future during Christ’s life, and at the end of times on the “Day of the Lord.”
Zechariah came from a family of priests (1:1) and he started his ministry as a young man (2:4). His name means “Jehovah remembers.” He is one of the most quoted Old Testament books in the New Testament.
The first 8 chapters are visons from the LORD. The purpose of these visions is explained in 1:3, 5-6: “3 Therefore tell the people: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the Lord Almighty.”
Chapters 9-14 are future prophecies, and these are the topics we will discuss this week.
Chapter 9:1-8 was a prophesy about Alexander the Great before he ever came on the scene. Zechariah talked about the destruction of cities that were against Jerusalem. These were listed in order of destruction in the book of Zechariah, and this was lived out 200 years after Zechariah prophesied. In fact, the route of destruction by Alexander the Great was in the exact order as Zechariah prophesied.
There are many prophesies about Jesus in. the book of Zechariah. I will review them below.
- Jesus the Branch: Chapter 3:8: ““‘Listen, High Priest Joshua, you and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch.” And Chapter 6:12, “Tell him this is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the LORD.”
- The Branch is a title for the Messiah. An example is Jer 23:5 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up for David[a] a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.” Other scripture that talks about the Branch is Isaiah 4:2.
- Jesus the King: Chapter 9:9: “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly, and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
- This is a prophesy about Jesus from Matthew 21:1-5: “As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: 5 “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”
- Jesus the stone, cornerstone, and Savior: Chapter 3:8, “See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it, says the LORD Almighty, and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day.”
- Chapter 10:4: “From Judah will come the cornerstone,”
- It is believed the stone and cornerstone are referring to Jesus and references are from 1 Peter 2:4-8, “As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house[a] to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”[b 7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe. The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,”[c] 8 and, “A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.”
- Jesus sold for silver: Chapter 11:12, “I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So, they paid me thirty pieces of solver. And the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter” – the handsome price at which they priced me! So, I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD to the potter.”
- This is from Matthew 26-27, when Judas paid 30 pieces of silver to betray Jesus, and then,” he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” What is that to us? They replied. That’s your responsibility. So, Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.” So, they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s filed as a burial place for foreigners.”
- Jesus pierced: Chapter 12:10, “They will look on me, the one they have pierced,”
- This is talking about the time on the cross that Jesus’ side was pierced in John 19:34, “Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.”
- Jesus the Shepherd: Chapter 13:7, “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd “against the man who is close to me! “Declares the Lord Almighty. “Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered…”
- Jesus was known as the Good Shepherd. This is what Jesus said just before he was arrested, “31 Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:” ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.”
- Jesus Reigns: Chapter 14:1-4, 9, 16-17. These verses are all about the Day of the LORD. The final day of Armageddon. This is the ultimate time when Christ will reign and be king. Verse 9 says, “The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.”
Jesus our Shepherd, the Branch rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, peaceful, was sold and pierced for our sins. Because he rose from the grave, he reigns. He is the spiritual cornerstone for those who believe. We have not yet seen his full glory at the second coming of Christ during the end of times, but that prophecy is still to come. “On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.”
Do you know the “one Lord?” Are you ready for His return? All you have to do is accept Jesus as LORD and believe he rose again, and you will be saved. It is not good to wait because 1 Thess 5:1-2 says, “Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.”
Next week we will read Leviticus 1-15. Have a blessed week!