Summary: Getting encouragement from the prophecy of Zechariah
“Hope For the Future”
Intro: This morning we remember the death and resurrection of our Lord. And we remember with hope. The words of scripture tell us by partaking of the bread and the cup we do “show the Lord’s death till he comes.” Sometimes it takes memories to give us hope.
Have you ever watched the Rocky movies? It always seems that Rocky is getting the tar beaten out of him, until something happens and he starts to fight. In one of the movies, the trainer is about to throw in the towel, until Rocky’s brother in law Paulie says, He’s not getting beat, he’s just getting mad. And Rocky does get mad enough to come back and win the fight.
What do you do when you’re down, discouraged, defeated. It would be great to say that that never happens to us, we’re Christians. Yet, the truth is that far too often we live defeated Christian lives, giving in to despair and failure.
This morning, I would say that Remembering brings hope!
I. Remembering Our God brings us hope - When we remember that we serve the creator of the universe, we realize that the problems of this life are not too hard for him. He is the God who clothes the lilies of the field. If he clothes them, how much more will he clothe us. He is the God who sends the rain on the just and the unjust. He controls the sunshine and the rain. He is the God of all creation. And he is moved by our problems.
In the book of Zechariah, we are reminded of the greatness of our God. In Zech. 12:1 we see the prophet starting a passage about the deliverance of Jerusalem, and he starts with the reminder of the greatness of God.
This is 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 spirit of man within him
On this, Worldwide Communion Sunday, we join with Christians all across the world in celebrating the greatness of our God.
II. Remembering our Savior, Jesus Christ, brings us hope
Zechariah talks several places in reference to Jesus.
11:7 - he comes to feed the flock of God -
9:9 - he comes in a triumphal entry into Jerusalem - cf. Matt. 21:5
13:7 - that his disciples would flee after he was taken
11:12-13 - he would be sold for 30 pieces of silver [by Judas]
12:10 - he is pierced by his people (crucifixion)
This morning, we remember Jesus Christ in our communion time. Our salvation is made possible by his death on the cross in our place. We see that there were many prophecies given about him, because God had planned before the creation of the world to place Jesus as our sacrifice for sins.
We remember with hope, when we think that Christ died in our place.
III. Remembering that God’s plan is not done brings us hope.
Much of Zechariah is confusing for us as we read through: yet much truth lies there to be discovered for those who study deeply. And I don’t speak of myself, for I realize I know little about the book.
In chapters 12-14, we see a glimpse into the end days. Join us on Wednesdays as we study these events in more detail as we go through the book of Revelation together.
Just when things look hopeless - that will be the timing for his deliverance of the Jews in the end of the tribulation.
14:2 - All nations will gather against Jerusalem - under the leader of the antichrist - they will seek to destroy the Jews. The Jews will go through great suffering.
13:7-8 - two thirds of the Jews will perish in this great battle. The situation will look hopeless. The Antichrist will see victory in sight. At this time God comes to fight for his people.
12:4-5 - 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 the house of Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations. Then the leaders of Judah will say in their hearts, `The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the LORD Almighty is their God.’
12: 8 - On that day the LORD will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David
God provides protection for his people
13:9 - the one-third remnant will call upon the Lord - This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, `They are my people,’ and they will say, `The LORD is our God.’"