Summary: In response to repentance & faith in Jesus, God cleanses you both inside & out. Sorrow over sin is not an end in itself. Those who repent & follow God find He revives the heart of the contrite & blots out their sins.
ZECHARIAH 13: 1-6
THE FATHER’S PROVISION FOR PURIFICATION
Following the great outpouring of the Spirit who brings spiritual illumination, recognition of the Crucified One, and the resulting sorrow of repentance (12:10-14), the Spirit then brings cleansing. Sorrow over sin is not an end in itself. Those who repent and follow God find He ‘revives the heart of the contrite’ (Isa. 57:15) and blots out their sins (Acts 3:19). In response to Israel’s repentance and faith in Jesus, God will wash them clean both inside and out (CIT).
The inseparable connection with the preceding chapter is understood because it is all part of the continuing process of God’s plan of salvation. The Spirit brings realization of the truth concerning Jesus Christ and the conviction of sin, which should result in repentance. Upon acceptance of the Lord Jesus the saved sinner has his heart and conscience cleansed by the shed blood of Christ and begins cleaning up his life and relationships. God then tests the disciple to refine and purify him and conform him into the image of Jesus. This process of sanctification is all part of "The Father’s Provision for Purification."
[The chapters are also united in that the period is designated by the same term "in that day" as well as the same terminology indicating the same people "the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem" (13:1; 12:9). Thus this section is the continuation of the subject of Judah’s true victory, after her true repentance, that results in her true sanctification.]
I. INNER CLEANSING BY THE BLOOD - 13:1.
II. OUTER CLEANSING FROM SIN & SINNERS - 13:2-6.
The supreme need of the Jew, or any lost person, has been spiritual regeneration and cleansing. Since they rejected and crucified the Savior-Messiah, they have been under a heavy load of guilt and defilement and kept from God’s salvation by hardness of heart and stubborn unbelief (Rom. 10:3). Here the Jewish remnant puts "an end to the law for righteousness" and places faith in the Pierced One for salvation and cleansing.
I. INNER [Spiritual and Moral] CLEANSING BY THE BLOOD, 1.
Zechariah is shown two aspects of the process by which the people are purified from sin. First in verse 1 is the inner spiritual cleansing by which they are freed from the polluting influences of sin within. "In that day a fountain will be opened"
The fountain that would cleanse Israel from her sin began flowing when a soldier thrust a spear into Jesus’ side as He hung on the Cross of Calvary [Jon Courson’s Application Com. OT V. 2, Nelson, p908]. The picture of a cleansing fountain portrays beautifully the cleansing that pours out from the Messiah-Redeemer’s sacrifice for sinners on the Cross. They have received the blessing of God’s Spirit poured on them and come to true repentance. But no amount of weeping will solve the problem of their sin. So this fountain was provided (Joel 3:18).
The word "fountain" ( - magor from gur) etymologically was used of a well that was dug, but came to mean a natural spring or fountain of water (Ps. 36:9, Prov. 10:11, 13:14, 14:27, Jer. 2:13, 17:13). It is an overflowing fountain (unlike the constantly refilled laver of the tabernacle temple). In Hosea 13:15 the word is used figuratively of the source of life and vigor, and in Lev. 20:18 of the source of menstrual blood and in Lev. 12:7 of the flow of blood after child birth. Here the word is fountain or spring used figuratively of the blood’s abundant cleansing from sin. (Ezek. 36:5, 39:29; Rom. 11:26-27; Isa. 33:24, 59:20-21, 65:19).
This fountain of cleansing by the blood of Christ "will be opened," opened by the sorrow of repentance and the turning in faith to the pierced One, Jesus Christ, whom they by their sins put to death. While Israel continued in unbelief and rejection of Christ, the cleansing fountain opened by Christ’s death on Calvary, was closed to them. For the only place that cleansing flows is at the cross of Calvary (Heb. 9:13). At the cross of Christ there is cleansing free and abundant enough to purify the whole world but only effective for those who will come to its single source; faith in Jesus Christ’s substitutionary, sacrificial death for sin, and in confess and repentance of their sin.
William Cowper hymn "There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood" is based on this verse. It is the sacrifice of Christ that atones for and cleanses sin.
The fact that this cleansing is for the Jews and Jerusalem is stated in the second half of verse one (1b). "For the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity."
Those for whom the fountain has been opened are the remnant that will follow the Davidic King, Jesus Christ, and live as citizens of His kingdom.