Summary: Prophecy concerning Jesus. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reading: Zechariah chapter 9 verses 1-17.
(1). The writer.
• Zechariah is a very common name in the Bible,
• At least twenty-seven Bible characters had it.
We know little of the prophet’s biography, apart from a few scant references:
• Chapter 1 verse 1 and Nehemiah chapter 12;
• Enable us to pinpoint and gather a little bit of information on him.
• We know that this Zechariah came from a family of priests,
• So he was both a prophet and a priest.
• We can also learn from chapter 2 verse 4,
• That he was a young man.
(c). His family tree is recorded for us in Nehemiah chapter 12:
• His name means “Jehovah remembers”.
• His fathers name means “Jehovah blesses”.
• And his grandfather’s name means “his time”.
• Put them together and you have “Jehovah remembers to bless in his time”.
(2). The Situation:
In the very first verse of his prophecy Zechariah dates for us his prophecy:
• In 597BC the Babylonian Empire was the superpower of the world,
• They conquered Jerusalem in 587BC, destroying the city and the temple,
• And they captured the people of Jerusalem,
• And exiled them to Babylon.
• In time the Babylonian Empire declined and was overrun by the Persians,
• It was the Persian king Cyrus who issued a decree in 537BC.
• Allowing all exiles to return to their home-lands,
• He also gave permission to the Jews to rebuild their temple at Jerusalem.
The first Jews returned to Jerusalem from Babylon in 537BC:
• They laid the foundation for the temple,
• But then the work stopped.
• God used the preaching of Zechariah and Haggia to stir up the leaders and people.
• And in 520BC, the Jews again began to rebuild God’s house.
(3). The Message:
• The prophets Zechariah and Haggai were called to motivate, to inspire and encourage,
• The people to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.
• Zechariah’s vision, however, was much broader than the more practical Haggai.
• He saw God breaking into history on behalf of his people.
• He looks down the ages and sees the coming of the king, the Messiah,
• The one who will establishes his everlasting kingdom.
• That Zechariah is one of the most quoted Old Testament books in the New Testament,
• Over 70 times it is quoted or there are allusions to it.
TWOFOLD THEME IN THE BOOK:
• The key verse in the book is (chapter 8 verse 2):
• “God is jealous for Jerusalem”
• In fact Jerusalem is mentioned over forty times in this book.
• And we are told that God will punish the heathen for what they have done to his city;
• Jerusalem may lie in ruins now, but God will one day restore the city in glory,
• And he will one day dwell there.
Zechariah shows us Jesus in many aspects of his ministry.
• Zechariah’s prophecies speak of Jesus as king (ch 9 vs 9),
• Jesus as the stone (ch 3 vs 9 & 10 vs 4),
• Jesus as the slave sold for 30 pieces of silver (ch 11 vs 12),
• Jesus the smitten shepherd (ch 13 vs 7).
• Jesus as a wounded, crucified saviour (ch 12 vs 10);
• “They will look on me whom they have pierced”.
• Jesus the branch (ch 3 vs 8 & ch 6 vs 12),
• Jesus the glorious ruler (ch 14 vs 1-4, 9, 16-17).
Zechariah’s message to the people is a simple one:
• Remember the past and return to the Lord.
• Recalling the past is a very Hebraic, a Jewish thing to do.
• Jews believed the future was in God’s hands,
• So you best faced the future by looking behind.
A bit like sitting on a train with your back to the engine.
• You looked back to remember and learn from the mistakes of your ancestors.
• And so you avoid making the same mistakes! And facing the same consequences.
THE BOOK OF ZECHARIAH DIVIDES INTO THREE PARTS:
• Section 1: Chapter 1 to chapter 6:
• We have recorded a serious of eight visions.
• Section 2: Chapters 7-8:
• Deals with questions by various people regarding fasting.
• Section 3: Chapters 9-14:
• Is a description of Jerusalem and God’s victory over the heathen nations.
This morning We are entering section three of Zechariahs prophecy:
• Remember with prophecy there is often a twofold fulfilment,
• A near and a distant meaning:
• Sometimes when you look out on the horizon,
• You may see to great mountain peaks.
• From a distance they seem to almost touch each other,