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Summary: Prophecy concerning Jesus. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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Reading: Zechariah chapter 9 verses 1-17.

Background:

(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.

(a).

• We know that this Zechariah came from a family of priests,

• So he was both a prophet and a priest.

(b).

• 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.

Worth noting:

• 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:

(a). Jerusalem.

• 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.

(2). Jesus.

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.

Ill:

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:

Ill:

• 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,

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