Summary: A detailed and compelling vision of the return of Christ. What happens when Jesus' feet touch the Mount of Olives?
[Divide into two parts?]
- This passage contains detailed prophecy about the return of Christ – specifically, the moment when Jesus’ feet touch the Mount of Olives.
- We are going to cover a lot tonight, but there is so much interesting and compelling details here that I don’t want to skip.
THE MOMENT WHEN JESUS' FEET TOUCH THE MOUNT OF OLIVES:
1. Finally, the “Day of the Lord” happens.
- Zechariah 14:1a.
- “Day of the Lord” here doesn’t apply to just one twenty-four hour period. Rather, it’s a period of time.
- Like to today is the “day of the internet.”
- Also, you can compare this to the “day of man” that has been happening up to this point.
- It will be exciting (and frightening) when that moment finally hits.
- Exciting that Jesus is coming to rule.
- Frightening that not everyone will be ready.
2. Our enemy’s forces have been winning up to this point.
- Zechariah 14:1b-2.
- The Enemy has forces battling Israel. And we start with them having won.
- Here they are in the middle of Jerusalem. They have won and they are not even in a hurry to scurry off, as many victors do. They feel so confident and smug in their win that they are settled comfortably in the city dividing their plunder.
- So this isn’t just a win – in their mind this was a complete victory. They have nothing to worry about from the Jewish people.
- Verse 2 tells us about the battle.
- First, it’s a coalition of all the nations from around the earth. It’s passages like this that make Christians’ ears perk up when ideas like the United Nations come up. I’m not saying such organizations are intrinsically wrong, but they do foreshadow a time when all the nations unite against Israel.
- Second, the destruction was devastating.
- It speaks of capture, destruction of property, and rape. It’s a horrible picture.
- Half of Jerusalem is hauled off. The word there can also mean that they were killed.
- Look at Jeremiah 30:5-7 for how terrible it will be. Yet there is a prophecy of hope there too.
- Third, notice that God is orchestrating this.
- Verse 3 says, “I will gather . . . .”
- Not that God is doing the evil, but that the evil forces are unknowingly walking right into His trap.
- Let’s pause for a moment and note where we are before we see Christ show up in verse 3.
- This is about as low as you can get. This is as convincing a victory as an enemy can get. There is, in the minds of Israel, no hope.
- This is a point I have made at numerous points in the past, but it’s worthy of repeating here. God often chooses to work in ways where it is clear that the power is not from any human agent. It gives Him the undisputed glory when no one can question that He brought the victory.
3. Then Jesus the Warrior shows up.
- Zechariah 14:3, 5b, 12-15.
- Now we have Jesus showing up. We know from v. 4 that the reference in v. 3 is not just some hidden support from God, but rather the return of Christ. Jesus is fighting. Jesus is a warrior.
- This, of course, is worlds different from Jesus’ first appearance. Then He was meek and lowly. Then He was a Suffering Servant. The second time will be different. He will be strong and powerful. He will be a Conquering King.
- And look who is with Him: v. 5b. His holy saints are there for the fight.
- Let’s jump ahead to vv. 12-15. These give us a partial indication of what God is going to do during this time.
- This is not an exhaustive description, but does give some insight.
4. The Mount of Olives will split in two.
- Acts 1:11-12.
- Here we have the long-anticipated moment: Jesus’ feet touch down on the Mount of Olives. The return has happened.
- The result is, literally, earth-shattering. A mountain splits in two – creating a valley.
- This is the hill that Jesus ascended into heaven from (Acts 1:11-12).
- This action creates a valley. This is the way that people from the city will escape, as the next verse indicates.
5. The people will flee into that valley.
- The beginning of v. 5 tells us what happens with that valley. The people of Jerusalem will flee from the city into that valley. This is going to be a powerful earthquake, as in the days of Uzziah.