Summary: A whistlestop tour and gospel look at the prophecies of Zechariah about Jesus. (Suits a communion service)
Zechariah and the Messiah. WBC 11/7/9. Zech 7:23-13:2
A friend is wondering whether he should continue as pastor or not. Goes for a walk seeking the Lord’s guidance. Enters a clearing in woods to find a herd of sheep + shepherd! Guidance! Pastor = shepherd! Talks with shepherd, and in jest says ’if I can guess exactly how many sheep you have, will you give me one to start my collection?’ ’Yes!’ ’Well, I recon you have 437!’ ’Wow, how did you guess that!?’ ’Oh, I just have a head for crowds, numbers’ (thinks, ’wow, the Lord is really confirming this, here!’) Picks it up and traipses him over his shoulders to go home. Shepherd says ’If I can guess what you do for a living, can I have my sheep back?’ ’Sure’ (thinks: I’m pretty safe here... haven’t told him anything, not wearing purple or the like!) ’You’re a Baptist pastor!’ ’Wow! How did you know that!?’ ’Put my dog down, and I’ll tell you!’
We had our first sermon on Zechariah last Sun pm
- God speaking practically into the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem at the end of the Babylonian exile. When the Medes/Persians had come to power
o = approx 520BC
But there¡¦s much more to the book. Much that looks forward, prophetically, to things that are familiar to us
- (and much more. Looks forward prophetically to the very last days, as a layer on top of that)
Maybe we¡¦re too familiar with these things. Maybe we miss the impact the words of Zechariah would have had on its readers.
- words like the preview of God¡¦s plan in 8:23
ZEC 8:20 This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come, 21 and the inhabitants of one city will go to another and say, `Let us go at once to entreat the LORD and seek the LORD Almighty. I myself am going.’ 22 And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the LORD Almighty and to entreat him."
ZEC 8:23 This is what the LORD Almighty says: "In those days ten men from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, `Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.’ "
Remember- this was written at a time when Jerusalem was rubble.
- No wall.
- A quick temple being ¡¥knocked up¡¦ and ¡¥put up¡¦ (in 4 years)
o Cf Solomon¡¦s one , Herod¡¦s one (63 years building
- Jews just a captivated little tribe in Babylon¡K obscured by Persia¡K and the Greek empire that was rising
Nothing would have seemed more hopelessly improbable than the fulfilment of these words!
But 550 years later
¡K there came to Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven- Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs-
And they grabbed hold of the agreement of small group of Jews and cried out in distress ¡¥what must we do to be saved?¡¦ (acts 2;37)
- ¡K and then those 120 who were Jews dispersed to the ends of the earth and everywhere they went people grabbed them and pleaded ¡¥what must we do to be saved?¡¦
o the Greek culture and wisdom was eclipsed by it
o the Roman empire was eventually taken by it
o then the whole, then ¡¥modern¡¦, world
o and still today
And the answer today is the same as the early apostles gave when they were grasped.
„» ¡§take hold of Jesus who will take hold of you¡¨
- and HE is the ¡¥one Jew¡¦ being referred to in 8:23
o the saviour of the world and ALL who grasp Him
And Zechariah tell us how this can be.
- besides a whole load of other things that I can¡¦t go into
o (prophecies of Alexander the great (9:1-7, and how he spared Jerusalem 9:8)¡K the maccabean revolt of 160BC that restored this temple (9:11-17)
He prophecies the arrival of a king (9:9)
- a righteous one (none of them around at that time¡K ever)
- one who brings salvation with Him
- who is gentle¡K
ZEC 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!
Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and having salvation,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
ZEC 9:10 I will take away the chariots from Ephraim
and the war-horses from Jerusalem,
and the battle bow will be broken.
He will proclaim peace to the nations.