Zechariah 4:6 This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty.
Zerubbabel was the governor of Judah, and was given the challenge of rebuilding God’s temple with limited resources. He may have felt overwhelmed, but God assured him that it would be accomplished by his Spirit.
Likewise, Jesus told the disciples not to start their mission until they received the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5). [Y]ou will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you (Acts 1:8), he said. The church of Jesus Christ is not built by human strength, but by the Spirit of God. Our job is to keep in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:25), wrote Paul. The work of Christ goes forward as we keep in step with him.
Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Centuries later, when Jesus rode into Jerusalem, he mounted a colt in fulfillment of this prophecy. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! (John 12:13).
The colt was a suitable beast for Christ to ride in his humility, but it will not be what he rides when he returns. [T]here before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. . . . He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords (Revelation 19:11-16), wrote John.
Jesus came on a mule, but will come back on a horse. He came as a humble king, but will return as a conquering king. He came to shed his own blood, but is coming back to shed the blood of others (Luke 19:27). We can receive him as our Lord (Colossians 2:6), or face him as our judge. I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2), wrote Paul.
Zechariah 11:12-13 So they paid me thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said to me, Throw it to the potter—the handsome price at which they valued me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter at the house of the Lord.
This payment to the prophet appears to be his last, and shows how little the people valued God. So God told the prophet to throw his meager wages to the potter at the temple.
In a curious parallel, Judas Iscariot sold Jesus Christ for thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26:15), but was so overwhelmed by guilt that he threw the money into the temple . . . and hanged himself (Matthew 27:5). Then the religious leaders used that money to buy a potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners (Matthew 27:7).
When Zechariah threw his thirty pieces of silver to the potter in the temple, he foreshadowed Judas throwing his thirty pieces of silver in the temple, for the purchase of a potter’s field. The role of Judas Iscariot was a definite part of God’s plan, to show that whoever undervalues God, will sell him to their own destruction.
Zechariah 12:10 They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child.
These remarkable words refer to the crucifixion of Christ, and to the response of many when he returns. [E]very eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all peoples on earth will mourn because of him (Revelation 1:7), wrote John. This could be a sign of repentance, but it probably describes the grief of losing everything due to rejecting Christ.
Many who lose a fortune grieve the rest of their lives. This is also true for those who lose their health, or someone they love. But what are they compared to losing heaven and waking up in hell? The loss will be so great that the mourning will never end. We can grieve our sin and be saved, or we can grieve the loss of everything forever.
Zechariah 13:1 On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.
Many fountains can wash away dirt, but only one can wash away sin. Any stream can wash away physical dirt, but only one can wash away spiritual dirt.
To be sure that Christ was dead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water (John 19:34), wrote John. John was surprised by this (John 19:35), but later wrote, the blood of Jesus . . . purifies us from all sin (1 John 1:7).
There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins; and sinners, plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains. The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day, and there may I, though vile as he, wash all my sins away. Ever since by faith I saw the stream your flowing wounds supply, redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die (William Cowper).
Reflection and Review
How can we keep in step with the Spirit?
How will Christ’s second coming be different from his first coming?
How does Christ’s blood purify us from sin?