Two Headings Of Eternal Importance

                “For the eyes of men and all the tribes of Israel are on the Lord.”

                                                                                                                                                                Zechariah 9:1b

                Kenneth L. Barker in his commentary on the book of Zechariah in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1985) has a suggestive set of headings with which he outlines the last five chapters of the book.  He divides Zechariah 9-14 into two main sections.  To the first section (Zechariah 9:1-11:17) he gives the heading “The Advent and Rejection of the Messiah”.  To the second (Zechariah 12:1-14:21) is headed by “The Advent and Reception of the Messiah”.  Not only do these two headings give us useful organizational hooks on which to hang our exposition of this powerful section of Zechariah’s writings but they also prompt some very useful reflections upon the meaning of the Gospel message and the means of our accepting it. 

                In any study of Zechariah 9-14 it becomes apparent that these were key texts in the development of the doctrine of the Christ which we find in the Gospels.  The Gospels make a number of references to fulfillments of various prophesies from these chapters.  F.F. Bruce in “The Book of Zechariah and the Passion Narrative” points out that Zechariah 13:7 may be the key text behind the Lord Jesus Christ’s development of the teaching he gives in John 10 regarding the Good Shepherd and His ministry to us.  Surely there is a lot of room for meditation upon that text alone.

                I want to reflect today upon the two headings which Barker gives us.  Here we find the whole Gospel proclamation presented to us.  The Christ has come!  As John tells us in the prologue of his Gospel, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”  (John 1:14)  He has come to us offering salvation through the blood of His New Covenant with us.  On the cross He has paid the price for our sin.  In His prefect Righteousness we are given our standing before God.  What a precious free gift has been given us.  It must be received however through faith in the Son of God who offered Himself up for us.  Here is where Zechariah presents the issue to us.  In the first section he presents the Messiah who has come and been rejected and as a consequence judgment comes.  In the second section the Messiah comes and is received with a sincere repentance and therefore the Holiness of the Lord is revealed among us. 

                Perhaps this line of reasoning is what is behind these other words from John’s Gospel prologue.  “He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him.  Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (John 1:11-13)  This is the Gospel briefly stated and its outcome is eternity.  The Lord Jesus Christ came to us, shed His blood for us, offering us forgiveness of sin.  What do we do with that offer?  Do we receive Him or reject Him?  Zechariah tells us that God is working the answer to that question out in the history of nations and of individual people.   Eternity hangs in the balance.  Will you respond to His gracious offer with genuine repentance and faith?  To believingly receive the Lord Jesus Christ is salvation. 

                Zechariah himself puts it in the strongest possible terms when he writes, “And I will pour out on the House of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and of supplication.  They will look on Me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” (Zechariah 12:10)  Zechariah is describing a deep, sincere, repentance that comes upon God’s people as they look upon the One they have pierced.  Genuine repentance and faith comes when we recognise the one who took upon Himself our sin dying on the cross for us. 

                Which will it be for you?  Will you reject Him or receive Him?  I pray that you will receive Him and find in Him life that is real and eternal.

By retir158

I am a retired Baptist Pastor living in Leamington Ontario. I am a husband, a father to three and a grandfather to eight.

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