June 7, 2023
Thank you for your prayers for our prodigals and for revival. It is encouraging to know that others are standing alongside with similar interests and desire for the kingdom of light to advance.
Jonathan Edwards once said, “There is no way that Christians, in private capacity, can do so much to promote the work of God and advance the kingdom of Christ as by prayer.”
The book of Zechariah has sometimes been called “The Apocalypse of the Old Testament,” because it contains many messianic prophecies relating to end times. In many ways it is like the book of Revelation in the New Testament.
One scholar stated that there are over 40 citations or allusions made in the New Testament to the writings of Zechariah. He had much to say about the coming Messiah. He was focused on Jesus.
Zechariah’s name means, “the LORD has remembered.” Every time someone heard about him or called his name, they would be prompted to think about their faithful, loyal, and devoted God. God’s remembering is not just a mental awareness but a call to action. He remembered His people and acted in response to His character and promises toward them.
He loved them too much to let them continue in their waywardness.
The very first words from God to Zechariah for the post-exile people were, “The LORD was very angry with your fathers. Therefore say to them, Thus declares the LORD of hosts: Return to me, says the LORD of hosts, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 1:2-3).
Zechariah, like Haggai, was a prophet to the remnant Jews who had returned to Judah after the 70 years of captivity in Babylon. These prophets challenged God’s people to repentance and motivated them by announcing that eventually things would change. Zechariah reminded them that their Messiah was coming!
The book is divided into 2 main sections. The first section, from chapters 1 to 8, relates mainly to the rebuilding of the temple. It is filled with a series of strange, prophetic dream-visions that Zechariah saw in one night. The second section is from chapters 9 to 14, which deal with last things or the End Times.
For the sake of this article, there are 3 prophetic utterances that Zechariah made that reflect the glory and beauty of Jesus, the coming Messiah.
First, Zechariah calls the coming deliverer “the Branch.” “Behold, I will bring my servant the Branch…‘Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: for he shall branch out from his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD’” (Zechariah 3: 8, 6:12).
Isaiah says the branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious (Isaiah 4:2). Later, he says it will come out of the root of the stem or stump of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1). Then Jeremiah says Jesus will be a righteous branch (Jeremiah 23:5).
When all this is put together with what is written in Zechariah, the Branch denotes humility, life, fruitfulness, majesty, and prosperity. This was true of Jesus in His first coming to earth, but it will certainly be manifested when He returns to set up His kingdom.
As Zechariah anticipates that day, he says, “In that day, declares the Lord of hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor to come under his vine and under his fig tree” (Zechariah 3:10). What a beautiful picture of peace, tranquility, and trust. Jesus, the Branch, will make it happen.
In the second prophetic statement, Zechariah envisions a fountain. “On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness” (Zechariah 13:1).
Jesus is the fountain of life. He is eternal life, the endless source of forgiveness, grace, and love. The woman from Samaria drank from that fountain (John 4). We, who know Jesus, receive from its abundant supply.
In a coming day, when Christ returns, the fountain will be opened for a people who have long rejected their Messiah and nailed Him to a tree.
This specifically applies to the new covenant as Paul relates in Romans: “And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, ‘The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob’; ‘and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins’” (Romans 11:26-27). What abounding grace!
The last prophetic declaration Zechariah makes that we will consider is to announce the King. “And the LORD will be king over all the earth. On that day the LORD will be one and his name one” (Zechariah 14:9).
He was, is, and always will be the king, but in this day of delightful, eternal glory, with sin forever removed, He will reign in peace, righteousness, and justice. Chapter 8 describes the prosperity and wonder of Zion where the King will reign. In Chapter 9 it says, “He shall speak peace to the nations; his rule shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth” (Zechariah 9:10).
Zechariah reminds us that this coming glorious king had already come in humility and meekness. “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” This is the time when Jesus entered Jerusalem on His way to the cross.
Rejoice sister and brother! The day is soon upon us when the King will return and we, His chosen Bride, will reign with Him!
In closing, there is an interesting detail in Matthew made by Jesus that is worth noting. Jesus made reference to Zechariah when He was pronouncing woes on the scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy. He laid the charge of murder on their hands saying, “…the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar” (Matthew 23:35).
Zechariah was murdered by his own people. He was one of God’s faithful martyrs. Like the One he spoke about, he gave his life standing for the truth!
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel