Zechariah 11-14

Signs Part 2

In Matthew 21 we read that Jesus came into Jerusalem riding on a donkey fulfilling the sign given in Zechariah 9. In verses 12&13 He entered the Temple and drove out those who had made it into a market place. The next day He was then confronted by the chief priests and the elders who wanted to know who gave Him the authority to clear the Temple. Jesus challenged them with a question which they refused to answer and so He told them two parables. In the last one, the Parable of the Vineyard, the owner of the vineyard rented it out to workers who wanted the vineyard for themselves. When it was time to collect the rent, the servants the owner sent were mistreated and sent away empty handed. The owner sent his son but the renters killed him in order to get the vineyard for themselves. By the time the parable was finished the religious rulers were enraged at this injustice. Now that Jesus had their attention He made it clear that the vineyard was the Lord’s (Isaiah 5) and they were the renters. With that understanding Jesus said, “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and be given to a nation producing the fruit of it.” Matthew 21:43 NASB

The bottom line is that God was going to remove His hand of protection from the nation of Israel and let them go their own way, suffering the consequences (doomed for slaughter) of their actions to the point where they repent and return to the Lord. This is the focus of our study in these chapters of Zechariah today.

In Chapter 11, like Hosea, Zechariah acts out the prophesy. He takes on the role of Jesus who was rejected by the nation in their rebellion. In God’s kingdom a leader is a shepherd. He is to feed and care for the flock. In the world the leaders seek power over those under their authority for their own benefit by fleecing the flock. The religious rulers were fleecing the flock and thus three shepherds were removed in one day. I believe the rulers pronounced the verdict on themselves in Matthew 21:41. The sentence will be carried out in 70 AD when Rome destroys Jerusalem, the Temple, and the people are scattered throughout the world. The three shepherds would be the Priesthood, Pharisees, and Sadducees.  With the destruction of the Temple the old covenant (Favor) will be broken and all of the genealogies (Union) will be destroyed.  No one will be able to identify which tribe they were from. Instead, to be a member of the kingdom, one must be born again under the New Covenant.

The good Shepherd (John 10) is sold for the price of a slave that was gored by an ox. This demonstrates how little they valued the Son of God. Instead they will listen to, and followed a foolish shepherd. He is the antichrist. Chapter 11:12-17

Throughout this Chronological Bible Study Deuteronomy 4 has been emphasized as Israel’s witness to the world in blessing and in curse. Even though the nation had been destroyed and scattered throughout the world, if we will observe closely, we will see God’s hand of protection on the nation. In 1948 the nation was reformed and is in the news constantly. Even though the nation is drinking the cup of God’s wrath God is protecting her from her enemies which surround her. (For more about the cup of God’s wrath see the study, The Cup, in Numbers 5)

As the world goes through the great tribulation Israel’s survival will continue to be a witness to the world. This is the message of Chapter 12

The cup of God’s wrath will have its effect on the nation of Israel by bringing them to the place of repentance and cleansing from sins like idolatry and falsehood. We have a picture of this in Chapter 3 and in Ephesians 5:22-33

This brings us to chapter 13.

When they pierced Jesus while on the cross, blood and water flowed from His side. Those who put their faith in Him are washed by the water of the Word and their sins are covered by His blood. Jesus is the mediator of the New Covenant. Hebrews 10

With the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD and the nation scattered throughout the world, the Old Covenant was taken away when Jesus established the New Covenant with His sacrifice on the cross. When we receive His sacrifice for our sin by believing in Him the old is gone and the new life has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

During the Great Tribulation much life will be lost because they refuse to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. Only one third will be saved. This is one of the places where the free will of man and the sovereignty of God coexist. The wrath of God is not a punishment as much as it is a discipline meant to lead people to a decision to receive the free gift of salvation in Christ Jesus. Man cannot overrule God nor will God overrule man. But God has provided a way by which man can be saved. God does not ask man to do what he is unable to do in order to be saved. He asks man to do what he can do to be saved which is to believe on the Lord Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. The decision to do so is up to man. We are all just one decision away from receiving salvation.

The Great Tribulation will be a refining process for the remnant that is saved. It is the refining process that removes the dross so what remains is pure and precious. The nations invading Judah and Jerusalem in Chapter 14, is a refining process that is meant to strengthen the nation’s trust in the Lord and to obey His Word. God’s desire is to bring them to the place of blessing but they, and we, must be willing to trust and obey.

The Church today also goes through a refining process called trials. Paul gives us a description of a refining process in 1 Corinthians 3:10-23. We must learn to deny self, take up our cross on a continual basis, and follow our Lord if we are to get to the place of blessing.

There is much more to learn from the Bible  so I encourage you to spend some more time in prayer and study of it.

May God bless and guide.

Pastor Dave