[From December 3, 2015]
"And I will pour out a spirit of compassion and supplication on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that when they look on the one whom they've pierced, they shall mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn."
The book of Zechariah is an Old Testament book dealing with (among other topics) the inability of the leaders of Israel to properly care for their people. They've done a lousy job, says God. A terrible job! A reprehensible job! So God is going to allow panic, disunity, and destruction. In short, their world is about to be turned upside down.
But that's not the end of the story. God will also strengthen the weak! God will embolden and empower the people to return to Him with their whole heart. They'll become an inspiration to others as they pass through the waters of distress & chaos.
And then we get to a particular verse. 12:10 notes the people will have compassion as they mourn "the one whom they've pierced." This was written a few hundred years (or more) before Jesus. And yet, he would be the one "pierced." Zechariah tells us the people will mourn for him like they weep over a firstborn child. That hearkens back to the Passover story... where God brought the Hebrews out of slavery and captivity after the 10th plague: the death of the firstborn children. As they heard the wailing of the Egyptian parents, the Israelites moved on to safety. To remember this properly, every year they were to observe Passover, sacrificing a lamb and sharing in a meal together.
Now Jesus became that sacrificial lamb. Jesus was "the firstborn son" who was pierced - for our sins & transgressions. And here, hundreds of years before Jesus, God is preparing the hearts of his people. What about us? Do our hearts break for Jesus, as if he were our own child, pierced unto death? Are we passionate about his life, death, and resurrection? Not just informed. Not just interested. Not just aware. But passionate? Truly passionate?!?
PRAYER: You are my LIFE... my breath... my HOPE... my SALVATION, Oh God. Sometimes I take that too lightly... or for granted. Renew my passion & commitment to you. Empower me to share that excitement with others! AMEN.