We are now in the season of Advent in the Christian calendar, and the words in the title above, from Zech 9.9, sum up the meaning of the season. Advent – the word means, “to come” or “to arrive” – is popularly thought of as the countdown to Christmas, when we celebrate Jesus Christ’s coming to us, being born to the virgin Mary by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. But in Advent we also remember that Jesus promised to return – his second coming – and at that coming he will take his throne in Jerusalem as king over the whole earth.
Zechariah ch 11 to 14 contains prophecies of both Christ’s first and second coming. His focus is on God’s historic people Israel and their physical and spiritual restoration, of which he had received a taste in the return to Jerusalem of some of the Jewish exiles from Babylon and their rebuilding the temple. He foresaw that the people would reject the shepherd that God would send to them, that is Jesus Christ at his first coming. But as this age closes and Jerusalem is attacked by all the nations, the people would realise whom they had pierced – Jesus in his crucifixion – and would come to real repentance, faith in their Messiah, and spiritual cleansing. Chapter 14 closes with the Lord’s coming to Jerusalem, to deliver the city and its people and to reign as king over the whole earth – a detailed prophecy of Christ’s second coming.
But Zechariah’s message is not for the Jews, God’s historic people, only. It is for all of us, whatever our racial origin. Will each of us reject the Shepherd – guide, leader and Saviour – he has sent us, whose coming we celebrate this Christmas? If so, awful consequences await us as they did them. Or will we welcome him as our Lord and Saviour as his second coming draws near and be among those who will rejoice when he returns to earth to reign as King?
To explore Zechariah’s message in more detail, click the link below.
(A member of Findern Methodist Church, Derby)