Zechariah 12:1-14Theme: End times.This week’s lessons remind us that today is the day of salvation.
LessonPerception of these truths will come about by the power of God’s Holy Spirit, for it is only as God pours out “a spirit of grace and supplication” that the repentance and turning depicted here occur.
It is only by the power of God’s Holy Spirit that they occur anywhere or to anyone. But where the Holy Spirit is present, this is what happens: first, a mourning for personal and national sin, and, second, a turning from that sin to look in faith to the Lord Jesus.
Baron writes wisely,
The ultimate literal fulfillment of [these verses] lies yet in the future, in the day for which we watch and pray, when our Lord Jesus shall, according to his promise, appear in his glory and the Jewish nation shall literally look upon him whom they have pierced and be, as it were, “born in a day.” But there is a forestallment, so to say, in the fulfillment of this prophecy in the case of the individual even now. “And thus,” to quote the words of an honored Hebrew Christian brother and true master of Israel, “every Jew who, by the grace of God since the Day of Pentecost, has been brought to Christ fulfills this prediction; he looks unto him whom he has pierced. It is the look of repentance; for only a sight of the crucified Jesus shows us our sin and grief. It is the look of supplication and faith; for he only can bless and save, and he saves all who believe. It is the look of peace and adoration; for his love is infinite, unchanging and omnipotent. It is the look which never ceases and never ends; for now the veil is taken away, and we with open face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory” (Adolph Saphir).
And as it is with the individual Jew, so it is with the individual Gentile. Yes, thanks be to God, as we all, whether Jew or Gentile, had our share in the guilt of Christ’s crucifixion because of our common sin, so also may all have their share in the salvation which comes through a penitent look of faith on him whom we have pierced.1
May God give many that look of saving faith before the day of announced and final judgment dawns.
1 Op. cit., pp. 454-55. Study Questions
What happens first when the Holy Spirit is present to bring about repentance? What is the second thing that happens?
What reveals our sin to us?
PrayerOur Father, bless these words to us. Grant that we might grow in our understanding of them, but above all that we might grow in our faith in him whom you have sent to be our Savior. Help us to see our guilt in his crucifixion for it’s our sin that took Jesus to the cross. Help us to see the wickedness of our heart, wickedness which if we had been in the same circumstance would have led us to shout out with the mob, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” But help us, we pray, as well to see your grace, for though you knew how Jesus would be treated, nevertheless you sent him, your only begotten Son, to be our Savior. And help us, we pray, to be moved by that love and drawn to him who is the Savior. Amen.