Zechariah 10-14: Hopes and Fears
December 24, 2020
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
I wade into these chapters with trepidation, for they are on the one hand filled with New Testament promises, resonant in our ears—“Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered (13:7)”; “thirty pieces of silver (11:12-13)”; and echoes of other words, truth such as they will call upon the name of the Lord (1 Corinthians 1:2). In large degree, the picture is of God bringing restoration for his people, unity, the removal of idols, and at the same time there being a great and terrible day yet further ahead when there will be judgment for those who do not turn to God.
But throughout it all, there are images that are hard to penetrate, and picture language belies literalistic interpretation, or at least apparently so. Like much of so-called apocalyptic language, the point is somewhat in the effect—a bright and brilliant vista of God on the move, of life and vitality and power, and truth and grace. There are texts that reach stunning fulfillment: “They look on me, on him whom they have pierced” (12:10; John 19:37), so that:
“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.” (13:1)
It rattles our brain, blows our mind, disturbs our heart, and leads us to the Shepherd who was pierced for our transgressions and struck for us, and to rejoice that a fountain was opened of grace and the power of the Spirit to clean from all sin and uncleanness those who believe. So, on this Christmas Eve, these passages may not be the traditional Christmas Eve readings, but they do show us that the Christ we worship was long prophesied, and “the hopes and fears of all the years are met in him tonight.” (O Little Town of Bethlehem)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
To receive God Centered Life devotionals directly in your inbox, as well as other resources, enter your email address in the form at the bottom of this page and click "subscribe."