ADVENT IN THE OLD TESTAMENT—DAY 26
Zechariah 9:9-11 Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!
Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation,
Gentle, and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the war-horses from Jerusalem,
and the battle bow will be broken.
He will proclaim peace to the nations.
His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.
As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you,
I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit.
The prophet Zechariah lived at a moment when it seemed that the promises of restoration were all coming true. Many Jews were returning from Babylon to rebuild Jerusalem. A governor by the name of Zerubbabel, who was descended from King David, looked like he might restore the monarchy. The prophet Haggai was motivating the people to begin the rebuilding of the Temple. The high priest’s name was Joshua, a good man who was at the center of the recovery of a life in obedience to the law (This is the second significant Joshua in scripture, Jesus himself is the third. “Jesus” is the Greek form of the name “Joshua”). With restoration of kings, priests, prophets, temple, and city, Zechariah might have preached that God’s Kingdom had already arrived. Instead, he looks forward to another. It is amazing how many aspects of the life of Jesus this prophet seems to predict, the triumphal entry, the betrayal by Judas, the scattering of the disciples after Jesus’s arrest, the cessation of prophecy under the Old Testament model, and the second destruction of Jerusalem. But the best part of Zechariah’s prophecy is that which we still look forward to, that the reign of Jesus will extend from sea to sea, and He will proclaim peace to the nations.
Prayer—Dear God, along with Zechariah, I pray for the fulfilment of his prophecy. May Jesus reign wherever the sun shines. May His peace become the world’s political reality. May the machines of war rust away. May all of us be freed from the waterless pit. Come, Lord Jesus, come. Amen.