Thru the Bible – Day 215

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Day 215 – Thru the Bible

Today we begin Zechariah. Here’s the overview video.

Video – Read Scripture: Zechariah

How does this video help you understand the purpose of Zechariah?

 

Zechariah 1Zechariah describes two generations who respond to God’s word in different ways. The “fathers” prior to the exile heard God’s word repeatedly but did not respond and were therefore buried by God’s righteous judgement. The present generation, however, responded positively to Zechariah’s call to turn to God and would therefore see God turn to them. If that was true for God’s word delivered through the prophets, how much more sinful is it for us to refuse to hear the climactic Word of God, now delivered to us in the gospel and revealed as the very Son of God (Hebrews 1:1–2)?

Zechariah’s hearers found life after exile an intense struggle. They wondered whether God noticed them and cared. The horsemen depict God’s “special operations forces,” concealed in the dark among the bushes but going throughout the world providing accurate intelligence. The 70 years of exile were nearly complete, and it was the Lord’s purpose to bless Jerusalem again.

We too struggle when things are not as we wish. Yet God sees and cares about us, and He will answer our cries for help as He knows is best for the sake of Jesus, His Chosen One. Pain does not indicate the absence of God. Pain invites us into communion with Jesus and greater dependence on Him, as we yearn for His coming while sharing in His sufferings (Philippians 3:10).

This vision at the end of this chapter demonstrates God’s care for His people negatively. God will raise up nations to punish those who scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem. Those who assault God’s people should tremble. The threats of the Abrahamic covenant are not empty (Genesis 12:1–3). Even today, the Lord watches over His people and judges those who assault them. One day all will be put right. We need not seek vengeance now. God will settle all accounts in His own good time (Romans 12:19).

How do you remember that pain does indicate the absence of God, but is an invitation to lean into Jesus even more?

 

Zechariah 2God’s plan is not just to destroy His enemies but to restore the world by dwelling in the midst of a holy people. The father of John the Baptist, also named Zechariah, speaks of the Christ who is coming both to destroy the wicked and to raise a horn of salvation for His people (Luke 1:69–75). God’s people are called to join in the song of praise on Mount Zion, while His enemies will be silenced before Him. And this holy people will be drawn from many nations—a “ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9).

How does this promised future give you hope for today?

 

Zechariah 3Joshua the high priest is the defendant in court, with the Accuser eager to press charges. The priest’s clothing is defiled, representing the sin that makes him unfit to stand before God and unable to remove his people’s iniquity through the sacrifices. Yet God rules Satan’s case out of order, and throws it out of court before he can present it. No charge can be brought, because Joshua has been chosen and rescued by God. Indeed, God Himself clothes Joshua in clean garments.

We too are defiled and unfit to appear before God. By His grace alone, God justifies us (declares us perfectly righteous), reclothing us in borrowed robes of righteousness that enable us to approach the throne of grace (Isaiah 61:10; Philippians 3:9; Hebrews 4:16). Since we are justified through the merit of Jesus alone, there can be no condemnation for us (Romans 8:1). Satan’s charges against us are inadmissible. Ephesians 4:24 picks up the imagery of reclothing to show that God also sanctifies sinners, turning them into saints who are fit to serve.

Fulfillment of Zechariah’s vision awaits the coming of the Messiah, “the Branch.” Everything Joshua received would be enabled by Jesus making the opposite move: In place of Joshua’s clean turban, Jesus was crowned with thorns. Instead of Joshua’s festival garments, Jesus was stripped of His clothing, which was divided among His crucifiers. Joshua was found not guilty of defilement that was really his; Jesus was found guilty and crucified for the sin of others (2 Corinthians 5:21). This is the wonder of the gospel. The cross is the means by which God “will remove the iniquity of this land in a single day.”

How does seeing Jesus in this text lead you to worship Him?

 

Zechariah 4In a day of small things there can be great temptation either to trust in human power and skill or to despair of ever seeing anything significant happen. God promised that Zerubbabel would complete the temple that he started and that God’s omniscient blessing would be restored to their midst. This would not happen through human might or power, but by the unstoppable work of God’s Spirit. The same principles hold true for us. When we face a day of small things, we may trust that the Spirit is still capable of doing His work. Indeed, the day of small things is often the very moment when the Spirit is most active.

Jesus established the foundation of the new temple through His death and resurrection. He is building His church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18). As fellow-builders with Jesus, we are called to build faithfully on that foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11–13). Our work will be tested by fire, but what is true will remain, for God does the work, not us. He has begun a good work in our hearts and will bring it to completion in the day of great things when Jesus returns (Philippians 1:6).

Knowing it is Jesus’ faithfulness, not ours, how does His love for you provide you with the power to move forward each day?

 

What other thoughts or questions does today’s video and reading bring up?

 

Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.

Videos produced by www.TheGospelProject.com.

All links you need to be a part of this are here – Thru the Bible in 2018.

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