In time of adversaries like this, the life of Jesus Christ is a perfect example of grace to follow and show in our lives.
God Promises His People
“I will pour out … a spirit of grace and supplication” (Zechariah 12:10). The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of grace and supplication. He pours into your heart God’s grace (his undeserved love for you) and helps you to pray (Romans 8:26–27). The Holy Spirit is at work in your thoughts – prompting you to pray for people and situations, even those people that despise you.
Jesus Christ gives us the preeminent example of grace in action. He increased in grace or favor with God and others (Luke 2:52), being a recipient of His Father’s blessings as well as the One the Father used to bless the whole world.
In this, Jesus set an example for His disciples to follow. All of us are to be both recipients of God’s grace and instruments of God’s grace to others, developing the same mindset He had. The apostle Peter instructed Christians, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10, NIV).
How is All This Possible?
Zechariah continues, “They will look on me, the one they have pierced” (Zechariah 12:10). Who is the one they have pierced? The apostle John gives us the answer: ‘One of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear … These things happened so that the Scripture would be fulfilled … “They will look on the one they have pierced” ’ (John 19:34–37).
John says, we have grace being extended to us personally by the Word—done in a most astonishing way. The Word, who was with God and was God (John 1:1), the One through whom God had created all things including humankind (verse 3), came down from heaven to become a flesh-and-blood human being (John 1:14). Now He was a man Himself showing, giving out and pouring forth God’s grace to other people in a way that was undeniably real to them.
What is the Result?
“On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity” (Zechariah 13:1). This is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Through his death, through him being pierced for you, he makes it possible for you to be cleansed from sin and impurity.
Jesus seemed to have this passage in mind when he was thinking about his own death. He quoted Zechariah 13:7 when predicting that, upon his arrest, the disciples would desert him: “Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered” (v.7; Matthew 26:31,56).
The words of Zechariah 14 can be seen as looking forward to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and also to his return:
- Jesus is the one whose feet would stand on the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4; Matthew 21:1).
- He is the one to go out and fight against the nations in the day of battle (Zechariah 14:3; Revelation 20).
- He is the one out of whom living water would flow (Zechariah 14:8; John 7:37–39).
- He is the one who will be worshipped as king (Zechariah 14:16; Revelation 5).
- He is the one who makes it possible for ‘HOLY TO THE LORD’ to be inscribed on everything (Zechariah 14:20).
- He abolishes the distinction between the secular and the sacred. The cooking pots were the most common household vessels, yet they too had the words ‘HOLY TO THE LORD’ inscribed on them.
Although the Lord has treated the good and evil alike, this does not mean evil and good are the same. Jesus actually used different terms to clarify their difference. We must hate evil and love good. But though we hate evil, we still can be kind to evil people as God is.
“I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds” (Jeremiah 17:10).
Today’s Prayer: Thank you Lord for your love and mercies you have given us throughout the month of July and will continue to usher unto us throughout the month of August. We pray that the Holy Spirit will lead us to do God’s will even as we serve him with our lives to the glory and honor of his name.
Lord, thank you that you promise to pour out a spirit of grace and supplication on us. Thank you that you opened a fountain to cleanse us from sin and impurity. Cleanse us today and fill us again with your Holy Spirit. Help each one of us to love with all the enthusiasm of our first love for Jesus and to bring honor to His name.
Today’s Devotion if from Zechariah 12-14 New International Version (NIV)
Jerusalem’s Enemies to Be Destroyed
12 A prophecy: The word of the Lord concerning Israel.
The Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the human spirit within a person, declares: 2 “I am going to make Jerusalem a cupthat sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. 3 On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. 4 On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness,” declares the Lord. “I will keep a watchful eye over Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations. 5 Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘The people of Jerusalem are strong,because the Lord Almighty is their God.’
6 “On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume all the surrounding peoples right and left, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place.
7 “The Lord will save the dwellings of Judah first, so that the honor of the house of David and of Jerusalem’s inhabitants may not be greater than that of Judah. 8 On that day the Lord will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord going beforethem. 9 On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem.
Mourning for the One They Pierced
10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit[a] of grace and supplication. They will look on[b] me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. 11 On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be as great as the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of the house of David and their wives, the clan of the house of Nathan and their wives, 13 the clan of the house of Levi and their wives, the clan of Shimei and their wives, 14 and all the rest of the clans and their wives.
Cleansing From Sin
13 “On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.
2 “On that day, I will banish the names of the idols from the land, and they will be remembered no more,” declares the Lord Almighty. “I will remove both the prophets and the spirit of impurity from the land. 3 And if anyone still prophesies, their father and mother, to whom they were born, will say to them, ‘You must die, because you have told lies in the Lord’s name.’ Then their own parents will stab the one who prophesies.
4 “On that day every prophet will be ashamed of their prophetic vision. They will not put on a prophet’s garment of hair in order to deceive. 5 Each will say, ‘I am not a prophet. I am a farmer; the land has been my livelihood since my youth.[c]’ 6 If someone asks, ‘What are these wounds on your body[d]?’ they will answer, ‘The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.’
The Shepherd Struck, the Sheep Scattered
7 “Awake, sword, against my shepherd,
against the man who is close to me!”
declares the Lord Almighty.
“Strike the shepherd,
and the sheep will be scattered,
and I will turn my hand against the little ones.
8 In the whole land,” declares the Lord,
“two-thirds will be struck down and perish;
yet one-third will be left in it.
9 This third I will put into the fire;
I will refine them like silver
and test them like gold.
They will call on my name
and I will answer them;
I will say, ‘They are my people,’
and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’”
The Lord Comes and Reigns
14 A day of the Lord is coming, Jerusalem, when your possessions will be plundered and divided up within your very walls.
2 I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. 3 Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle. 4 On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. 5 You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake[e] in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.
6 On that day there will be neither sunlight nor cold, frosty darkness. 7 It will be a unique day—a day known only to the Lord—with no distinction between day and night. When evening comes, there will be light.
8 On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter.
9 The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.
10 The whole land, from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, will become like the Arabah. But Jerusalem will be raised up high from the Benjamin Gate to the site of the First Gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the royal winepresses, and will remain in its place. 11 It will be inhabited; never again will it be destroyed. Jerusalem will be secure.
12 This is the plague with which the Lord will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. 13 On that day people will be stricken by the Lord with great panic. They will seize each other by the hand and attack one another. 14 Judah too will fight at Jerusalem. The wealth of all the surrounding nations will be collected—great quantities of gold and silver and clothing. 15 A similar plague will strike the horses and mules, the camels and donkeys, and all the animals in those camps.
16 Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles. 17 If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, they will have no rain. 18 If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain. The Lord[f] will bring on them the plague he inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles. 19 This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles.
20 On that day holy to the Lord will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, and the cooking pots in the Lord’s house will be like the sacred bowls in front of the altar. 21 Every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the Lord Almighty, and all who come to sacrifice will take some of the pots and cook in them. And on that day there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord Almighty.