“I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.” (Zechariah 12:10 NASB)
Zechariah saw the final climax of Human history, in the worldwide siege set up around Jerusalem, Israel and Judea. The nations are furious, having drunk “a cup of trembling”from the LORD, and are set on destroying Israel completely.
The LORD remembers Israel, He has never varied from his intent to save her and to restore Israel to her place as a nation of Kings and Priests unto God. But first she must repent of her sin, the one great national sin, which Zechariah, along with Moses, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Hosea prophesied.
I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.(Hosea 5:15)
Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger for ever. Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the Lord.(Jeremiah 3:12-13)
The prerequisite for the end of the time of the Gentiles and the commencement of the restoration and salvation of Israel, is the confession by Israel of the national sin.
What will it take for Israel to confess her sin? Nothing less than “the time of Jacob’s trouble”, tremendous pressure,and “great tribulation, such as never seen before, nor will the world ever see again…”.
All of the pressures being brought to bear on Israel, will lead to that end. Her rejection by the world community, the unrelenting hatred of the Arab/Muslim world, the fact that the Arabs have been put in a position of power by the placement of easy ,pure crude oil,the rise of antisemitism in Europe and elsewhere, all are calculated by Satan to destroy Israel, but they are being used by God to get her to the point of desperation in which she will call out to God for salvation.
Zechariah says that in the midst of this final end times seige, Israel will be given the spirit of grace and supplication, an anointing of Godly sorrow for sin and unbelief. They will have to experience a real day of Atonement, a deep soul-searching, and at that point,
“They will look upon Me whom they have pierced…”
“They will look upon ME…? ” When did you pierce the LORD, Israel?
“They will mourn for Him as for an only son and they shall weep over him bitterly as one that weepeth for an only Son…”
Israel, in her time of deepest distress, suddenly recognizes someone that she had long rejected and dismissed, but they see him in a totally new light!
This theme of astonished recognition runs throughout all of the scriptures;
For example look at the story in Genesis, when Joseph, as Pharoah’s regent, revealed himself to his brothers. The Sons of Israel had thought that he, Joseph, was an Egyptian prince. When they realized that this was the brother they had betrayed years earlier, selling him to the gentiles as a slave, they broke down into stunned, guilty and awestruck tears.Joseph, however proved to be gracious to his brothers .
There is another one of these climaxes in the Gospel of John, which occurred after the resurrection, when the apostle Thomas wouldn’t believe in the resurrection because he hadn’t seen Jesus.
“Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”(John 20:25 NASB)
But there followed another occasion where Jesus did appear to the disciples and Thomas happened to be there with them,
” Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” “(John 20 NASB)
The force of the realization that Jesus was indeed alive, and the shame of his unbelief, brought Thomas to his knees in worshipful adoration,”My Lord and My God!”. What would make a strictly monotheistic Jew worship a companion and friend as God? Nothing less than a resurrection from the dead!
Certainly a similar turning point in the book of Acts, came when the fiercest antagonist of the Christian church, Saul of Tarsus, encountered the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus. He, Saul, a zealot of zealots had tried to destroy the nascent church, He had tortured and forced some believers to renounce Jesus. Saul,later said of himself in Acts 26:9 –
“So then, I thought to myself that I had to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.”
But when the risen Jesus confronted Saul, on the road to Damascus, Saul could openly bow and say “Who are you Lord? What would you want me to do for you?”
In the same way does the prodigal nation encounter the Shepherd of old, the one whom they had earlier repudiated and dismissed as a blasphemer and false teacher.
On that day the nation will weep, as do all of who find out that the God whom they had previously rejected, had actually once humbled himself, suffered and died to save us from our sins.
The weeping will be both national and corporate, as well as individual. The mourning will involve every person, “In that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem…every family by itself and their wives by themselves”, at the recognition of the enormity of the national sin against the heavenly antitype of Joseph.
That this is the One Isaiah and David predicted ,despised and rejected, and pierced for our sins,will be manifest to all of the nation. This risen Christ, who arrested the Pharisee , will arrest the Pharisee nation, in their national crisis.
Doesn’t Isaiah predict the national confession which shall be uttered that day, when he prophesied that Israel would one day tearfully admit, “We thought He was smitten and afflicted of God, but He was wounded for outré transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities and the chastisement which brought us peace came upon him, and with His stripes we are healed”(Isaiah 53)
And a fountain shall open to them for cleansing of sin, which shall also quench the spirit of false prophesy and usher in the long anticipated Day of the Lord. It is the same fountain the church has testified to in song-
There is a fountain filled with blood,drawn from Emmanuel’s veins and sinners plunged beneath the flood, lose all their guilty stains.
This is the climax of world history, the salvation of Israel, the vindication of the Messiah, the fulfillment of all promises. The resurrection of the world from the dead, look for it my friends, pray for it ! Prepare for it!
You can take what happened to Joseph and his brothers, to Thomas, and to Saul of Tarsus and to me and millions of others down through time, as the foretaste of the climax of human history, the recognition by Israel of her long despised and rejected Messiah ,Jesus.
What an amazing and wonderful day that will be. My heart is overwhelmed with joy at the promise that one day their eyes will be opened and the fountain filled with blood drawn from the veins of Jesus will flow over their sins. Their time of rest and redemption will have finally come to the house of Israel….Thank you again for wonderful words from the Old Testament that point to Jesus…and cause my heart to burn within me.
Thank you for all the wonderful reminders of ‘awakened astonishment’. The Day is drawing near!
Amen! Thank you for this message, Pastor Randles. It beautifully summarizes the “climax of history.”
“You can take what happened to Joseph and his brothers, to Thomas, and to Saul of Tarsus and to me and millions of others down through time, as the foretaste of the climax of human history, the recognition by Israel of her long despised and rejected Messiah, Jesus.”
Art Katz use to say that “Israel is man writ large.” Bryan Purtle says, “Israel reveals the holiness of God only, and the unrighteousness of all mankind.”
Joseph came to his brothers with his dreams, and they rejected his message. He was also rejected by his “brethren”, as Israel rejected their Messiah, and they betrayed him and sold him for silver, as Yeshua was betrayed for silver. Later, Joseph hid his face from them until they openly acknowledged their sin, when they were at the end of their power, and then he revealed himself to them. Such an emotional scene here, with weeping (I weep when I read that story), as there will be when all Israel looks on Him whom they have pierced and they are saved in a day. There are 15 chapters in Genesis devoted to Joseph. He is such a picture of Christ in so many ways.