“And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced”. John 19:37. This verse is found in Zechariah 12:10, a prophecy made long time ago before the Lord Jesus Christ came to earth as a Man and went to the cross. This interesting book is filled with what is called Messianic prophecies – words about the Lord Jesus Christ coming to earth to suffer and also draws on His second coming in His appearing to reign over the world.
Zechariah lived at the same time of Haggai and prophesied with him when the remnant of the Jews had returned from Babylon to Jerusalem (Ezra 5). He was one who encouraged the Jews, yet some time later, he was slain by the altar that the Jews had rebuilt (cp the Lord Jesus’ words in Matthew 23:34-35).
The name Zechariah means, “God remembers.” While the book of Haggai focuses on rebuilding the temple, Zechariah focuses on the city of Jerusalem, showing that this is the city that will be the centre of events in the last days. The temple in Haggai is a type of the church, God’s House. However, in this book, we have the city, the great centre of all the earth. We have before us very clear Messianic prophecies in this marvellous book. Christ is presented in His two comings as King and Servant, Man and God, which we find in the gospel accounts. His second coming will be as Judge and King (chapter 14). First, Christ is seen as the Angel of the Lord in chapter 3:1-2 where Zechariah had his vision about Joshua the high priest. Then He is seen as the Righteous Branch in chapter 3:8 and 6:12-13.
Later in the book, He is seen as the Stone with seven eyes in chapter 3:9, the King-Priest in chapter 6:13, the humble King in chapter 9:9-10 and the Cornerstone in chapter 10:4. Then Christ is the Good Shepherd who is rejected for thirty pieces of silver in chapter 11:4-13 (this was fulfilled in Matthew 26:15; 27:9), the pierced One in chapter 12:10, the Cleansing Fountain in chapter 13:1, and the smitten Shepherd who is abandoned in chapter 13:7. Finally, He is the Judge and righteous King who will rule on the earth in chapter 14.
The above are several examples of types and shadows of Christ found in a book that is widely ignored. If we only focus on the New Testament, we will not know where these quotations and prophecies about Christ are coming from, especially in this section of the prophetical books from Hosea to the end.
The following table provides a brief guide of quotes in the gospels that come from Zechariah.
|Zechariah 9:9||Matthew 21:4; John 12:15|
|Zechariah 11:13||Matthew 27:9-10|
|Zechariah 12:10||John 19:37|
|Zechariah 13:7||Matthew 26:31; Mark 14:27|
There is much to write about Zechariah – the visions, the prophecies, all these point to Christ in one way or another and is a very rich study tool to take up.
I will now provide a simple division of this book to make it simple to start reading and studying this wonderful prophetical book. Zechariah can be divided in three sections:
- Chapters 1-6. The fist few verses of chapter 1 provides an introduction and call for repentance. The remaining section presents 8 night visions that Zechariah had from God. These visions all mean something wonderful, but there is no space to explain all of this.
- Chapters 7 and 8 form the second section about questions regarding the fasting days and certain types of fasts. These were answered by the Lord and we have this recorded for us.
- Chapters 9-14 form the final division. This is the most majestic part in Zechariah, filled with prophecies about the two comings of the Lord Jesus Christ. There are two utterances in this section, both beginning with the phrase “the burden of the Word of the Lord”. The first section presents the first coming and rejection of Christ, and the second section describes the second coming of Christ in judgement and how His earthly people, the Jews, will finally accept their Messiah. They will see Him and recognise Him that He is the one they crucified at His first coming. Blessing for the nation of Israel is also described in this section.
This outline is adapted from Arend Remmers and Arno Gaebelein’s notes and outlines of the book of Zechariah. The full outline and notes from the above authors are available on www.biblecentre.org, a website highly recommended and full of rich resources.