14. On that Day
On that day, when Christ returns as King, He will establish His Kingdom, and His temple will fill the whole earth.
Zechariah 12-14 (selected passages)
“1 The oracle of the word of the Lord concerning Israel: Thus declares the Lord, who stretched out the heavens and founded the earth and formed the spirit of man within him: 2 “Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of staggering to all the surrounding peoples. The siege of Jerusalem will also be against Judah. 3 On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it. – Zechariah 12:1-3
“10 And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn. 11 On that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning for Hadad-rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 The land shall mourn, each family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; 13 the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself, and their wives by themselves; 14 and all the families that are left, each by itself, and their wives by themselves.”– Zechariah 12:10-14
“On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.” – Zechariah 13:1
”And on that day there shall be inscribed on the bells of the horses, “Holy to the Lord.” And the pots in the house of the Lord shall be as the bowls before the altar. 21 And every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holy to the Lord of hosts, so that all who sacrifice may come and take of them and boil the meat of the sacrifice in them. And there shall no longer be a trader in the house of the Lord of hosts on that day.”– Zechariah 14:20-21
I. On that Day: A Faithful People
II. On that Day: A Grieving People
III. On that Day: A Holy People
III. On that Day: A Holy Temple
Quick Thought: Horse and Buggy’s and a True and Better Temple
In our study of Zechariah, which chronicles the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem upon return from exile, we have learned along the way that the temple pointed beyond itself to a greater temple that would be completed “on the day of the Lord” when the temple will fill the whole earth. But, if that prophecy feels far off for you, imagine how far off it felt in Zechariah’s day. To explain some of the ‘far-off views’ of the temple in the Old Testament hermeneutically, like in Zechariah, theologian Gregory Beale offers a helpful illustration (Gregory K. Beale, The Temple and the Church’s Mission (IVP, 2004)
“A father promises in 1900 to give his son a horse and buggy when he grows up and marries. During the early years of expectation, the son reflects on the particular size of the buggy he would like, its contours and style, its beautiful red-leather seat and the size and breed of horse that would draw the buggy. Perhaps the father even had knowledge from early experimentation elsewhere that the invention of the ‘horseless carriage’ was on the horizon, but coined the promise to his son in familiar terms that the son could readily understand. Years later, say in 1930, when the son marries, the father gives the couple an automobile, which has since been invented and mass-produced.
Is the son disappointed in receiving a car instead of a horse and buggy? Is this a figurative or a ‘literal’ fulfilment of the promise? In fact, the essence of the father’s word has remained the same: a convenient mode of transportation. What has changed is the precise form of transportation promised. The progress of technology has escalated the fulfilment of the pledge in a way that earlier could not have been conceived of fully by the son when he was young. Nevertheless, in the light of the later development of technology, the promise is viewed as ‘literally’ and faithfully carried out in a greater way than could have earlier been apprehended.”
Although the return of the Lord and the temple of the Lord covering the whole earth might still feel far off to us today as God’s people, however, we must realize the extraordinary privilege of living after the coming, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ. Let us eagerly expect the return of Christ and the establishment of a true and more incredible temple in all creation.
Life Group Study Questions:
- Who is the text addressed to?
- Zechariah wrote in the context of one coming – we of the new covenant know that Jesus has come once, incarnate Emmanuel, and will come again, triumphant King Eternal, in his second coming.
- Do you think Zechariah had any idea of the layers of this text?
- Who are the “faithful people”; the “mourning people”; the “holy people”?
- Why does the text say we will mourn on the day of victory?
- How do we see the value of Christ in the text? (Zech 12:10-11; John 19:33-36)
- What is sin?
- What is holiness?
- Do you grieve over your sin? If this is a new concept to you, ask the Lord to show you both your sin and his holiness; ask the Lord to help you understand the cost of your sin, and to help you grieve your heart over your sin.
- What is the fountain referred to in Zech. 13:1? (Living water; possibly also metaphorically a “fountain filled with blood”)
- Read Eph. 5:25-27 and Heb. 10:22 and take a few moments to meditate together on how Christ has washed you clean with his blood.
- We often and easily continue to sin when we see our Saviour pierced for us; we muddy the water of the pure fountain. What is the “antidote” to this?
- What does it mean for you personally to have renewed affection for our Saviour?
- Read Zech. 14:20-21
- What is the connection between the bowls in the temple versus the pots in a kitchen?
- Have you ever considered washing up (doing the dishes) a holy act of worship? Why or why not?
- Can you name a concrete way that the the Spirit has helped you grow in holiness? If you can’t think of anything, take some time now to ask him to help you grow in Christlike holiness.
- Consider how can we encourage each other more and more to live in holiness? Commit to praying for each other’s specific areas of struggle, and rejoice with each in areas of growth.
- What is the temple?
- Read Romans 12:1 – what does it mean for you to offer your body as a living sacrifice?