In chapters 9 and 10 Zechariah shifts from apocalyptic (hidden) language, with its vivid symbolism, to a style more typical of Old Testament prophetic writing featuring Hebrew poetic parallelism. And then in chapter 11 he again uses an apocalyptic style to tell the story of Israel’s leaders’ covenant breaking ways and his just judgment which resulted in God’s favor and the union of his people being broken. Bad leadership is a consequence of their sin. The most significant aspect of these chapters are two major messianic prophecies about Jesus’ final days.
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” – Zechariah 9:9
“Then the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the lordly price at which I was priced by them. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord, to the potter. – Zechariah 11:13
Vision of God
You can see in these chapters the tension between God’s justice and God’s grace. He is always letting his people know that the surrounding nations and his people Israel will face judgment if they sin and break the covenant. At the same time he is always offering glimpses of grace to come. Even in these two messianic prophecies you see the tension of judgment and grace. Judgment in the 30 pieces of silver that would betray the Lord and grace in his triumphal entry on the donkey. Jesus perfectly embodies and fulfills both the judgment and grace of God!
Vision of Self and Others
This tension between judgment and grace is not just a God thing or something that applies to nations. We all hold within us this same tension. We fear the judgment we often deserve from our own sin and we deeply desire grace that we do not deserve and cannot earn. When I look at people through the lens of judgment and grace it helps me to have compassion like Jesus did but it also gives me resolve to speak the truth like Jesus did.
How Will I Go With God?
I’m going to pray for people today with judgment and grace, truth and compassion mind. I’m going to spend time in prayer marvelling at the perfection of God that is embodied in Jesus.
As mentioned above these two passages are some of the greatest and clearest allusions to the savior in all of the bible.
In Matthew 21:1-11, Jesus miraculously knows that there will be a donkey waiting for his disciples to pick up. Jesus, showing that his reign as king will be marked by humility, rides into Jerusalem to the shouts of Hosanna over palm branches spread on the road on the back of this lowly beast fulfilling Zechariah’s vision.
Later in Matthew 27:1-10, we learn that Judas is filled with remorse over betraying Jesus and attempts to return the 30 pieces of silver he was paid by the chief priests and elders. He ends up just throwing it into the temple but since it is “blood money” it cannot be put into the treasury (how crazy and corrupt!). They then use it to buy a field for the burying of strangers and name it the field of blood. This actually fulfills two prophecies at the same time. It is the same field that Jeremiah was told to buy in Jeremiah 32:6-9 and it’s price is predicted by Zechariah.