Reading through the Bible together
In the previous chapters, God’s anger was pronounced against His people and their leaders to be punished for their iniquity. In this chapter, He promises to judge those nations that besiege Jerusalem and destroy the house of Judah. Jerusalem will be like a heavy stone to them. When you try to carry it upon your shoulders, your hands and shoulders will suffer. And as the nations hurt Israel, the hurt will be inflicted upon them as well. Here we see our God as one who cares for His own people, in spite of their persistent rebellion, even when He has to punish them to repent.
In vss. 4-9, the restoration of Jerusalem is promised. God is introduced as the Creator God, who created the heavens, established the earth, and gives life to humans (vs. 1). Jerusalem will be restored, because the Lord of Hosts, the Creator, promised it. He is the Almighty, to whom all things are possible, and since it is His word, it will come true.
And indeed, the people of Israel came back from their captivity, and Jerusalem was rebuilt, which was miracle upon miracle to reflect upon. We are to open our eyes and see the greater miracle, the Jerusalem above, which will be inhabited by the faithful remnant, the redeemed of the Lord. The City will eventually come down to the earth, to her eternal abode. “In that day, the LORD shall defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and he that is feeble among them . . . shall be as David.” (vs. 8).
Verse 10 presents a serious picture. “They shall look upon Me whom they have pierced.” This verse was quoted in John in 19:37 as Jesus was pierced while hanging on the cross by a spear by the Roman soldier. Furthermore, in Revelation 1:7, in reference to the special resurrection at the second coming of Jesus, it states that those who pierced Him will see Him coming back.
It is amazing to realize that God clearly announced that Jesus would be pierced. He would be pierced at the cross for our sins. It was the Lord God Himself who predicted this beforehand to Zechariah the Prophet. In other words, it was we who pierced Jesus (pierced God) with our sins,
People will mourn concerning this fact. But there will be two groups who will mourn. The first group mourns for their sins with penitent hearts, with deep grief and contrition. They will do this while Jesus is interceding for them in the heavenly sanctuary, in the Holy and the Most Holy place. Thus their sins will be wiped away and they will participate in the coming Kingdom as inhabitants of New Jerusalem. Yes, true repentance counts.
However, there is another group of people who will also wail. They will do so because of their sins when Jesus will return (Matt 24:30; cf. Rev 6:15-17). They will do so bitterly as they realize that they are not saved.
According to 12:12-14, everyone will mourn. But it is our choice whether we will cry out to the Lord for our sin before His coming, while Jesus is still pleading for us, which will lead to eternal salvation, or we will mourn at His coming because of the doomed destruction.
Lord, help us!
Kyungpook National University
Sangju, South Korea