The New Testament tells an amusing story revealing Jesus sense of humor, when right after His Resurrection He walked the road to Emmaus with two men who were discussing recent events and Jesus asked them about the things they talked. They were amazed he had not heard about such noteworthy and public happenings. To which Jesus responded, “What things?” (Luke 24:19) Amusing since He was the subject of all these events! But while they continued their journey a most remarkable thing occurred. “Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” (v. 27) Can you imagine a more fabulous time, a Bible study conducted by the Author Himself! I wish I had been there.
I love reading the Old Testament and coming across little tidbits of revelations that have been finally brought to light in the New Testament that have to do with the things of Jesus Christ and His ministry, life, death, and Resurrection. I just finished Zechariah and list below those that have been used from this book by New Testament writers. I’ve included the entire verse, even though in some cases the writer may have only used a portion of the verse for their purpose as divinely directed. As it is interesting to see the context in which the original statements were made so many hundreds of years prior to the events about which they are foretold. As far as I can determine these are the only verses used about the Messiah from Zechariah.
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey. Zechariah 9:9
Indeed rejoicing and shouting did accompany Jesus as He entered Jerusalem riding the prophesied animal at the beginning of the Holy Week. The “rabble recognize Him in the prophesies but the rulers didn’t and they vehemently protested the uproar He was generating. But Jesus told them that if the people didn’t demonstrate then the stones would cry out. In other words, something in creation would recognize just who it was who was coming to reclaim his rightful place in Jerusalem. (See Luke 19 19:29-48)
I said to them, “If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind!” So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages.
Then the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.” So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the LORD. Zechariah 11:12-13
In Zechariah’s vision he feed’s the flock in God’s stead and afterwards requests wages. Contemptuously they throw thirty pieces of silver at him, the value of a slave (Ex. 21:32), the flock’s value placed on God as well. Thus God’s command to discard the miserable sum by tossing into the Temple to the potter who happened to be there. What was the value of Judas would place on turning Jesus over to the Jewish leaders? What monetary amount would he negotiate to turn traitor and help them rid the nation of an irritant? He could become rich, but was he doing this for the money or for ideological reasons. He settled on a figure of thirty pieces of silver. And when Jesus was arrested, tried and tortured and condemned to death, Judas realized his mistake. He tried to give the money back but the Jews laughed at him, so he threw the money back and them. They used the silver to buy the Potter’s Filed, a pauper’s burial; ground. (Matt. 27:3-10)
“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
Amazing for the Lord in one sentence to combine the most sublime graciousness with the pointedly rejection of being pierced. It is His people who not only have rejected Him but have held the spear and thrust it through His side. And they will stand dumbfounded as He presents Himself to them in such a state and He, in superlative graciousness forgives them. And they respond with bitter weeping, very appropriately.
“And one will say to him, ‘What are these wounds between your arms?’ Then he will say, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’
“Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, And against the man, My Associate,” Declares the LORD of hosts. “Strike the Shepherd that the sheep may be scattered; And I will turn My hand against the little ones. Zechariah 13:6-7
Again, the nail prints in His hands, the spear piercing his side, wounds contributing to such a horrible death, a death He voluntarily submitted to in our place, marks of horror appropriated while dwelling among His friends. He was bruised, as Isaiah put is, and in doing so the sheep scatter in fright. We have the benefit of Jesus applying this verse to Himself as we read in Matthew 26:31.
[Scriptures taken from the New American Standard Bible © 1995]