[CF Devotionals] 1996-04-09 - Post-Easter Meditation

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Zechariah 13:7, "O sword, Awake against my shepherd and against the man who stands next to me says YHWH of hosts. Strike the shepherd that the sheep may be scattered, I will turn my hand against the little ones."

This text is a wonderful one, for in it there is a cloud, a black cloud of divine wrath and vengence, a bloody cloud, the cloud of Christ's bloody passion, which we just, in a special way, remembered two days ago. But, like the cloud that led Israel through the wilderness, though it had a black side towards Christ, yet it had a bright and light side towards the church of God. This cloud of blood distills in a sweet shower of blessings unto poor sinners; there is a light in this cloud wherein we may see God, in Christ, reconciling the world to himself.

This verse presents us with a clear prediction of the sufferings of Christ. "Smite the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered, and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones," which our Lord expressly applies to Himself and His disciples, Matthew 26:31, Mark 14:27. We do not need to inquire any further of whom the prophet here, or rather, of whom God here speaks; for the words of our text are the words of God the Father, giving orders against his Son, when he had undertaken to become our Savior.

More particularly, in the words, we may notice these three things:

  1. A solemn call and summons given to God's vengeance, or vindictive justice, to gather its forces, and march forth in battle array, in all manner of terror: "O sword, Awake". Notice that the sword is not awakened to cause fear, but to smite.

  2. The party against whom this dreadful battle is proclaimed, this terrible sword is brandished; must it not be against sinners? No, but the sinners' Savior: "against my Shepherd, and against the man that is next to me:" Not against the sheep, but the Shepherd. Not against the Shepherd simply, but against "my" Shepherd. Not against mankind, but a man - yet not against a man simply, a mere man, but rather "the man that is next to me;" it is YHWH's equal.

  3. By whose orders, or at whose instance this summons to the bloody battle is given - why, it is the Lord of Hosts that says it: It is he that gives the commission, and orders the sword to be drawn, "says YHWH of hosts". The party against whom the sword is called to awake is very glorious, It is "my shepherd." Most of our world treats this shepherd as a foolish shepherd, but God here states that this shepherd is His own shepherd, the shepherd of His own flock, and the result of the "strike" is that this shepherd has purchased the flock of God with His own blood.

What a blessed, loving shepherd we have, who has purchased our redemption with His own precious blood.

"If Christ had come into the world only to teach us, it would have been a heinous thing to trample under foot his word and instructions. But when he came to die for us, how much more heinous is it to trample underfoot his blood! … His blood is as sufficient to cleans away sin now, as when it was warm from his wounds … There is no price of gold or silver that can be compared with the price of the blood of Christ." --Jonathan Edwards

Soli Deo Gloria,

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