Sermon #46 Zechariah Series
Title: All Eyes on Christ
Text: Zechariah 9:1-17
Subject: The Person and Work of Christ
Date: Sunday Morning — December 24, 2006
Tape # Zechariah #46
Reading: Zechariah 9:1-17
The title of my message today is All Eyes on Christ. Our text will be Zechariah chapter 9.
(Zechariah 9:1) “The burden of the word of the LORD in the land of Hadrach, and Damascus shall be the rest thereof: when the eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel, shall be toward the LORD.”
We have come once more to that one season of the year in which all eyes are turned to Christ, when the eyes of man, as all the tribes of Israel, are toward the Lord.” Today, all over the world, the eyes of all men are turned toward our blessed Savior. God has fixed it so that, whether they like it or not, the eyes of every man, woman and child in the world are today turned toward the fact that God’s own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, assumed our nature and came into this world to save his people from their sins.
This is, for us, a time of great joy. I am reminded of Israel’s great joy when all Israel came to Hebron to make David king over all Israel. We read about it in 1st Chronicles 12. A great multitude from all the tribes of Israel, all the mighty men of war and all the men of wisdom and understanding, came to David to make him king over all Israel “according to the word of the Lord.” They had a three day feast, a party that lasted for three days! How they celebrated! How they rejoiced! — “For there was joy in Israel!”
Why not? The long years of civil war were over! The darling of Israel, the darling of God’s own heart, David was now where he belonged, upon the throne of Israel. At last, that king had come whom God had promised! And “there was joy in Israel!”
Great as that joy was, there is abundant reason for much greater joy in Israel today. David’s illustrious Son, who is the Son of God, the Messiah King, the Savior of the world, has come “according to the word of the Lord.” And there is joy in the Israel of God because he has come (Isaiah 25:9).
(Isaiah 25:1-9) “O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth…(6) And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. (7) And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. (8) He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it. (9) And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”
I say, let there be “joy in Israel!” Christ has come, and the eyes of all men are as surely fixed upon him as ours. That is the message of Zechariah 9. This chapter is all about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Five hundred and fifty years before it actually happened, God gave his prophet an exact description of our Savior’s entrance into Jerusalem to accomplish our salvation (Matthew 21:1-11). Zechariah not only describes us the circumstances our Savior’s appearance, he gives us a very vivid description of who he is and what he does in the mighty operations of his grace.
This ninth chapter begins with a phrase that normally implies heaviness and sorrow, — “The burden of the word of the Lord.” But here it speaks of it is a burden of great joy. There is nothing in this chapter but good news. Here the prophet of God speaks of God’s salvation being brought to and wrought in his elect among the Gentiles, the gathering of his chosen from the four corners of the earth.
(Zechariah 9:1) “The burden of the word of the LORD in the land of Hadrach, and Damascus shall be the rest thereof: when the eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel, shall be toward the LORD.”
Read this blessed promise in connection with the last verse of chapter eight. — “Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you. The burden of the word of the LORD in the land of Hadrach, and Damascus shall be the rest thereof: when the eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel, shall be toward the LORD.”
All Eyes on Christ
That Man who is a Jew, upon whose skirt sinners take hold is himself the Lord God our Savior toward whom men everywhere look. Obviously, the prophet of God is talking about something far greater than the mere fact that all men everywhere are forced to acknowledge the fact that Jesus Christ once lived. In verse 17 we are plainly told that this is a prophecy of God the Holy Spirit bending the hearts of rebel sinners to the Savior in this gospel age by the omnipotent power of his irresistible grace. O blessed Savior, send forth your Spirit today to perform this great work in the hearts of chosen, redeemed sinners here, and around the world!
“The eyes of man…shall be toward the Lord.” — What man? Without question, the prophet’s words refer first and foremost to that one Man specifically mentioned in the previous verse, “him that is a Jew,” the Lord Jesus Christ, Immanuel, upon whose skirt we take hold by faith. The eyes of our glorious Head and Representative, the Lord Jesus Christ himself were always upon the Lord. From everlasting his eyes were toward Jehovah his Father, and our Father.
· As our Covenant Surety — “Lo, I come to do thy will, O my God” (Psalm 40:6-10).
(Psalms 40:6-10) “Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. (7) Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, (8) I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. (9) I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest. (10) I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.”
· Throughout His Life of Obedience (Hebrews 10:5-7).
· When He Died upon the Cursed Tree — “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do” (John 17:4).
But, second, the eyes of God’s elect, the redeemed of the earth, the eyes of man, the eyes of every sinner chosen of God, as the tribes of Israel, must and ultimately shall be all toward Jehovah the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, looking to him and to him alone for grace, salvation and eternal life (Isaiah 45:22;Hebrews 12:2; Revelation 22:4). Our salvation is looking to Christ…
Our text asserts that “the eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel,” that is to say, all the hosts of God’s chosen shall look as one upon the Lord Jesus Christ, just as Israel looked upon the serpent Moses raised before them in the wilderness. That is just as it should be! It is he whom God the Father has exalted. It is he to whom the triune God has given all pre-eminence. It is he who is “All and in all.” Where or to whom should we look, but to him?
Shall not the eyes of the chosen be toward him, toward whom God the Father unceasingly looks? Shall we not trust him whom the triune God trusted from everlasting as our Surety (Ephesians 1:12)? No mortal can imagine, let alone describe, the infinite complacency and delight with which the triune God looks from everlasting upon the God-man, our Mediator. God the Father looks to, has forever looked to, and shall only look to the Lord Jesus Christ, that man who is a Jew…
“Therefore,” our Lord Jesus said, “doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again” (John 10:17). — If God the Father loves Christ as our God-man Mediator, for undertaking and accomplishing our redemption by the sacrifice of himself, how we ought to love him! If God the Father unceasingly beholds him with rapturous pleasure, satisfaction, and delight, how pleased, satisfied, and delighted we should be to behold him!
O blessed Son of God, let my eyes, my heart, my whole soul be fixed on you, until every affection of my being goes out to you! As the Old Testament saints, seeing his day afar off, rejoiced, and were glad, let us rejoice to behold our Savior in this day of grace as who are enlightened, and whose faces are not ashamed (Psalm 34:5). May God the Holy Spirit bend our hearts toward our Savior with every rising sun!
(Philippians 3:7-14) “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. (8) Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, (9) And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: (10) That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; (11) If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. (12) Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. (13) Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, (14) I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Some of you who now hear my voice are yet unbroken, unbent, unbowed. Your eyes are turned to yourselves and turned to vanity. Oh, may God the Holy Spirit turn you toward Christ! May he be pleased to set your eyes, the eyes of your soul, the eyes of your heart upon the Lord Jesus Christ! Oh, may he give you eyes of faith to behold him!
In this chapter God the Holy Spirit not gives us a prophetic description of our Savior’s first advent. He describes how the Lord Jesus comes to sinners in the mighty operations of his saving grace. He tells us how the Son of God causes chosen sinners to look to him. And the very first thing he tells us is this: — When the Lord Jesus Christ comes to save, he first destroys. Our Lord Jesus Christ is a gracious Destroyer. He only saves those who need saving. So the first thing he does in his saving operations is to make sinners know their need of him.
“All the fitness He requireth
Is to feel your need of Him.
This He giveth, this He giveth. —
‘Tis the Spirit’s rising beam.”
That is what is portrayed in verses 2-8. Mr. Spurgeon once said, “The first thing we have to do in preaching the gospel is to get men lost.” But the only one who can get you lost, the only one who can make you know your lost condition without Christ is Christ himself. In these verses the prophet of God speaks prophetically of Christ coming to his chosen among the Gentiles in grace. But the first gracious acts he performs are acts of destruction.
· He destroys the wisdom of the wise, making them fools (v. 2), taking the wise in their own craftiness.
(Zechariah 9:2) “And Hamath also shall border thereby; Tyrus, and Zidon, though it be very wise.”
· He destroys the riches men and women ignorantly imagine they have before him, making them poor in spirit (v. 3).
(Zechariah 9:3) “And Tyrus did build herself a strong hold, and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets.”
· He causes his chosen to be cast out in wrath and devoured with fire, that he might gather them in mercy and feed them with grace (v. 4).
(Zechariah 9:4) “Behold, the Lord will cast her out, and he will smite her power in the sea; and she shall be devoured with fire.”
· He abases and humbles, turning your hope and expectation into your shame, that he may lift and exalt you by his grace, and give you a good hope through grace (v. 5).
(Zechariah 9:5) “Ashkelon shall see it, and fear; Gaza also shall see it, and be very sorrowful, and Ekron; for her expectation shall be ashamed; and the king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited.”
· If ever the Lord God saves you by his grace, he will humble you in the dust and break your pride, causing you to lie as a hopeless bastard before him, that he may be gracious to you and give you the Spirit of adoption (v. 6).
(Zechariah 9:6) “And a bastard shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines.”
· He will destroy every false god that he may be your God (v. 7).
(Zechariah 9:7) “And I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth: but he that remaineth, even he, shall be for our God, and he shall be as a governor in Judah, and Ekron as a Jebusite.”
Pastor Henry Mahan once wrote, “The first thing the Holy Spirit does when he comes into a person’s heart is this: — He finds that person with a very good opinion of himself. And there is nothing which prevents a person coming to Christ like a good opinion of himself. The Holy Spirit must lay bare that heart and let him see the loathsome disease of sin, uncover to him all the evil and defilement of the human heart. “The heart is deceitful above all and desperately wicked; who can know it?” But it must be known before the sinner will fall at the feet of Christ and cry, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner.” Actually, the Spirit of God not only reveals the corruptions of our evil deeds, but the corruptions of our best deeds, until the convicted sinner weeps with Wesley and says…
‘Depths of mercy, can there be
Mercy still reserved for me?
Can my God His wrath forbear?
Me, the chief of sinners, spare?’”
· When he has swept away every refuge of lies, the Lord himself will be your Strength and your Shield, your Rock and your Salvation (v. 8).
(Zechariah 9:8) “And I will encamp about mine house because of the army, because of him that passeth by, and because of him that returneth: and no oppressor shall pass through them any more: for now have I seen with mine eyes.”
(Psalms 28:7) “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.”
(Psalms 62:2) “He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved.”
(Psalms 62:6) “He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved.”
(Psalms 94:22) “But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.”
Next, in verse 9, we see that when Christ comes to save, he comes as your King.
(Zechariah 9:9) “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.”
“Behold thy King cometh unto thee.” The wise men asked, “where is he that is born King” (Matthew 2:2). The Lord Jesus Christ does not come begging you to make him your King, or let him be your King. He comes as your King, demanding surrender.
· Our Lord as God incarnate, is King of Kings (Revelation 19:9-16; Psalm 2:6; Acts 2:36).
· As King he is sovereign in salvation (John 17:2; Romans 9:12-16).
While all the world sings…
“Hark! The herald angels sing,
Glory to the new born King,”
I ask you — Has the Lord Jesus entered into your heart? Does your heart go forth to meet him with welcoming hosannas, like those Jewish children did 2000 years ago? Is Christ King in your soul?
Third, Jesus Christ is the just God. — “He is just” (v. 9). That means he is righteous in all is ways, holy in every aspect of his Being, and good in all his works. Both Stephen and Peter called him, “the just One” (Acts 3:12-15; 7:52). When the Lord Jesus comes in saving mercy, he makes the sinner to see and acknowledge the justice of God…
(Romans 3:24-26) “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (25) Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (26) To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”
Fourth, look at verse 9 again. When the Lord Jesus comes in saving power, he causes the sinner he has chosen and redeemed to know that he alone is Savior and that he who is our King and the just God comes in free grace, “having salvation.” He is “a just God and a Savior” (Isa.45:21). Jesus Christ the man is God our Savior (Titus 1:3; Luke 2:30). He came to give his life as a ransom for many, to purchase his covenant people out from under the curse of the law, and to save his people from their sins (Matthew 20:28; Acts 20:28; Acts 4:12; Matthew 1:21). — He has salvation on his heart and salvation in his hands!
Fifth, the prophet tells us that the Lord Jesus Christ, our just God and Savior, always comes to his chosen as one who humbled himself, “lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass” (v. 9). He comes to sinful men and women as a man completely identified with our humanity. He is totally and fully God almighty; and he is a real man (John 1:14; 1Timothy 3:16; Philippians 2:5-9). He is the God-man. He emptied himself, magnified the law, perfected righteousness, and died for us as a man, that he might redeem, save and fill us by his grace, making us the righteousness of God in him (Isaiah 42:21; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 9:12).
(John 1:14) “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
(2 Corinthians 8:9) “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”
(1 Timothy 3:16) “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”
(Philippians 2:5-9) “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (6) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (8) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (9) Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:”
(Isaiah 42:21) “The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable.”
(2 Corinthians 5:21) “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
(1 Peter 3:18) “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:”
Next, we are told that the Lord Jesus, when he breaks the battle bow, when he conquers the rebel’s heart, “shall speak peace unto the heathen” (v. 10).
(Zechariah 9:10) “And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.”
He does not come to make peace. He did that at Calvary. He comes to speak peace by the blood of his cross (Colossians 1:19-22).
(Colossians 1:19-22) “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; (20) And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. (21) And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled (22) In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.”
Christ is our Peace with God; and he alone is able to “speak peace unto the heathen” (Ephesians 2:12-17; Romans 4:25-5:1).
Notice this, too. — His kingdom is not set up with sword or battle bow, yet we are told, “his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth” (Psalm 72:8-19; Malachi 1:1).
(Psalms 72:8-9) “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. (9) They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust.”
(Psalms 72:17-19) “His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed. (18) Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. (19) And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.”
(Malachi 1:11) “For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.”
Seventh, when the Lord Jesus comes into your soul, conquering and to conquer by his sovereign grace, when he speaks peace to your troubled heart and conscience, he will be your Deliverer. That is what the rest of this chapter declares (vv. 11-16). Blessed be his name, when Jesus Christ comes to save, “deliverance will come.” (Romans 11:26).
(Zechariah 9:11) “As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.”
That is exactly what we read in Romans 11:26…
(Romans 11:26-27) “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: (27) For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”
Notice that those he delivers are called his prisoners. — “I have sent fort thy prisoners.” — Our blessed Lord Jesus came to set his people free (Luke 4:18), to free his ransomed ones from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:10-13), the bondage of sin (Romans 6:14), the fear and terror of death (Hebrews 2:15; Revelation 1:18), and the grip of the devil (Heb. 2:14).
“He breaks the power of cancelled sin,
And sets the captive free!”
How does the Son of God set the captive free? How are his prisoners sent forth out of the pit wherein is no water?
(Isaiah 40:1-2) “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. (2) Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.”
(Malachi 3:17) “And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.”
Oh, may God the Holy Spirit cause you now to look away to Christ. O Lord Jesus, bend our hearts, one and all, that we may every man, and every woman, and every child in this house, have our eyes turned toward you forever. Then shall the Word of the Lord be rest unto your souls, and we will forever adore him, saying with the prophet to one another…
(Zechariah 9:17) “For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty! corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine the maids.”
(2 Corinthians 9:15) “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”
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