Sermon #62 Zechariah Series
Title: Christ—The Fountain Opened
Text: Zechariah 13:1
Date: Sunday Morning — August 5, 2007
Reading: Zechariah 12:1-13:1
Tape # Zechariah #62
As I look out over this congregation, I cannot help thinking, “How very different we all are from one another.” Some of you are very smart. Most are not. Some of you are very highly educated. Most are not. We have sitting in this assembly teachers and tradesmen, laborers and lawyers, salesmen and supervisors, farmers and factory workers, engineers and entrepreneurs, postal workers and preachers, carpenters and cattlemen. Some of you are young, strong, full of health, and appear to have a long life before you. Some are old and weak, with rapidly declining health.
There are many things that make us different from one another. But there is one thing we all have in common. We are all eternity bound sinners in need of mercy, grace and forgiveness. — “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Sin defiles us all. Sin makes us all unclean before God. Sin corrupts us all, defiles our consciences, and makes us all uncomfortable before God. We all need redemption. We all need cleansing. Sin is the plague of our hearts; and it is an incurable plague, — incurable by any human means.
But blessed be God it is not an absolutely incurable defilement and plague! The God of all grace found a way to deliver fallen sinners from the plague of their hearts and cleanse the guilty from the defilement of their souls. Would you be clean before God? Would you be free from all guilt? Would you be made whole in your soul? — Turn with me to Zechariah 13:1 and I will show you how you may be made altogether clean and whole before the holy Lord God.
(Zechariah 13:1) “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.”
Christ is the Fountain opened for sin and uncleanness. Oh, may God the Holy Spirit open this Fountain to you this day and make you clean! Men may dig wells in the earth and find water (Genesis 26:17-22). And men may hew cisterns out of rocks in which rainwater may be caught (Nehemiah 9:25). But only God can open a fountain. He in his wrath opened fountains of the deep in the days of Noah for the destruction of sinners (Genesis 7:11; cp. Psalm 74:15). But here he promised by his prophet Zechariah that he would, in his marvelous, free grace and infinite, mercy open a Fountain for the salvation and cleansing of poor, guilty, vile sinners like you and me!
God, in his mercy provides a means of dealing with our great need. He provided the Fountain and opened it, the Fountain that cleanses away sin and uncleanness. — God provided the Fountain. — God is the Fountain. — God opens the Fountain. — God plunges the sinner into the Fountain. — And God makes the sinner clean. — “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin!”
“In that Day”
Our text opens with three words that are very significant, — “In that day.” Zechariah used those three words twenty times in his prophecy. Sixteen times in the last three chapters, he said, “In that day” (2:11; 3:10; 9:16; 11:11; 12:3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11; 13:1, 2, 4; 14:4, 6, 8, 9, 13, 20, 21). He seems to be more and more focused upon one thing, one day, one great event. As we read this prophecy, the Spirit of God seems to be directing our hearts to one thing. And that one thing is the ransom of our souls by the sin-atoning death of our Lord Jesus Christ. If we would see that which is here promised, we must go to Mt. Calvary, take our place at the foot of the cross, and behold the soldier’s spear thrust into Immanuel’s heart by God’s appointment, opening the Fountain of Life for our souls.
As we look upon Christ crucified, pouring out his life’s blood unto death, we see the Fountain opened for sin and uncleanness. We behold the Lamb of God taking away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
Without question, this Fountain was opened “from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8). And, having been opened in eternity, it must be opened in time. “In that day” are the words Zechariah used to point God’s elect away from the day typical laws, sacrifices, places, and ceremonies to this gospel day, to this day of grace.
· “That day” was the day of Christ’s crucifixion as our Substitute (John 19:34-37). — The Fountain for sin and uncleanness was opened when the Lamb of God was pierced.
(John 19:34-37) “But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. (35) And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. (36) For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. (37) And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.”
· “That day” was the day the Son of God saved his people by the shedding of his precious blood (Zechariah 9:16).
(Zechariah 9:16) “And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land.”
· “That day” is the day God pours out his Spirit upon the chosen, redeemed sinner, granting him repentance and faith in Christ (Zechariah 12:10). — By the outpouring of his Spirit our great God and Savior opens the Fountain of his blood to us, and plunges us beneath the cleansing flood.
(Zechariah 12:10) “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.”
“A Fountain Opened”
“In that day there shall be a Fountain opened.” — None can doubt that our blessed Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the Fountain opened. He is often spoken of in Holy Scripture as a Fountain (Psalm 36:7-9; 68:26; Jeremiah 17:13).
(Psalms 36:7-9) “How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. (8) They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. (9) For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.”
(Psalms 68:26) “Bless ye God in the congregations, even the Lord, from the fountain of Israel.”
(Jeremiah 17:13) “O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters.”
Not only is our Savior “the Fountain of Life,” he promises “whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14; 7:37-39).
(John 7:37-39) “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. (38) He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (39) (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”
We draw the water of life, not from a well dug, but from Christ, “a Fountain opened.” — What multitudes there are who, pass by the Fountain of Life, being beguiled from the simplicity of Christ crucified, and dig wells for themselves. — Denying the Revelation of God in Holy Scripture, they seek dig wells of historic, scientific proof. — Rejecting gospel faith, they dig wells of intellectual theory. — Denying the righteousness of God in Christ, they dig wells of personal goodness, going about to establish their own righteousness. — Despising the mystery and wonder of Christ made sin for us, they dig wells of darkness and death, trying to explain away the glory of the cross. — What “wells without water” they are who would take from you the Fountain of Life and give you…
· Dead Doctrine.
· Empty Rituals.
· Theological Theory.
· Denominational Dogma.
· Meaningless Emotionalism.
· And Lifeless Facts!
We draw the water of life, not from the broken cisterns of our stony hearts, legal obedience, or religious experience, but from Christ, “a Fountain opened” (Jeremiah 2:13).
(Jeremiah 2:13) “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.”
Christ is the Fountain! He is the Fountain opened by God himself, the Fountain that none could open but God himself.
· Opened by the Decree of God in Eternity!
· Opened by the Justice of God at Calvary!
· Opened by the Spirit of God in the Revelation of Grace!
“To the House of David”
“In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” — Those words, as we have seen many times, are used throughout the Old Testament, and particularly by Zechariah, to identify God’s covenant people, the whole “Israel of God,” the “tabernacle of David,” the heavenly Jerusalem” (Galatians 6:14-16; Amos 9:11; Acts 15:16; Hebrews 12:21-22; Revelation 3:12; 21:2, 10). “The house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem” are the whole family of God, Jew and Gentile, of every age, the whole Church of God’s elect. All are alike unclean by nature; and all are alike made clean by the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 7:14).
Let no one miss the specific intent of the prophet’s words here. — Christ is a Fountain opened for a specific people. This Fountain is not now, and never was, opened for all people, but specifically for God’s elect, — “The house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” If you will look at the last line of the last verse of the last chapter of this Book, you will see that the Holy Spirit inspired Zechariah to specifically exclude “the Canaanite.”
(Zechariah 14:21) “Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.”
You may wonder why I bring up the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ died for and redeemed his elect, that he died for and redeemed those (all of those and only those) who are saved by his grace. I do so because every suggestion that Christ died in vain for the multitudes who perish under the wrath of God is utter blasphemy. — The notion of universal redemption, that Christ died to make salvation possible for all…
· Makes man his own Savior.
· Reduces the love of God to a meaningless, helpless passion.
· Turns the wisdom of God into foolishness.
· Denies the justice of God.
· Asserts that the immutable God is fickle, mutable, shifting, and changing.
· Denies the satisfaction of Christ.
· Robs God of his glory in salvation.
· Affirms that there are multitudes for whom Christ died in vain.
· Makes the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ a miscarriage and asserts that he shall never see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied.
· Gives sinners no reason to look to Christ and trust him.
· Offers the believer no reason to love, honor, obey and glorify the Son of God.
· Declares that Christ cannot, in fact, be God, because it asserts that he is a failure! — A pathetic, weak, frustrated, defeated failure, rather than the sovereign, effectual Savior of his people!
Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood
Shall never lose its power,
Til all the ransomed church of God
Be saved to sin no more.
“Sin and Uncleanness”
“In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.” — I cannot tell you how thankful I am that the Spirit of God used these two specific words to declare the purpose for the opening of this Fountain, Christ Jesus. Our blessed Savior is a Fountain open to us, and a Fountain opened specifically for “sin and uncleanness,” — to make an end of “sin and uncleanness,” — to take away “sin and uncleanness,” — to do with “sin and uncleanness” that which could never be done in any other way.
Sin could not be put away in any other way, except by the sacrifice of God’s dear Son, except by Christ the Fountain opened for sin (Romans 3:19-26). “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged,” and in no other way!
(Romans 3:19-26) “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. (20) Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (21) But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; (22) Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: (23) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (24) 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.”
But why does the Spirit of God speak of our Lord Jesus as “a Fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness”? Sin has reference to our offence. It refers to the broken law of God, the violation of God’s holiness. Uncleanness refers to personal defilement, the defilement of my conscience, the corruption of my heart, the baseness of my passions, the obscenity of my thoughts, the vileness of my being. — There is no cleansing for such a loathsome thing as I am, but by the opening of Christ the Fountain! — But, blessed be his holy name forever, there is cleansing for my soul in him (Ezekiel 36:24-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Hebrews 9:12-14; 10:1-14; 1 John 1:7, 9; Revelation 7:14).
(Ezekiel 36:24-32) “For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. (25) Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. (26) A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. (27) And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. (28) And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. (29) I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. (30) And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen. (31) Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. (32) Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.”
(1 Corinthians 6:9-11) “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, (10) Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (11) And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
(Hebrews 9:12-14) “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. (13) For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: (14) How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
(Hebrews 10:1-14) “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. (2) For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. (3) But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. (4) For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. (5) Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: (6) In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. (7) Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. (8) Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; (9) Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. (10) By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (11) And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: (12) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; (13) From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. (14) For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”
(1 John 1:7) “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
(1 John 1:9) “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
(Revelation 7:14) “And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
The more I know myself, the more I am made to loathe myself, and compelled to repent in dust and ashes. I am a sinner, altogether filthy and abominable, as vile as sin can render a creature of the Almighty! I pollute myself daily in heart and life with fresh impurities. I have no means of cleansing myself; no hope, that anything in the creation can do it for me. Deep in my very being, the stain remains! I am forced to constantly cry out – “Unclean! Unclean!”
Had not God himself provided a remedy, sent the report to my ears in the gospel, and caused me to hear it, I would be in utter despair, terrified every moment by my guilt, my sin, my uncleanness. O sweet, blessed good news I have heard! The Lord God has opened to me a Fountain, Christ Jesus, for sin and uncleanness. He has bathed my filthy soul in him. And the blood of Christ cries, concerning me, — “Clean! Clean! Forever Clean!”
Let me give you one more word, and I will send you home. The Fountain is open still! Christ is a Fountain “opened”. — Opened by God, the Fountain cannot be shut. — Christ is a Fountain opened to all who need cleansing, — Opened at all times!
· Open for Cleansing!
· Opened for Quenching Thirst!
· Opened for Healing!
· Opened for Refreshment!
· Opened for Sinners!
There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains.
The dying thief rejoiced to see
That fountain in his day;
And there my I, though vile as he,
Wash all my sins away.
E’er since by faith I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die.
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