Zechariah: Give yourself to Christ as a Living Sacrifice
1:1-21, 8:3, 9:9 (Pastor Heo)
1:1 In the eighth month of the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo: 2 “The LORD was very angry with your ancestors. 3 Therefore tell the people: This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the LORD Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the LORD Almighty. 4 Do not be like your ancestors, to whom the earlier prophets proclaimed: This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Turn from your evil ways and your evil practices.’ But they would not listen or pay attention to me, declares the LORD. 5 Where are your ancestors now? And the prophets, do they live forever? 6 But did not my words and my decrees, which I commanded my servants the prophets, overtake your ancestors? “Then they repented and said, ‘The LORD Almighty has done to us what our ways and practices deserve, just as he determined to do.’ ” 7 On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, the month of Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo. 8 During the night I had a vision, and there before me was a man mounted on a red horse. He was standing among the myrtle trees in a ravine. Behind him were red, brown and white horses. 9 I asked, “What are these, my lord?” The angel who was talking with me answered, “I will show you what they are.” 10 Then the man standing among the myrtle trees explained, “They are the ones the LORD has sent to go throughout the earth.” 11 And they reported to the angel of the LORD who was standing among the myrtle trees, “We have gone throughout the earth and found the whole world at rest and in peace.” 12 Then the angel of the LORD said, “LORD Almighty, how long will you withhold mercy from Jerusalem and from the towns of Judah, which you have been angry with these seventy years?” 13 So the LORD spoke kind and comforting words to the angel who talked with me. 14 Then the angel who was speaking to me said, “Proclaim this word: This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘I am very jealous for Jerusalem and Zion, 15 and I am very angry with the nations that feel secure. I was only a little angry, but they went too far with the punishment.’ 16 “Therefore this is what the LORD says: ‘I will return to Jerusalem with mercy, and there my house will be rebuilt. And the measuring line will be stretched out over Jerusalem,’ declares the LORD Almighty. 17 “Proclaim further: This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘My towns will again overflow with prosperity, and the LORD will again comfort Zion and choose Jerusalem.’ ” 18 Then I looked up, and there before me were four horns. 19 I asked the angel who was speaking to me, “What are these?” He answered me, “These are the horns that scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem.” 20 Then the LORD showed me four craftsmen. 21 I asked, “What are these coming to do?” He answered, “These are the horns that scattered Judah so that no one could raise their head, but the craftsmen have come to terrify them and throw down these horns of the nations who lifted up their horns against the land of Judah to scatter its people.”
8:3 This is what the LORD says: “I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City, and the mountain of the LORD Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain.”
9:9 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Today’s book Zechariah is the 2nd last book in the OT. Among the 12 minor prophets, this is the longest book with 14 chapters. In the Bible, there are 28 people named Zechariah (common, good name).
- In the northern kingdom, one king was named Zechariah.
- In the NT, John the Baptist’s father’s name is Zechariah.
Meaning “The Lord Remembers”
This person was a prophet and priest.
- Prophets could come from any tribe if God chose him as a prophet,
- but priests were only from the tribe of Levi.
He was born in Babylonia and was among those who returned in 538 under the leadership of Zerubabbel and Joshua. His prophetic ministry took place during the time of the Jewish restoration (after the captivity in Babylonia).
17 prophetic books from Isaiah to Malachi. Only Jeremiah wrote 2 books (including Lamentations – all other books are named for their author).
Among the 16 prophets from Isaiah to Malachi, only the final 3, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi ministered for the Jews who returned to their home after the Babylonian captivity.
Esp. Zechariah was contemporary of Haggai.
- Ezra 5:1 “Now Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the prophet… prophesied to the Jews in Jerusalem…”
- Ezra 6:14 “So the elders of the Jews continued to build and prosper under the preaching of Haggai and Zechariah…”
These two lived during the same time and worked together, but Zechariah continued his ministry a little longer than Haggai.
The first chapter, verse of both books are almost the same
- Haggai 1:1: “In the second year of Darius…”
- Zechariah 1:1: “In the second year of Darius…”
The time of these two books began about the same time. What year? 520BC.
- The difference is that Haggai was written during only that one year.
- Zechariah began in 520, but continued a bit longer. 7:1 “In the fourth year of King Darius…”
According to the record of the OT, who is the FIRST martyr? (killed for his faith) – Abel. This person, Zechariah is the LAST martyr in the OT.
Matthew 23:35 “And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.”
- We studied Haggai last Sunday – the keyword is “The Reconstruction of the Temple” – this is the key message.
- The keyword of Zechariah is not ONLY rebuild the temple, but ALSO “prepare for the coming Messiah.”
They are building a building but they should also build their lives, their future, for one day the Messiah’s glory will cover and inhabit that temple.
Future blessing is contingent on present obedience.
The main theme of this book is “Messiah (Hebrew) / Christ (Greek) is coming – prepare to receive him.”
Are you ready?
Survey of this book:
14 chapters – it is the longest of the 12 minor prophets
There are a series of
- 8 visions,
- 4 messages,
- 2 burdens.
Chp 1-8: Written to encourage the remnant while building the temple
Chp 9-14: Written after the completion of the temple to anticipate the coming Messiah
- From persecution to peace, from unholiness to holiness, from Gentile domination to Messianic redemption
Chp 1-6: 8 visions
- Horseman among the myrtle trees
Meaning: God will rebuild Zion and his people
- 4 horns and crabsmen
Meaning: Israel’s oppressors will be judged
- Man with measuring line
Meaning: God will protect and glorify
- The cleansing of Joshua (high priest)
Meaning: Israel will be cleansed and restored
- Golden lamp stand
Meaning: God is empowering his servants (Zerubabbel and Joshua)
- Flying scrolls
Meaning: Individual sin will be punished
- Woman in the basket
Meaning: National sin will be removed
- Four chariots
Meaning: God’s judgment will fall on all nations from heaven
Part Two Chp 7-8: 4 messages
- Rebuke empty ritualism
- Remind of past disobedience
- Restoration and consolation of Israel
- Recovery of joy in the kingdom of God
Chp 9-14: 2 burdens
- Chp 9, 10, 11 – the first advent (coming) of the Messiah and the rejection of Israel’s coming Messiah (remember that Israel didn’t recognize nor receive him (John 1))
- Chp 12, 13, 14 – the second advent of the Messiah and his acceptance
- Chp 12: “All nations will attack Jerusalem but the Messiah will deliver his people”
- Chp 13: “They will be cleansed of impurity”
- Chp 14: “Messiah will come from heaven in power to reign in Jerusalem over the whole Earth”
This book abounds with Messianic passages:
- Zechariah 9:9 “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
This is Palm Sunday (Jesus)
Matthew 21:4-5 “This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: 5 “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ”
- Jesus was also sold for 30 pieces of silver (very specific) – this was the price of a slave at that time – also in Zechariah 11
- Also Zechariah 13:7 “Awake, sword, against my shepherd, against the man who is close to me!” declares the LORD Almighty. “Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered, and I will turn my hand against the little ones.”
Yes, Jesus came as a Good Shepherd, but he would be beaten and stricken.
Matthew 26:31 “Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: “ ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’”
Key message = prepare for the coming Messiah
- In Haggai, the temple is a type of Jesus, he is the head of the church.
If Jesus is THE temple, do you belong to Christ? If Jesus is THE temple, then we are also A temple.
Jesus Christ is THE temple; I am A temple.
We are building the future, our lives. Our lives are like a building. Are you building your life well?
Therefore in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), Jesus concludes, “Everyone who hears these words and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on a rock…. But everyone who hears these words and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on the sand…”
Our life is a temple, it is a building.
- 1 John “Don’t you know, your body is a temple? If anyone destroys the temple, God will destroy him…”
- “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the HS? You are not your own, you were bought at a price, therefore honor God with your body.”
- We are a living, breathing, moving, walking temple.
What IS the temple?
The place where God appears, where there is fellowship with God, commitment, offering, sacrifice, worship, prayer is done here – given and done. This is the place through which the blessing of God flows – it is the channel of God’s blessing to this world.
Romans “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices. This is holy and pleasing to God. This is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. THEN you will be able to test and approve the will of God, his good and pleasing and perfect will.”
So, what is a LIVING sacrifice? What is true dedication?
1. Give your King (Jesus) your body
Before we trusted in Jesus, we used our bodies for sinful pleasures, desires, and purposes. But now that we belong to him, we want to use our bodies for his purposes, kingdom, glory because his Holy Spirit dwells in us. We want to glorify and magnify Jesus in our bodies.
Just as Jesus took a body to accomplish God’s will on earth, we also must give our bodies to Jesus to continue his ministry through us on earth.
There are two living sacrifices we can see in the Bible:
- Isaac in Genesis : he willingly put his body on the altar. He would have died for God, but God provided a ram to take his place. But still, he “died” just the same – died to himself – and willingly gave his body to God. When he got up from that altar, he became a living sacrifice.
- Jesus – yes, Jesus TRULY died on the cross as a sacrifice in perfect obedience to his Father’s will but he rose again on the third day and now today, he is here in heaven as a living sacrifice. He is our high priest and advocate before the throne of God.
Therefore, worship must be the lifestyle of a Christian – EVERY day (not only Sunday) – acceptable by God, to God.
2: Give our King our minds
This world wants to control our minds, but our God wants to transform our minds. This world wants to change our minds as it exerts pressure from withOUT. But the HS changes our minds as it releases power from withIN.
- If the world controls our minds, we are Conformers.
- If God controls our minds, we are Transformers.
As we spend our time in meditating on, memorizing his word, making it a part of our inner selves, God will make us more and more spiritual.
3: Give our King our wills
Our mind controls our bodies, but our will controls our minds. Many people think they can control their will by willpower, but we often fail.
It is only when we give our wills to God that he can take over and use them as he would.
How can we do so? Through disciplined prayer.
As we spend our time in prayer, God controls our minds. We can pray with the Lord, to the Lord, “Not my will, but your will be done.”
This is the conclusion of this book “Not by my will, my mind, my power…”
Zechariah 4:6 “So he said to me, this is the word of the Lord to Zechariah: ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord Almighty.’” (This is the Holy Spirit)
We must pray in everything, but let God have his will in everything according to his perfect design and purpose.
God bless us all to live as living sacrifices.