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Zechariah 12 Pt 2

by | Thu, Jun 9 2022

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We’re in a series with a quest, the goal of which is to correctly identify the Mashiach – the Messiah of the world. There have been many, many throughout history claiming that title and mandate and they’re from all different nations, different cultures and religious backgrounds. Some date back to antiquity and some are a lot more current…but they all have one thing in common…they claim to be a select chosen individual with a spiritual or divine mandate and as such, demand obeisance and devotion. There is of course one standout among them. He does require obeisance and devotion to be sure, but unlike all other messiahs, the One we believe to be true, actually did what no other self-proclaimed messiah ever did…He died in the place of all humanity, even when that humanity hated and despised Him.

So we began looking at the 2nd prophecy in the Old Covenant regarding crucifixion, a form of execution that was never part of Israel’s judicial system, and was prophesied by Jewish prophets, King David and Zechariah, 4 and 5 centuries before it was introduced in Judea by the Romans.

We also learned that modern rabbis have worked really hard to reinterpret the interpretation or understanding of these crucifixion prophecies to make sure they never point to Mashiach because they can’t risk them being attributed to Jesus, but historically, these verses were always understood to be talking about Mashiach. We looked at evidence of this in a quote by Rabbi Rashi, who was notorious for rejecting any kind of Christian interpretation, even he believed Zechariah was talking about Mashiach. Now I want to look at some more traditional, historical interpretations of Zechariah prophesying that the Mashiach would be pierced.

I want to read again the verse in Zechariah that the crucifixion was prophesied in Zechariah 12:10,

God said, “I’ll pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they’ll look on Me whom they have pierced; and they’ll mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they’ll weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.”

The Babylonian Talmud says this: “It’s well according to him who explains that the cause of the mourning is the slaying of the Messiah, the son of Joseph, since that well agrees with the Zechariah 12: ‘And they shall look upon me, whom they have pierced; and shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son.’” (Sukkah 52a)

Rabbi Moses Alshech, lived in Turkey in the early 16th century. He interpreted this verse like this, “They shall look unto Me, for they shall lift up their eyes unto Me in perfect repentance, when they see Him whom they have pierced, that is Messiah, the Son of Joseph: He will take upon Himself all the guilt of Israel.”

Rabbi Alshech didn’t stop there, he went on to write more about Mashiach and what He would do as per the prophesy in Zechariah and this is what he wrote. “Because He was willing to bare them upon Himself…and we though He will not take them upon Himself, He is afflicted, smitten by God. But when the time comes for Him to show Himself in all His glory, then all will see and understand how big is the power of the sufferer for the generation.”

What I find stunning about this particular quote is that it sounds like it’s come straight out of Isaiah 53. Let me show you.

Isaiah 53:4 says,

“Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried: yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.’

Rabbi Rashi interprets Isaiah 53 as not talking about Mashiach suffering for the people, but rather Israel suffering for the world. However, this cannot possibly be the case because it’s talking about a singular individual who is beyond reproach. Isaiah described Him as a ‘tender shoot’, who was ‘like a lamb led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He didn’t open His mouth,’ that ‘He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth,’ that He was ‘the Righteous One’. That’s a description of perfection.

One very cursory read through the Bible reveals that Israel cannot in any way or in any stretch of the imagination be considered a perfect, righteous nation. The Bible details in graphic detail, every single sin and depravity imaginable committed by Israel. Israel couldn’t possibly suffer and die for the sins of the world, it had far too many of its own to deal with.

The point is, there was, going back to the earliest times, the natural, traditional, historical understanding among rabbis and Jewish sages, that Mashiach was the individual being prophesied about in Psalm 22, Zechariah 12 and Isaiah 53, and that He would be crucified…pierced. A method of execution that was unheard of in Israel at the time those prophecies were given. Two of those prophecies have been completely fulfilled, the prophesy in Zechariah 12 speaks of a time yet future, when Israel will be surrounded by enemies, God has promised to protect her, but in the middle of that future trauma and fear, Mashiach will reveal Himself to His own people, they’ll look upon Him whom they pierced, and they’ll mourn over Him, as if they were mourning over their only son.

Why? Because for the past 2,000 years, they’ve believed with all their heart that Jesus, Yeshua, was a turncoat, who betrayed His own people and blasphemed by declaring Himself to be divine. Not to mention, the church made it very easy for Jews to hate Jesus, because the church persecuted Jews mercilessly wherever they were found, deeming them to be less than animals, and worthy of being treated as such. After all, the filthy Jews murdered God. I’m not even kidding, it’s been a constant accusation by the official Christian church against the Jews.

But one day in the future, the eyes of the Jews – the spiritual blinders that they currently wear – will be lifted, they’ll look upon Him whom they pierced and they’ll grieve because they’ll realise they blew it, they rejected their Mashiach and they’ve been wrong all this time.

But this is the time Paul spoke of in Romans 11:25-26,

‘For I don’t want you brothers, to be uninformed of this mystery – so that you won’t be wise in your own estimation – that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it’s written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He’ll remove ungodliness from Jacob.”’

Thank God, that day is drawing nearer every day, and every day more and more Jews are coming to faith in their Mashiach.


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