In God's marvelous grace
He will open up a fountain for the cleansing away of
sin. God in His mercy provides a means of dealing
with man's greatest problem. "The wages of sin is
death," but God paid the penalty so He could freely
acquit the sinner. God opened up the fountain that
cleanses away sin and unrighteousness. This is
totally impossible for depraved man to do. Only God
can forgive sin. This is not speaking of baptism as
taking away sin because the earthly fountain of
water is a symbol of the spiritual water that
cleanses away sin, i.e. the blood of Jesus Christ.
The vicarious, sacrificial death of Christ, through
His shed blood cleanses away sin. 1 John 1:7 tells
us the blood of Jesus cleanses us from every sin.
The apostle John writes, ". . . the blood of Jesus
His Son cleanses us from all sin." God's detergent
is the only one that can deal with our guilt before
"In that day a fountain
will be opened for the house of David and for the
inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity"
"That day" refers to a
future day of the LORD (14:1). We find the phrase
"on that day" sixteen times in the last three
chapters of Zechariah (12:3-4, 6, 8-9, 11; 13:1-2,
4; 14:4, 6, 8-9, 13, 20-21). It should be obvious
that this day is clearly in his mind. On the day of
Christ's crucifixion and death the fountain was
opened potentially for Israel and all mankind. This
is the day when Gentiles and Jews are turning by
faith and trusting in the death of Jesus to wash
them of their sins. There is also a day coming when
the Jewish people will turn to Christ (Romans
That fountain not only
deals with our past sin and guilt, but it also
provides for our sanctification. He continually
cleanses us from our sins. The LORD our
Righteousness prepared the fountain. It is never a
cistern or stagnant pond of water, but a wellspring
of water that is always fresh, abundant, easily
accessible and flowing spiritual water. The
vicarious, substitutionary fountain filled with the
blood of the Lamb of God has been opened and now
there is cleansing for all who will come to Him
(Heb. 9:7-15). He invites everyone who is a sinner
to come freely to the fountain for cleansing of all
The Fountain Opened
The fountain was broken
open at the cross. Blood of the Suffering Servant of
God flowed through every pore as He prayed in the
Garden of Gethsemane (Lk. 22:44). The cruel scourges
tore open His back (Jn. 19:1), and the crown of
thorns woven by the soldiers pierced his temples
(Mk. 15:17, 19). His hands were nailed to the cross
(Jn. 20:20, 25, 27). "The blood of Jesus His Son
cleanses us from all sin" (1 Jn. 1:7; cf. Rev.
The fountain was first
opened to the "house of David" in the great
preaching of the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14-36).
Zechariah continues in 13:6-7, "And one will say to
him, 'What are these wounds between your arms?' Then
he will say, 'Those with which I was wounded in the
house of my friends.'"
"Awake, O sword, against
And against the man, My
Declares the Lord of
Strike the Shepherd that
the sheep may be scattered;
And I will turn My hand
against the little ones."
The smiting of the
Shepherd is according to the will of God. The
smitten one is the Shepherd of Yahweh. "The shepherd
of Jehovah, whom Jehovah describes as a man who is
His next one (neighbor), cannot of course be a bad
shepherd, who is displeasing to Jehovah, and
destroys the flock, or the foolish shepherd. . . .
The idea of nearest one (or fellow) involves not
only similarity in vocation, but community of
physical or spiritual descent, according to which He
whom God calls His neighbor cannot be a mere man,
but can only be one who participates in the divine
nature, or is essentially divine. The shepherd of
Jehovah, whom the sword is to smite, is therefore no
other than the Messiah, who is also identified with
Jehovah in 12:10; or the good shepherd, who says of
Himself, 'I and My Father are one' (John 10:30)" (source
Jesus Christ is the
Shepherd of Israel, appointed by God Himself (John
10:11). He alone can be called "Yahweh's fellow" for
he was God as well as man (Jn. 1:1), even the true
God (5:20), although One with the Father Himself
(5:30) He assumed our nature with the purpose that
He might suffer for our sins.
Yahweh calls His True
Prophet as opposed to the false prophets (13:2-6),
the Messiah, My Shepherd (vv. 7-9). Not only does
the prophet give us a picture of the smitten
Shepherd, but also the scattering of the sheep and
the saved remnant.
Yahweh is the one who
directs the death of His Shepherd who is indeed the
True Shepherd, the Good Shepherd (John 10:11, 14),
the Great Shepherd (Heb. 13:20) and the Chief
Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4).
The deity of God's
Shepherd is strongly affirmed in 13:7. The Lord
claims "unity of essence" with His shepherd.
Therefore, the deity of the Messiah is emphasized.
The effect of the
killing the Shepherd
The death of the shepherd
is according to the counsel of God (Isa. 53:10). The
Shepherd was smitten (Isa. 53:4, 7, 10) at the
crucifixion of Christ and His own sheep abandoned
Him like scattered sheep (Matt. 26:31, 56).
The flock will be
dispersed in consequence to the slaying of the
Shepherd. The nation has brought judgment upon
itself. But even then, a remnant will be saved (vv.
fulfillment of this prophecy is found in the words
of Jesus to His disciples the night before His death
in Matthew 26:31-32. He said, "You will all fall
away because of Me this night, for it is written, 'I
will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep of the
flock shall be scattered.' But after I have been
raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee" (cf. Mark
14:27). The soldiers came and arrested Jesus and the
disciples fled in all directions. After His death
they barricaded themselves behind locked doors in
fear of the Jewish religious leaders. However, the
Lord soon brought His hand back over the disciples
fulfilling His own words, "But after I have been
raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee."
This does not exhaust the
meaning of Zechariah's words. There will be a
remnant of those who believe on Jesus the Messiah
(Rom. 11:22-36). Keil and Delitzsch suggest the
"cutting off of the two-thirds of Israel commenced
in the Jewish war under Vespasian and Titus, and in
the war for the suppression of the rebellion led by
the pseudo-Messiah Bar Cochba. . . it was continued
in the persecutions of the Jews with fire and sword
in the following centuries."
The false shepherds of
Israel consumed the sheep. However, "The Old
Testament prophecy reached to John the Baptist, and
attained its completion and its end in Christ (Matt.
11:13; Luke 16:16; cf. Matt. 5:17)" (Keil).
Many Bible scholars
conclude that there are two fulfillments in this
passage from Zechariah. The initial fulfilment in
the persecutions against the believers in Acts and
the Diaspora when the Jews are scattered across the
empire after Rome destroyed Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
But there is also the ultimate fulfilment in the
time of the Tribulation at the end of this age. The
apostle John informs us that the majority of the
Jewish nation will be destroyed. The surviving
one-third or remnant will be purified through the
persecutions during the Tribulation and God"'s
chastising hand. It is at that time that they will
call upon the name of the Lord and trust Him for
deliverance (Zechariah 12:10-13:1; cf. Matthew
24-25). There will come a time when they will hear
the Gospel of Jesus Christ and turn to Him as the
only name under heaven given among men whereby they
may be saved (Acts 4:12). Romans 11:25-36 reminds us
God is not finished with His chosen people. The
"partial hardening has happened to Israel" at the
present time "until the fullness of the Gentiles has
come in; and thus all Israel will be saved . . ."
(vv. 25-26). They will one day respond to the
marvelous sovereign saving grace of God and be
saved. Pray for Jerusalem. Pray for the hastening of
that great day when Jesus comes.
Zechariah closes with the
gathering of all nations together by the LORD
against Jerusalem. They will take the city and
plunder it and lead away half of its inhabitants
into captivity (14:1-2). However, the Lord will then
take charge of His people, appearing on the Mount of
Olives, and splitting this mountain prepare a safe
way for the rescue of the remnant and come with His
saints (vv. 3-5) to complete His kingdom. From Mount
Zion salvation will stream forth over the whole
world (vv. 6-11). God will miraculously smite the
enemies who came to destroy Jerusalem (vv. 12-15).
The enemies are destroyed by the immediate
interposition of the Lord. There will be a remnant
of Gentile nations who will turn to the Lord and
worship Him (vv. 16-19), and Jerusalem will become
holy because the LORD dwells in her midst (vv.
20-21). In chapter fourteen we have "predicted in
Old Testament from the completion of the kingdom of
God, which the Apostle John saw and described in
Rev. 20-22 in New Testament mode under the figure of
the heavenly Jerusalem" (Keil and Delitzsch). Cf.
The message of the old
and the new covenant is clear. There is cleansing,
washing, forgiveness for every missing of the mark
and for the removal of every guilty stain left by
sin and depravity (Isa. 1:18; 1 Cor. 6:9ff; Eph.
2:5ff; 1 John 1:7; 2:2). Come to the fountain for
cleansing today. The LORD God reigns!
13:1, 6-7 The Precious Fountain Opened
Christ in the Old Testament