“Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered:” Zechariah 13:7
Though written some 500 years before the birth of Christ, Zechariah’s prophecy nevertheless speaks of the Savior and His redemptive work (Matthew 26:31). The prophecy speaks of One who is God’s “fellow,” that is, One who is comparable to God. Since nothing in the created order can be compared to God in this way (Isaiah 40:18; 46:5), it follows that this prophesied smitten One will be none other than God Himself. The Old Testament contains several references to the promised Messiah, that He would be both human and yet somehow divine (Isaiah 9:6; Micah 5:2). In light of New Testament revelation, we understand this to be speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ, the One in whom dwells all the fullness of deity (Colossians 2:9). The text speaks of the sword of the Lord rising against the Good Shepherd, and our minds immediately go back to Genesis 3, where we are told that our guilty parents were expelled from paradise, cherubim and a flaming sword which turned every way, preventing their re-entry (Genesis 3:24). We may imagine this sword falling on Jesus, thereby opening the way for us to enter the paradise of God. On the evening of His betrayal and arrest, the Lord cited Zechariah 13:7 in order to prepare His disciples for what was about to happen. Though they protested, each one of them did flee for his life when Jesus was arrested. When the Good Shepherd was smitten, the sheep did indeed scatter. This was not the end, however. So far from leaving His believing Jewish sheep scattered, after His resurrection the Lord gathered both believing Jews and believing Gentiles together in one body (Ephesians 2:13-16). Recently we have seen the pastor of our own beloved local church unjustly “smitten” by those in authority over him. Nevertheless, the sheep of God’s pasture are not scattered; they remain loyal to the Lord’s under-shepherd and connected to one another. How can this be? This is so because the local assembly, as well as the church universal, is under the ultimate Lordship of the risen Christ, the Master Builder of the Church, and the Chief Shepherd of the sheep (1 Peter 5:1-4). The One who walks among the candlesticks (Revelation 2-3) is for us, not against us. Let us purpose in our hearts to hear His voice, follow His lead, and arrive at our destination—together.
God bless you all dear saints,