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Zechariah ゼカリヤ書

Today we continue our march through the books of the Bible.
We have come a long way in the last 4 years.

We have studied the 5 books of the Pentateuch – the creation of the world and the forming of the Jewish nation and its deliverance.
We have studied the history books – how the kings of Israel and Judah fared in their faithfulness (but usually were unfaithful).
We have studied the wisdom literature.
We studied the 4 major prophets who prophesied between 680BC and 530BC.
And more recently we have been studying the 12 minor prophets who prophesied over a slightly broader period, between 780BC and 430BC.
Today we are at the book of Zechariah, who prophesied between 520BC and 480BC.
Zechariah is the second last book of the Old Testament, so we’re getting there!

Like Jeremiah and Ezekiel, Zechariah was both a prophet and a priest.
He served at the time of Haggai (who we looked at last time) and probably continued to serve long after Haggai as well.
This was during the post exile period – after the Jews had begun to return to Israel following the Babylonian captivity.

Zechariah is a highly prophetic book.
It’s 14 chapters are filled with the language of the book of Revelation – it is highly symbolic at times – and contains an impressive number of prophecies regarding Messiahship which were fulfilled in Jesus.

We’re going to look at the prophecies in Zechariah in terms of

1. the church, 教会
2. the Messiah and メシヤ
3. the end times. 終末

and how we can apply these prophecies in our own lives today.

1. Prophecy with regards to the church

Zechariah is filled with very vivid, exciting and challenging prophecies for the building of the Jewish temple (in the short term) and the Christian church (in the long term).

What we must note is that the first thing God does before He delivers His prophecies through Zechariah, is to call His people to repentance and then provide them with absolution (that is, forgiveness).
The call to repentance comes in the beginning of the first chapter.
Zechariah 1:3 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.
Absolution is provided in figurative but clear language in chapter 3:

Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. [Here Joshua is a Messianic figure standing in the place of God’s people.] (ここではヨシュアは神の民の中でもとりわけ救世主的な性格として書かれています。)The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.”Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.” Zechariah 3:3,4
Whenever we want to see God move in extraordinary ways, we must start from a position of humility and repentance.
Following this in the book of Zechariah we are shown visions of measuring lines and lampstands and scrolls. Each symbolises a different aspect of the work that God would be doing to build His temple (again, in the short term) and His church (in the longer term).
Listen to the vision of the man with the measuring line:土地を測る人々、測地線をしている人々に将来のことを聞いてみなさい。
Then I looked up, and there before me was a man with a measuring line in his hand. I asked, “Where are you going?”
He answered me, “To measure Jerusalem, to find out how wide and how long it is.”
While the angel who was speaking to me was leaving, another angel came to meet him and said to him: “Run, tell that young man, ‘Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of people and animals in it. And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will be its glory within.’ Zechariah 2:1-5
This Word is declaring a time when the growth of God’s church would be without measure.
The walls will not be able to contain the number of people who are turning to God.
I don’t want to be unnecessarily excitable here but honestly it’s hard for me to not see this applying here in our church.
That a time is coming – and in a sense has already come – when these walls will not be able to contain all the people who want to come and be in the presence of God.
Let’s humble ourselves and prayerfully seek the realisation of this exciting vision in our church.

How might this come about?
Zechariah tells us ゼカリヤはこう言っています。: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. Zechariah 4:6
万軍の主は仰せられる、これは権勢によらず、能力によらず、わたしの霊によるのである。 ゼカリヤ書4:6
1. Prophecy with regards to the Messiah

The book of Zechariah is an awesome book when we consider the number of prophecies it contains which are fulfilled in Christ.
These are worth going over and as we study them, be amazed at the sovereignty of God and His omniscience (being all-knowing).
i. This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the Lord. It is he who will build the temple of the Lord, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two.’ Zechariah 6:12,13
彼に言いなさい、『万軍の主は、こう仰せられる、見よ、その名を枝という人がある。彼は自分の場所で成長して、主の宮を建てる。 すなわち彼は主の宮を建て、王としての光栄を帯び、その位に座して治める。その位のかたわらに、ひとりの祭司がいて、このふたりの間に平和の一致がある』。ゼカリヤ書6:12,13
Even from earliest times Jewish commentaries identified this passage as Messianic.
Note the words “Here is the man”.
This is similar to what Pilate said to the Jews when he presented Jesus to them before His crucifixion.
Isaiah also prophesied about Jesus being the Branch of David.
It might seem obscure to the modern ear but to the Jews of the Old and New Testaments, it was clearly Messianic.
ii. I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the handsome price at which they valued me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter at the house of the Lord. Zechariah 11:12,13
わたしは彼らに向かって、「あなたがたがもし、よいと思うならば、わたしに賃銀を払いなさい。もし、いけなければやめなさい」と言ったので、彼らはわたしの賃銀として、銀三十シケルを量った。 主はわたしに言われた、「彼らによって、わたしが値積られたその尊い価を、宮のさいせん箱に投げ入れよ」。わたしは銀三十シケルを取って、これを主の宮のさいせん箱に投げ入れた。 ゼカリヤ書11:12,13
Judas of course was paid 30 pieces of silver to betray Jesus.
He ended up throwing them into the temple and they used that silver to buy a potter’s field to use as a cemetery.
Remember that all these prophecies were given about 500 years before Christ.
Be amazed at this.
iii. “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. Zechariah 13:7
Jesus quoted this Himself in Matthew 26:31.
Zechariah prophesied that the Messiah would be struck down.
For centuries, Jewish scholars couldn’t explain the[There were] two different types of Messianic prophecies:
the victorious warrior Messiah and the suffering servant Messiah.
Many scholars thought there would have to be two Messiahs to make sense of this but of course, [and] Jesus fulfills both images.
He was the suffering servant who also saved the world from sin and who will return in triumph.
Zechariah captures both images here in this famous passage often read on Palm Sunday:
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. Zechariah 9:9
シオンの娘よ、大いに喜べ、エルサレムの娘よ、呼ばわれ。見よ、あなたの王はあなたの所に来る。彼は義なる者であって勝利を得、柔和であって、ろばに乗る。すなわち、ろばの子である子馬に乗る。 ゼカリヤ書9:9
And we see the triumphant Messiah-king here: そして私たちは勝利の救世主の王を、ゼカリヤ書の次の箇所にみることができます。
The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name. Zechariah 14:9
1. Prophecy with regards to end times

As I mentioned earlier, Zechariah is filled with similar language to that of the Book of Revelation.
There are visions of coloured horses and horsemen, lampstands and scrolls, baskets and chariots, and each have their own layers of meaning, and for many of them it’s hard to be sure about the specifics.

But the general conclusions and teachings from these visions are given to us:
The Lord God is Sovereign.
He remembers His people.
He will judge the nations.
He will save His people.
He will be victorious over all His enemies.
And He will make His people holy as He is holy.

On that day holy to the Lord will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, and the cooking pots in the Lord’s house will be like the sacred bowls in front of the altar. Every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the Lord Almighty, and all who come to sacrifice will take some of the pots and cook in them. Zechariah 14:20,21a
その日には、馬の鈴の上に「主に聖なる者」と、しるすのである。また主の宮のなべは、祭壇の前の鉢のように、聖なる物となる。 エルサレムおよびユダのすべてのなべは、万軍の主に対して聖なる物となり、すべて犠牲をささげる者は来てこれを取り、その中で犠牲の肉を煮ることができる。ゼカリヤ書14:20,21a

We can take real encouragement from the book of Zechariah because we can see God speaking so clearly throughout the book.
It’s easy to match the prophecies with the fulfilments and it’s not hard to see, despite the colourful language, how the words contained in this book mesh so neatly with the other books of Scripture as God’s plan of salvation unfolds.
There might be a temptation for us to simply rest in this knowledge.
But the Christian life is more exciting than that.
New Testament believers – that’s us – have access to this same Spirit of prophecy that Zechariah had.
Does that sound extraordinary or impossible to you? I assure you it’s not.
そんなことは とんでもないことで、不可能だと思いませんか? でも、不可能ではありません。
We are called to be filled with the Spirit of Jesus and we are taught that “The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy”. Revelation 19:10
私たちはイエスの霊に満たされるように召され、イエスのあかしは、すなわち預言の霊である (ヨハネの黙示録19:10)と教えられています。
Paul encourages us in this, too.
He says, 彼はこう言いました。
“Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy” (1 Corinthians 14:1)
because, he says, なぜなら、彼はこう言いました。
“the one who prophesies edifies the church” (1 Corinthians 14:4b)
So let us never tire of desiring gifts and seeking fresh filings of the Spirit and stepping out in faith.
I’d like to finish today with an encouraging word I heard this week, reminding us again that
God still speaks to us in amazing ways if we humble ourselves before Him and step out in faith, even when it might seem odd to do so.
The bell story.
Last year my brother Dunc was spending time in prayer and he got a very strong feeling that he was to build a church in Fiji for the people of Vomo island.
Part of that feeling/vision was that there were be a church bell that would ring out across the island.
He didn’t know why but he felt that the church bell would be an important part of the church building.
So he faithfully set about buying a church bell even before he spoke to the people in Vomo.
A church bell became available at an auction in Australia so he went to make a bid but it was sold before he was even able to make a bid.
He was very disappointed and wondered if he simply got it wrong in listening to God.
A second opportunity to buy a bell at auction came up but he missed that one, too.
This was again discouraging for him but as he prayed, he felt God tell him that he would build a church and the bell would be an important part of it.
A short time later, the pastor of a neighbouring church heard that Dunc was doing a good job (and a free job!) with church repairs so asked him if he wouldn’t mind coming over to do some repair work.
Dunc gladly did those repairs. ダンカンはもちろん喜んで修理をしました。
When he finished doing everything he was asked to do, the pastor looked a bit embarrassed and said, “There’s actually one more job I’d like you to do, if you don’t mind.
It’s quite a big one”. 「かなりの大仕事になるよ。」
He took Dunc into a back room, showed him a big old church bell and said, “Could you get rid of this for me?”
So God provided a church bell and Dunc was very encouraged.
There’s more to this story with the people of Vomo but I’ll skip to the CEO of the resort.
He is not a believer and Dunc didn’t know what he would think about having a church built in his resort.
A few weeks before Dunc spoke to him, The CEO went for a swim on his own at the back of the island.
As he came up out of the water, he distinctly heard a church bell ringing.
Not in the distance or coming across the water but ringing out from the island.
It wasn’t a ship bell, a doorbell or any other kind of bell.
It was distinctly a church bell. He went to the locals on the island and asked them when they got the church bell.
They said they didn’t have a bell and the CEO was quite perplexed and told no-one what he’d heard for fear that they’d think he was nuts.
Then Dunc met with him and shared with him his calling to build a church on the island and also told him his bell story.
The CEO was shocked and then confided in Dunc his bell story and by that stage there was no way he could say no to a church being built.
So he gave his approval and now a church is in the works for the people of Vomo – not by might, not by power but by the Spirit of God who still speaks to His people when they humble themselves before Him.
そして会長はダンカンに許可を与え、現在はヴォモの人々のために教会は建築されている途中です。万軍の主は仰せられる、これは権勢によらず、能力によらず、わたしの霊によるのである。 ゼカリヤ書4:6