Scripture: Zechariah 13:6-7
Views of a wounded Saviour: What are these wounds…?
These chapters detail events surrounding the return of the Lord Jesus and how that event will specifically affect the remnant in the nation of Israel that He purposes to save. The interaction between the Saviour and this spared remnant will climax in their conversion, v9. The question of v6 is an important part of them coming to an experience of saving grace.
The two advents of Christ are always linked. What He will do at His return is an extension of, and solidly based upon, the work He engaged in during His first advent. Thus, we have an inquiry at His second coming into the wounds He received at His first coming.
I AN INQUIRY INTO THE WOUNDS IN HIS HANDS.
- A new mindset.
- A new attitude to Christ. When Jesus appears in glory there will be a profound shift in attitude towards Him by the surviving members of the nation of Israel. He will be recognized at that point as the long-rejected Messiah. A sight of His wounds is a key factor in that recognition. Cp 12:10-14. The question of 13:6 is informed and shaped by this attitude and knowledge which is the result of the Holy Spirit at work, 12:10.
- A new attitude to lies and liars. The question is set against the backdrop of the treatment now being given to the one perceived to be a false prophet. Cp v2-5. He is now refused and attacked, wounds are given. There is the unavoidable thought that this is how Christ was treated at His first coming, but now the tables are reversed. Cp John 8:48, 52, 10:33, 36, Mark 14:64.
- Yet, clearly, there is ignorance on this matter. Those in view are as yet in the darkness of sin’s ignorance—though gospel light is dawning quickly.
- It is a personal question.One shall ask him…A single inquirer seems to be in view. This is an inquiry that must be made personally and individually of Christ—and yet collectively by all who would be saved. There is a desire to know about His sufferings and work on the cross.
- A specific focus. The wounds in His hands are evidently on display. Here is a parallel to John 20:19-20, 27. Even in the day of His glory and power this is what fascinates His people. What is their meaning? Knowing the meaning of these wounds is critical to salvation and sharing in Christ’s glory. Even in the context here it is what makes the difference between His friends and His enemies.
II A QUESTION THAT IS ANSWERED IN THE DAY OF HIS APPEARING.
- The delight of Christ to answer such inquiry. The fact that an answer is given indicates that this is a question that pleases Him. It is one He will ever respond to! It is an evidence of repentance and faith at work in the sinner and to such an one the Lord will always extend His hands in welcome and instruction.
- It is specially answered at His appearing. Even in that day the Lord Jesus is still ready to impart this knowledge to the inquirer! He will even at this moment be revealing to sinners in the nation of Israel the reason for His death.
- Israel is prominently in view here. Because the focus of Christ’s saving power on that day will be on the remnant of Israel, the first part of the answer given here relates particularly to that nation—the house of my friends. Cp John 1:11. The words of v8-9 refer specifically to Jews in the land of Israel.
III THE QUESTION IS ANSWERED IN THE PROPHECY THAT IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWS.
There are two aspects to the answer to this question. The words of v7 must be seen as further explanation to the puzzle of the wounds in the Messiah’s hands.
- These wounds are the result of Divine action, v7. God was overruling the actions of men against Christ. As He was wounded it was an application of the sword of God. Cp Is 53:10. The scattering of Israel that has occurred since their rejection of Christ has been God’s work. But there is hope for that nation, v9—a hope that is embodied in the meaning of these wounds.
- A message of hope and satisfied justice. Though the nation wounded Him they are still addressed as my friends! The sword of Divine wrath—which at that very moment is being unsheathed to judge the world—is not directed towards any who inquire into the wounds of Christ. Those who look at those wounds, know their meaning and rest by faith in that glorious gospel hope need never fear the sword of the Lord.
- Present relevance of these truths. The fact that this future interaction between Christ and sinners is recorded benefits us now. It is written for our learning. It is part of the revelation of Christ’s gospel. Learning to look with understanding at the wounds of Christ will prepare us for the day of His appearing, to meet Him in glory.