Today, I am reading and commenting on Zechariah 11-14.
There are bits and pieces of this passage which speak clearly to me, but the whole of the passage eludes my understanding. I know that at least part of the reason for this is that the author used imagery which would have been clear to his contemporaries, but which does not transfer well to the way we think today. I will continue to read this passage because I know that the Holy Spirit will use it to speak to me when the time is right. Having said that I want to comment on the parts of this passage which I do understand.
There is clear Messianic prophecy in this passage, probably even in the parts I do not understand. There is the 30 pieces of silver, which the New Testament writers tell us was a reference to Judas. There is the passage about mourning for the one “whom they have pierced.” A reference to Jesus’ death on the cross. One thing we do not often look at is the reference to God breaking His covenant in the middle of this passage about Jesus. I sure that I do not fully understand what the prophet is telling us here. However, part of the message is that, with the Crucifixion of Jesus, God is entering into a new covenant with the human race. There is also the message about the coming fountain of cleansing which will wash away sin and idolatry. Part of me wants to connect that fountain to the life-giving waters which the prophet refers to a few verses later. I think this is an example which most clearly shows how Zechariah uses a metaphor one way to give one message than turns around and takes a similar metaphor to give a different message…and yet the second message is somehow connected to the first. The waters of that cleansing fountain become the life-giving waters. It is only when we allow the cleansing waters which are Jesus’ blood to wash us and scour us that we can experience the life-giving waters which are also Jesus’ blood. The cleansing water and the life-giving water are different things…and yet they are the same thing. A paradox that never be fully understood by our limited minds.