Advent Devotional - Dec 20 - Zechariah 9:9-10:12

Read Zechariah 9:9-10:12

Contemplate: Zechariah was a prophet after the exiled Israelites from Judah returned to Jerusalem from Babylon around the year 520 BC. Zechariah tried to urge the people to focus on rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem. He saw that the temple would point to the coming of the Messiah. This coming King will come lowly and riding on a donkey, which is exactly what happens when Jesus enters Jerusalem on Palm Sunday (John 12:12-15). In the ancient world, when a king rode a donkey it was a symbol of peace. It meant that he was entering your city with peaceful intentions. Jesus was coming to Jerusalem to achieve peace by his blood on the cross. He was taking away the warhorses from Jerusalem and proclaiming peace to the nations (Zechariah 9:10). (Aside: Interestingly, Jesus will return riding a horse (Rev. 19:11), which is a symbol of war in the ancient world. When a king enters your city riding a horse, he intends to go to battle. So Jesus’ first coming is an opportunity to make peace with God, but his second coming is a time for judgment and destruction of God’s enemies.) Here in Zechariah 9 and 10, the promised Messiah will be a shepherd for the flock. He will observe that God’s people “wander like sheep oppressed for lack of a shepherd” (Zech. 10:2, see also Matt. 9:36). The Messiah will gather in all the lost people from God’s flock and care for them.

Pray: Praise Jesus that he brings peace. Thank him for coming as a king who will end all evil, violence, injustice, sin, and oppression. He redeems his people from all over the earth and he deserves all the glory for caring for the flock of God. Give him thanks.