Where is the Gospel in Zechariah?
The book is filled with visions and imagery that can get us lost in the details, but the explaining angel keeps pointing us to the coming of “the Branch” (3.8; 6.12)
This Branch will purify his people and remove their sin in one day.
I will remove the iniquity of this land in a single day
Jesus, the Branch, came to remove the consequence of your sin.
Maybe you don’t feel very pure right now, maybe you’re discouraged too, maybe you don’t see much purification happening in your life right now.
Zechariah was, at the time, writing to people who were discouraged by living, after the exile, in a “day of small things” (4.10), when there seemed to be little progress toward the glorious future promised in the earlier prophets, and maybe that is you, but God says
10 For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.
So, if you are discouraged and feeling impure, stick with it, God always finishes the work He starts, He who started a good work in you will bring it to completion, and if it feels slow, don’t worry, we will rejoice, we will see the presence of God in the person of the Word of God, this great King and High Priest, the greater and ultimate Zerubbabel. God promises that this is a whole life change for people from all nations.
That is you and me, that is us, I will bring them to dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in faithfulness and in righteousness (8.7-8), that is us.
But, how are we able to live with God despite our sinful selves?
The purification on offer to us through the shed blood of Jesus.
Alone, we will never attain that level of righteousness, try as we might, we can never work our way to God’s level of holiness, we can never be as pure as we need to be to be in the presence of God.
But, thanks be to God who sent Jesus, the Word become flesh, God in the flesh, to be the Branch, to stand in the gap, to live that perfectly pure life and to die that perfectly pure sacrificial death and to be the first fruits of the resurrection, so that those of us who believe in and on Him, who believe that God raised Him from the dead, can be viewed as pure and right and good enough by God, and we can be in right relationship with God, through what He did.
Zechariah points forward to a time when this would be available to the people, they looked forward in expectant hope.
For us, the time is now.