These words from Zechariah’s prophecy (12 v.10) are quoted in today’s reading in John Ch. 19. John is completing his intimate account of the final hours of Jesus and the dying commission of his Master to him to look after his mother as they stood together near the cross. John was “the disciple whom he loved” [v.26]
As to the others “ they all left him and fled” [Mark 14 v.50] apart from Peter – and we know well the heart ache of his ultimate denial. We specially note the two Old Testament prophecies that John quotes as having been fulfilled at this time. The first, that “not one of his bones will be broken” is an unexpected application of the Divine command to Moses that they were not to break the bones of the Passover lamb (Exodus 12 v.46, reaffirmed in Numbers 9 v.12). We conclude that this command had this ultimate application in mind – after the sacrifice of Jesus the Passover feast had fulfilled its purpose.
Now the other prophecy John mentions is just as interesting! “They will look on him whom they have pierced” [Zech.12 v.10]. This prediction of their act of looking “on him” must occur when Jesus returns. How awesome, indeed, utterly overwhelming, will be their feelings.
The complete prophecy is, “I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn …” [v.37] When this occurs, those who caused him to be pierced will obviously be raised to be there.
At the resurrection not all will receive the “spirit of grace” and their “pleas for mercy” will not be heeded for Jesus had warned them in his teaching, “When once the Master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock … you will begin to say, We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets. But he will say … Depart from me … there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out” [Luke 13 v.25-28].
Food for much thought. Is it possible he will say to some . ‘You owned and read a copy of God’s word – but what difference did it make to your life? What will be said to me, to you? Bro David Caudery