How do you respond to Zechariah 12:10?

“when they look on the one they have pierced, they shall mourn for him…”

Hundreds of years before Christ was born it was declared that he would be pierced (cf. John 19:24–27). Detailed prophecies such as this one help convince us that Jesus is the Messiah hoped for in the Old Testament. The ministry and crucifixion of Jesus are the centerpieces of world history. Everything else revolves around these. So God takes extraordinary care to ensure that they unfold in just the right way. And to prove that he is behind it all, he announces many of the details of his plan centuries ahead of time, as we have already seen.

Nothing shows forth the sovereignty and wisdom of God as gloriously as does the detailed way Christ’s ministry and crucifixion fulfilled Old Testament prophecies. We compromise the wisdom and sovereignty of God, however, if we reduce such prophecies to “crystal ball” previews of the future. God’s power and wisdom are more amazing if they allow for open-ended free decisions than if God needs to have everything settled ahead of time to accomplish his plans.

To ensure that this or any other prophesied detail of Christ’s life comes to pass, the Lord would have to know that someone at the time of the crucifixion would have freely developed the sort of character that would, in the right circumstances, carry out the prophesied action. But, as we saw was the case of Joseph of Arimathea (see How do you respond to Isaiah 53:9?), God would not have to predetermine who that “someone” would be. At any given moment in history many people undoubtedly have such a character. The Lord need only find one and providentially direct his freely acquired character to act out in accordance with his prophesied end (Prov. 16:9).

Prophecies such as this one do not exalt a special divine ability to foresee an exhaustively settled future. They rather exalt God’s unfathomable wisdom and the remarkable power he has to use it. Most importantly, they demonstrate the truth that Jesus Christ is Lord and that his life, death and resurrection were orchestrated by God for the purpose of redeeming humanity from its sin.

Related Reading

Why did God create me to be a pedophile?

Question: Since the first time I experienced a sex drive it’s been directed towards little children. I’ve never acted on this, for I know it’s wrong. But it torments me. Why would God created me with pedophile cravings? Answer: I’m so sorry for your condition and greatly respect the fact that you have committed yourself…

What is the significance of Jeremiah 32:35?

As in Jeremiah 19:5, the Lord expresses his dismay over Israel’s paganism by saying they did this “though I did not command them, nor did it enter my mind that they should do this abomination.” If this abomination was eternally foreknown to God, it’s impossible to attribute any clear meaning to his confession that this…

Topics:

The Cosmic Dance: Why Will This Book Benefit Me?

Greg took a few moments to describe how he hopes you’ll benefit from The Cosmic Dance. Discover how various branches of science demonstrate that life itself is a delicate dance between order and chaos. You’ll find that we’re wired to live on the edge in a place of creativity, spontaneity and significance in the adventure…

What is the significance of Joel 2:13–14?

“Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing. Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him…?” As we have seen, God’s willingness to alter his course of action—even after he’s prophetically announced…

Topics:

Why have you consistently stressed the need for the Western Church to learn from the African Church?

Question: I’ve heard you argue that the white Western church has a lot to learn theologically from African cultures. What is it specifically that you’re referring to? Response: I do strongly believe that the western church needs to humbly sit at the feet of our fellow Christians in Africa. My conviction is based on four…

What is the significance of Jonah 1:2; 3:2, 4–10; 4:2?

God “changed his mind” (3:10) about the destruction he planned to carry out on Nineveh. If all events in history are eternally settled and known by God as such, his word to Jonah that he planned to destroy Nineveh in forty days was insincere as was his inspired testimony that he in fact changed his…

Topics: