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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.

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