“Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, against the man who stands next to me,” declares the LORD of hosts. “Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered…” (Zechariah 13:7)
If you had a shepherd – someone who causes you to lie down in green fields and who leads you besides still waters, someone who knows the way when you don’t, someone who leads you – what would you want him to experience? What do you want to happen to your shepherd? Or, put it this way: what would you want God to do for your shepherd? I would want my shepherd to be blessed by God. All power to him, I would think. The better it goes for him, the better it would go for me, right? No wonder these words in Zechariah are so extraordinary. Here is God calling for a sword against a shepherd. Not any shepherd. His own shepherd! In the Old Testament, God often refers to the leaders of His people as shepherds. So here is God’s own chosen leader, and God calls for a sword against him – death! The man who stands next to Him! This is not a shepherd far away at a distance. This is someone close, someone who we could even say is ‘at His right hand’. As we could have predicted, once this shepherd is struck the sheep will be scattered. Why would God do that? Meet Jesus in the Old Testament. We know this is about Jesus because Jesus says so. In Matthew 26:31 Jesus says to His disciples, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’” In Zechariah, God is predicting the sufferings of our True Shepherd, who is Jesus Christ. When He was arrested, condemned, tortured, crucified and killed, His disciples were scattered. So why did God do this? Zechariah tells us that too. Zechariah 13:1 tells us that, “On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.” God strikes the Shepherd so that the sheep can be cleansed. It is not still waters that clean the sheep. It is not green grass. It is the death of their Shepherd that cleanses them. And afterwards, the sheep will be gathered together again, this time spotless and clean. A few verses later God says in Zechariah 13:9, “They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’” How greatly you are loved! Your Shepherd is prepared to go through anything for you – even being struck by God. PRAY and thank God for your Perfect Shepherd. If He is willing to be struck by God for you, what do you have to fear today? Surely you can trust Him in everything else that happens to you.