The First and Second Coming of Jesus Prophesied
Zechariah Lesson 23, Chapter 9: 9-10
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem; the battle bow shall be cut off. He shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion shall be ‘from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.”
In a previous lesson we looked at the fact that the enemies of Israel have chosen God as an enemy. God is highly protective of Israel, and they will never be moved from their homeland ever again. To fight Israel is to fight God. Even if you succeed, it will only be for a time until the Lord does something miraculous and you lose.
During the Six Day War (June 5–10, 1967), knowing what was coming, the Israelis launched a pre-emptive strike, almost completely destroying the Egyptian air force and gaining air superiority. A subsequent ground offensive came as a surprise to the Egyptian army; they suffered heavy losses and eventually gave up their ground. Egypt had a much larger military, and this should have been a cake-walk for them. But, Israel never fights alone; God is their secret weapon, their secret protector and their secret preserver.
As we enter the new year, things will begin to heat up in the Middle East. As the US and others begin to relocate their embassies, there will be more and more turmoil in Israel.
The Jews are waiting for their Messiah to come. He did come once, about 2,000 years ago; they missed Him. Most Jews got the two verses that we are looking at today mixed up, or completely missed the first verse altogether. Jesus came once, and He is coming again. We will see in these two verses the two promised comings and what we should expect in them.
Jesus, the Lowly King, verse 9
About two years after Jesus’ birth, a group of men called the Magi, or, as a popular Christmas hymn puts it, ‘three kings’ showed up at Herod’s palace to ask for the new King. The Bible does not tell us that there were only three kings. We know that they brought three types of gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. Each was significant to the person of Jesus. However, these Magi show up at the palace as anyone looking for a king would do. They had been following a star for about two years and came to Jerusalem to find the new Jewish King.
In Matthew 2: 1-6 we find this account:
“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.’
“When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So they said to him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet’:
“But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler who will shepherd My people Israel.’”
The Magi show up asking Herod to see the new king of the Jews. Herod is troubled and immediately asks for the Jewish scholars to come. They quote to him from Micah 5:2, that states that the ‘Ruler who will Shepherd my people will come from Bethlehem in Judah.’ So, Herod knew where to go looking, and look he did. He sent the Magi ahead to find the new King and then he promised to follow so he could worship too.
We all know the story. The Magi came, they worshipped the new King Jesus, and they gave timely and expensive gifts that aided Jesus’ family as they had to run to Egypt for safety from Herod.
Jesus would grow to be a man, and at the age of thirty began His public earthly ministry. Jesus presented Himself to the people of Israel. He proved that He had power over the elements. He raised the dead; He fed the poor; He healed the sick; He stood against their religious oppressors; and He went about doing good. Paul tells us that Jesus took on the mind of a servant, in Philippians 2:5-7:
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.”
Jesus was a servant to the people of Israel, and as such came to die on the cross for the sins of the whole world. The Jews, much like today, were looking for a Messiah, one to conquer the Romans and restore the glory of Israel. But what they got was the king who fulfilled the first verse of our passage today.
He came lowly and sitting on a donkey. Jesus was not in battle array. He did not come with a vast military, nor was He commanding a horde. Just one man, sitting on a donkey, entering Jerusalem. He was there to redeem the whole world. But the Jews could not see Him; they were, and for the most part, they are still blind. We can see that even Jesus’ disciples were blind in their Jewishness, in Acts 1:6:
“Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, ‘Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’”
They were still focused on the nation of Israel. They could not see that Jesus had defeated the entire kingdom of darkness. They could not see that He had fulfilled the first promise that God had made man about the redemption that would come, a promise from Genesis 3:15; Jesus had crushed the head of the serpent. Satan had been defeated. This had to be done before He restored the nation of Israel.
So many Christians are the same way; they miss the whole idea of why Jesus came. Many today are building earthly kingdoms – things that will fade – with big houses, big cars and luxurious lifestyles. But they are missing the point. Jesus did not come to give you the kingdom of the earth. He came to bridge the gap to the kingdom of Heaven.
Too many are so blinded by the comforts of this life that they cannot see the true power of what Jesus accomplished by His resurrection from the dead. Jesus KILLED DEATH! This was a far greater accomplishment than either restoring Israel or giving us a cushy life. Now we can proclaim from the roof tops, ‘Death where is your sting?’ It is gone.
Death simply issues us into the presence of God. This is the true abundant life. This is what the lowly King Jesus came to do the first time.
Jesus, the Conquering King, verse 10
There are two book covers on this story. The first one shows us Jesus as the lowly king. The second shows us Jesus as the Conqueror. He will defeat the enemies of Israel, both the ones outside and inside. He will bring peace to Jerusalem and the nations of the world. He will rule from sea to sea. No place on earth will be away from his authority. Jesus will rule the nations (the ends of the earth) from Jerusalem.
In Revelation 19, we see the second advent of Jesus; here He is not lowly, but in magnificent battle array:
“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.
“Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
“Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, ‘Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.’
“And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh” (Rev.19:12-21).
This is the Jesus the Jews thought they were getting the first time. They were wrong. But Jesus is coming back again. He will rule the earth. There will be no atheists, no excuses and no question as to His existence. He will not tolerate rebellion, and for 1,000 years He will take away the curse of sin from the earth. There will even be peace in the animal kingdom, as we see in Isaiah 11:6:
“The wolf will live with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the goat. The calf, the young lion, and the fatling will be together, and a child will lead them.”
Wow, what a time that will be! It will be like nothing we have ever seen. Those of us from the Gentile church will be serving in the Kingdom. There will be plenty to do.
Are you preparing to meet this Jesus? The King in His glory! Have you accepted the lowly Jesus, the one who bought your salvation in His own blood and conquered death for you?
If you have not accepted the lowly Jesus, then the Kingly Jesus is not your friend. He is coming to rule over the world with a rod of iron. Submit; humble yourself today. Jesus is the Savior—the only one who can redeem you from the fear and sting of death.
Romans 10:9-10 says “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”