CHRIST SMITTEN BY GOD
We need to read Zechariah 13:7: “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.” This is the Word of God, speaking about a man that is His fellow. He is a man, yet He is the fellow, the companion of the Lord of hosts. He is a man, but He is equal to God as God’s fellow. This is how the Lord Jesus came as a man. He came the first time as a man to be the Shepherd with grace and unity. But He was rejected, abhorred, betrayed, and priced and sold for thirty pieces of silver, just like a slave. However, not only did men reject and betray Him, but God smote Him. “Smite the shepherd.” He was smitten by God on the cross. He was betrayed for thirty pieces of silver by men, but following that, He was smitten on the cross by God Himself.
THE MYSTERY OF THE RECOVERY
From all these verses we can see that Isaiah is much easier to understand than Zechariah. Everything in Zechariah is mostly hidden, because it is something in the recovery. Anything in the recovery is hidden and is a mystery to all who are not in the recovery. This is why people cannot understand us. They are always trying to understand, but they can never understand. Until you come into the recovery, that is, the local churches, you can never understand; there is always something hidden. It has been the experience of all who have come in, that at first they were not so clear. Even after two or three months, they still were not so clear. But after two or three years, everything was so clear!
This is why it is easy for the enemy to spread so many rumors. Satan knows that the local churches are the only ones that can cause him trouble; so he spreads many rumors through those who do not understand. Before the people of Israel entered the land of Canaan, the Canaanites talked much about them. Why? It was simply because they were fearful. Today it is the same. We are so little, but there is much talk about us across the country. Everything in the Lord’s recovery is a secret. Unless you are in it for a good while, you will still have some misunderstandings. You need to be in it for two or three years. Then you will be clear. Everything in the Lord’s recovery is mysterious. This is why the prophecies in Zechariah are given in a secret way. But praise the Lord, they are open to the local churches!
Zechariah tells us that Christ came as a man to be the Shepherd to feed the flock of God so that we could enjoy the grace and have the unity. Yet He was abhorred by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and therefore betrayed and sold for the price of a slave. Even God smote Him for the purpose of redemption, and when He was smitten of God, the sheep were scattered. The Lord quoted these words in Matthew 26:31. Peter was telling the Lord how he would follow Him to the end, and the Lord said it is written that God will smite the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.
AN OPENED FOUNTAIN
Zechariah even speaks about the cross in a mysterious way. “And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends” (Zech. 13:6). This is truly a secret way to speak about the cross. The Lord came to the house of His friends, yet they wounded Him, and the wounds are visible in His hands. This means that His hands were nailed to the cross. The American Standard Version says that He was wounded between His two arms. This was the piercing of His side. Both are right. You may say this was the wound on His hands, or you may also say that this was the wound between His two arms.
Zechariah 13:1 gives us the purpose for which He was wounded: “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.” This fountain is the flow of His precious blood from His hands and His side, the fountain for sin. Zechariah 12:10 says, “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced.”
Zechariah prophesied concerning the death of the Lord in a very mysterious way. He did not use the word cross or crucifixion, but such words as wounded, a fountain opened, and whom they have pierced. In the whole Bible, there is not another book which gives such a wonderful and lovable picture of Christ’s death.
Zechariah also prophesied regarding the manner in which Christ would come to Jerusalem before His death. He came as a King, not upon a grand horse, but on a little colt, the foal of an ass. “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass” (Zech. 9:9). This was fulfilled in Matthew 21:1-11, when the Lord Jesus came to Jerusalem the last time.
I do not think that we could get a clearer and better picture concerning the first coming of the Lord than that which Zechariah gives us. He told us that He came as a man; yet He is the fellow of God. He came to be the Shepherd to feed the flock of God with grace for unity; yet He was abhorred by the false shepherds. He was betrayed for thirty pieces of silver and even smitten by God. He was wounded in His hands and side in the house of His friends so that He might open a fountain for the cleansing of sins. He came to them as a man to shepherd, and as a King, lowly, riding upon an ass; yet He was rejected. All this concerns His first coming, and it is prophesied in such a secret way. He puts a little piece here and a little piece there, and it takes a real revelation from the Lord to put them all together.
CHRIST’S SECOND COMING
Zechariah also speaks of the Lord’s second coming. “Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.…Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley, and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee” (Zech. 14:1, 3-5).
These verses tell us that He will come with all the saints to fight, and He will stand upon the Mount of Olives. If we read Acts 1:9-12, we see that the Lord Jesus ascended from the Mount of Olives, and the angels told the disciples that He will come back in the same way. He left from the Mount of Olives, and He will come back to the Mount of Olives. He will return to the very spot from which He ascended. At that time, the Jewish people will be surrounded by their enemies, just as they were at the side of the Red Sea. As the Lord cleft the Red Sea, in the future He will cleave the Mount of Olives into two parts, making an opening for the people to flee from their enemies.
While the Lord Christ will be fighting for the people of Israel, God will pour upon them the Spirit of grace and all of them will repent and mourn. They will not mourn for their sins, but for their rejection of the Lord in the past. All the Hebrews will then repent and receive Him as Savior. He will solve all the problems on earth and be the King over all the nations. “And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one” (Zech. 14:9).
We all must be clear in the Lord’s recovery of the local churches that we are for Christ’s first coming, and we are also for His second coming. So we do need to pray-read the book of Zechariah. We do not need to analyze much, but simply pray-read. The Spirit of grace will help us to understand Christ more and more in a secret way. This is the Christ that we see prophesied in Zechariah, the mysterious Christ for the local churches, deeper than the Christ prophesied in Isaiah.
(The Recovery of God's House and God's City, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)