Life-Study of Zechariah, by Witness Lee


The book of Zechariah opens with a word exhorting the children of Israel to return to Jehovah with the promise that Jehovah will return to them (1:2-6). They had returned from Babylon to Jerusalem, but probably most of them had not returned to the Lord. Verse 3 says, "Return to Me, declares Jehovah of hosts, and I will return to you, says Jehovah of hosts." Here we have a principle: first we have to return to the Lord, and then the Lord will return to us.


The subject of the prophecy of Zechariah is Jehovah’s hearty consolation and promise to His chastised chosen people through the redemption of Christ, who in His humiliation became their suffering Companion in their captivity.


The central thought of Zechariah’s prophecy is that Jehovah remembers His chastised people and sympathizes with them in their suffering of the nations’ excessive reaction to His punishment over them. For their suffering of His punishment, God sent Christ as His Angel to be with them and go with them through their captivity, who accomplished a fine redemption for their salvation. In the meantime Jehovah also raised up "craftsmen" to deal with the nations who had reacted in excess. He also gave a hearty word of consolation and promise through Zechariah, a prophet of restoration, saying that He would bring the scattered Israel back to their own country with the expectation of a time of restoration and prosperity.

In this central thought there are several important factors: God’s sympathy, redemption, salvation, the Savior, the Redeemer, and the Deliverer. Because of His sympathy, God came in to console the people whom He had chastised. In this consoling work, Christ was sent to accomplish redemption for their salvation, making Christ their Savior as well as their Redeemer. In God’s redemption for salvation, Christ is the centrality. Christ came the first time to redeem God’s elect by being crucified and shedding His blood. His coming the second time will not be to redeem but to deliver God’s elect out of the hand of Antichrist and to bring in a time of restoration and prosperity. Thus Christ is also the Deliverer, making Christ the universality. In this universe we see Christ on the cross as the center, and from that center Christ is spreading Himself to the circumference. This is the universality of Christ. Ephesians tells us that this redeeming Christ who produced the Body, the church, is the One who fills all in all (1:22-23). He is surely the centrality and the universality in God’s plan and in God’s redemption.

(Life-Study of Zechariah, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)