Monday, January 23, 2017

Dial Daily Bread: A Special Gift of Repentance

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

There is a strange prophecy in Zechariah: "They will look on Me whom they have pierced; they will mourn for Him ..." He was "wounded in the house of [His] friends" (12:10; 13:6). Jesus says in the promise He made just before His cross, "'And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.' This He said, signifying by what death He would die" (John 12:32, 33). That is how we "look upon Him."

Zechariah says that the Lord will give a special gift of repentance to His people so that they will see something they've never grasped before: it wasn't the Jews or the Romans who crucified ("pierced") our Savior; we did it! The Holy Spirit will give the precious gift of discernment--how deep is our sin (and that's always Good News to say Thank You for!).

The Holy Spirit will give this gift of repentance to two groups within the church: "the house of David" (that is, its leadership), and to "the inhabitants of Jerusalem" (that is, the lay members). Hard worldly hearts will be melted by this "Spirit of grace." The result: prayers like we've never heard before, a spirit of "supplications" (Zech. 12:10). The Hebrew word has a strange root--the idea of bestowing rather than begging a favor in prayer. It's "supplications" to the Lord that convey to Him a blessing, that make Him happy, not just vice versa. (That's a new kind of prayer! And indeed Zechariah is telling us things that will be new.)

Put with that Isaiah 53:11, speaking of Jesus: "He shall see of the travail of His soul, and be satisfied." Think of a chef who cooks for you a delicious meal. If you gobble it down without a word, is he "satisfied"? It's time the Lord's people be given those "enlarged hearts" (Psalm 119:32) that can appreciate the "width and length and depth and height--[of] the love [agape] of Christ which passes knowledge" (Eph. 3:18, 19). An appreciation of Christ crucified leads to self being crucified--with Him. All pride and arrogance are gone. Now, finally, the Lamb is "satisfied." His "wife" understands Him at last (Rev. 19:7, 8). Now He enjoys communion with "someone" who cares, His church.

Now let's finish what Zechariah says: "In that day" when that "most precious" gift is received, "a fountain shall be opened for the house of David [the leadership of His church] and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem [the lay members], for sin and for uncleanness" (13:1).

In simple terms: "righteousness" will be by faith, not works; faith equals a humbled heart that begins now to "comprehend" what it cost Christ to save us. Then His love (agape) can constrain us.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: February 22, 2004.
Copyright © 2017 by "Dial Daily Bread."