Zechariah – The Book of Zechariah

The trip back home to Judah from the land of Babylon had started with great hope, but when obstacles and troubles came, the people became discouraged and halted work on the temple of God. Then, Haggai (whom we studied last week) and Zechariah came on the scene. Ezra 5 tells us that they stirred up the spirits of the people. After listening to Haggai and Zechariah, the people repented and got back on track building the temple. 

Within months, God began giving regular messages to Zechariah, which Zechariah then communicated to the people. God spoke to Zechariah in chapters 1 – 6 through visions (defined by some as dreams while still awake). Like us, parts of Zechariah’s dreams seem a little crazy, but they emphasize God’s plans to bring peace, to punish sin, and to care for His people. The fourth dream, found in chapter 3, paints a beautiful picture of the coming Messiah. The high priest, Joshua, is standing beside the angel of the Lord where Satan is accusing him. Joshua is standing in dirty clothes, but the angel removes his dirty clothes and puts clean clothes on him, saying, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you (v. 4).” Then, he tells of something yet to come. “I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,” says the Lord Almighty, “and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day.”

In fact, one of the primary themes of Zechariah is foretelling details about the Messiah. Zechariah gives many clues about the Messiah, helping people to recognize Jesus when He came. Can you see Jesus in each of these statements?

Zech. 9:9 - Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Zech. 9:10 - He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea…

Zech. 10:4 - From Judah will come the cornerstone…

Zech. 11:13 - So they paid me thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the handsome price at which they valued me! 

Zech. 12:10 - And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.

Zech. 13:1 - On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.

Zechariah emphasized the reason for these prophesies - God’s great love for people!

Zech. 2:10-11 - Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you, declares the Lord. Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. 

Zech. 8:8 - I will save my people from the countries of the east and the west. I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God.

Zech. 13:9 - I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’”

Zechariah called God’s people to look above the chaos to the hope of God’s coming kingdom, motivating them to live faithful lives.

Zech. 1:3-4 – This is what the Lord Almighty says: Return to me, declares the Lord Almighty, and I will return to you, says the Lord Almighty. Do not be like your ancestors…

Zech. 8:16-17 - These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; do not plot evil against each other, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this,” declares the Lord.

Finally, Zechariah prophesied of days yet to come, which haven’t yet come to fruition. He pointed us to the days when God will once again reign on the earth.

Zech. 8:20-23 - Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come, and the inhabitants of one city will go to another and say, “Let us go at once to entreat the Lord and seek the Lord Almighty…” And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord Almighty and to entreat Him…. In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, “Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.”

Zech. 14:8-9 - On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter. The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and His name the only name.

We live in the midst of crazy times, so we need to be reminded that God has a plan that has been unfolding for thousands of years. He is the King, our Redeemer, and the Lover of our souls. We can trust Him to carry out His plans to perfection and to care for us in the midst of the crazy.

Activity – Making Crowns – (suitable for younger kids) decorate crowns. As kids work, remind them that a King is coming – a perfect king – King Jesus! Discuss prophecies and fulfillments listed below. Emphasize that God had planned for Jesus to die for us for thousands of years. His plan was not haphazard but was planned down to the smallest detail. Knowing that God so carefully carried out His plan for Jesus to be our Savior reminds us that God is carrying out His plan now for Jesus to become the King of kings! God loves us deeply and will bring to fruition all His good plans for each one of us.

Activity – Matching: Prophecies & Fulfillment – (suitable for older kids but this is challenging!) have kids match prophecies with their fulfillment. Write each verse on a separate card and see if kids can match the Old Testament prophecies with the New Testament fulfillment.

Gen. 3:15 - I will make you and the woman hate each other. Your children and her children will be enemies. Her son will crush your head. And you will bite his heel.

I John 3:8 - But the Son of God came to destroy the devil’s work.

Gen. 12:3 - All nations on earth will be blessed because of you.

Acts 3:25-26 - What the prophets said was meant for you. The covenant God made with people long ago is yours also. He said to Abraham, ‘All nations on earth will be blessed through your children.’  God raised up Jesus…. He did it to bless you. He wanted to turn each of you from your evil ways.

II Sam. 7:12-13 – Some day [David] your life will come to an end….Then I will make one of your own sons the next king after you. And I will make his kingdom secure. He is the one who will build a house where I will put my Name. I will set up the throne of his kingdom. It will last forever.

Matt. 1:1 - This is the written story of the family line of Jesus the Messiah. He is the son of David. He is also the son of Abraham.

Hos. 11:1 - When Israel was a young nation, I loved them. I chose to bring my son out of Egypt.

Matt. 2:14-15 - So Joseph got up. During the night, he left for Egypt with the child and his mother Mary. They stayed there until King Herod died. So the words the Lord had spoken through the prophet came true. He had said, “I brought my son out of Egypt.

Isa. 40:3-4 - A messenger is calling out, “In the desert prepare the way for the Lord. Make a straight road through it for our God. Every valley will be filled in. Every mountain and hill will be made level. The rough ground will be smoothed out. The rocky places will be made flat.

John 1:23 - John said, “I’m the messenger who is calling out in the desert, ‘Make the way for the Lord straight.’”

Zech. 9:9 - City of Zion, be full of joy! People of Jerusalem, shout! See, your king comes to you. He always does what is right. He has won the victory. He is humble and riding on a donkey. He is sitting on a donkey’s colt.

Matt. 21:5-7 - Say to the city of Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you. He is gentle and riding on a donkey. He is riding on a donkey’s colt.’ The disciples went and did what Jesus told them to do. They brought the donkey and the colt. They placed their coats on them for Jesus to sit on.

Zech. 11:13 - So they paid me thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the handsome price at which they valued me! 

Matt. 26:15 – [Judas Iscariot] asked, “What will you give me if I hand Jesus over to you?” So they counted out 30 silver coins for him.