The Blood Language of Love and Righteousness: Part 3: What does the The BLOOD of the prophet Zechariah say to you?
We will pick the story from Ahaziah. He became king of Judah at the age of 22. His mother’s name was Athaliah (the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel) and she encouraged her son to sin against the LORD. He followed the evil example of King Ahab and his descendants. Ahazaiah was killed by Jehu as the LORD had already told Jehu to kill every male in Ahab’s family.
When Athaliah heard that her son King Ahaziah was dead, she became psycho. She decided to kill any relative who could possibly become king including her own grandchildren. But, Jehosheba rescued Joash son of Ahaziah just as he was about to be murdered. Jehosheba, who was Ahaziah’s half sister, hid her nephew Joash and his personal servant in a bedroom in the LORD’s temple where he was safe from Athaliah. Joash hid in the temple with Jehosheba for six years while Athaliah ruled as queen of Judah. This incident helped Joash to have a good upbringing in the knowledge and faith of the LORD.
Then in the seventh year, Jehoiada the priest sent for the commanders of the king’s special bodyguards and the commanders of the palace guards. Jehoiada and his sons brought Joash outside, where they placed the crown on his head and gave him a copy of the instructions for ruling the nation. Olive oil was poured on his head to show that he was now king, and the crowd cheered and shouted, “Long live the king!”.
As soon as Queen Athaliah heard the crowd cheering for Joash, she went to the temple. Athaliah tore her clothes in anger and shouted, “You betrayed me, you traitors!”. Jehoiada said to the army commanders, “Don’t kill her near the LORD’s temple. Take her out in front of the troops, and be sure to kill all of her followers!” She tried to escape, but the commanders caught and killed her.
And Jehoiada made a covenant between himself and all the people and the king that they should be the LORD’s people. (2 Chronicles 23:16 ESV)
King Joash’s righteous upbringing under Jehoiada the priest
Joash obeyed the LORD by doing right. Joash decided it was time to repair the temple. He then sent letters everywhere in Judah and Jerusalem, asking everyone to bring their taxes to the temple, just as Moses had required their ancestors to do. Joash and Jehoiada turned the money over to the men who were supervising the repairs to the temple. They used the money to hire stonecutters, carpenters, and experts in working with iron and bronze. These workers went right to work repairing the temple, and when they were finished, it looked as good as new.
King Joash makes new friends
After the death of Jehoiada the priest, the leaders of Judah went to Joash and talked him into doing what they wanted. Right away, the people of Judah stopped worshiping in the temple of the LORD God. The sinful things made the LORD God angry at the people of Judah and Jerusalem, but he still sent prophets who warned them to turn back to him. The people refused to listen.
Enter and exit Zechariah the prophet
Then the Spirit of God clothed Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, and he stood above the people, and said to them, “Thus says God, ‘Why do you break the commandments of the LORD, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the LORD, he has forsaken you.'” But they conspired against him, and by command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the LORD. Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness that Jehoiada, Zechariah’s father, had shown him, but killed his son. And when he was dying, he said, “May the LORD see and avenge!” (2 Chronicles 24:20-22 ESV)
- Zechariah was the son of Jehoiada the priest
- Jehoiada had guided Joash in doing the right thing and had saved his life and made him king.
- Joash repaid the kindness by killing Jehoiada’s son.
- God used the blood language “God’s Spirit spoke to Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest,”
Parable of the tenants and Zechariah analogy of the “son”
There is strong analogy between the parable of the tenants and this real life story
- “These sinful things made the LORD God angry at the people of Judah and Jerusalem,” (2Ch 24:18)
- Rather than destroy them for Joash’s unthankfulness and ever increasing wickedness he sent them prophets – Language of appeal and reason to save them from the coming destruction. God is angry but before he vents it he wants to give people a chance to make things right. He sent them prophets time and again.
○ “but he still sent prophets who warned them to turn back to him. The people refused to listen.” (2 Ch 24:19)
- Finally, God sent the son of Jehoiada (Spirit of God clothed Zechariah) just like in the parable lastly the Owner sent his own son. Surely Joash would respect and honour Jehoiada’s son and remember the kindness of Jehoiada. Zechariah was the ideal and best candidate to be sent to Joash to renew friendships and start afresh.
○ “But they conspired against him, and by command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the LORD.” (2 Chronicles 24:21 ESV)
“May the LORD see and avenge!”
- Jesus had asked the question: “When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” Mat 21:40
○ At the end of the year the army of the Syrians came up against Joash. They came to Judah and Jerusalem and destroyed all the princes of the people from among the people and sent all their spoil to the king of Damascus. Though the army of the Syrians had come with few men, the LORD delivered into their hand a very great army, because Judah had forsaken the LORD, the God of their fathers. Thus they executed judgment on Joash. When they had departed from him, leaving him severely wounded, his servants conspired against him because of the blood of the son of Jehoiada the priest, and killed him on his bed. So he died, and they buried him in the city of David, but they did not bury him in the tombs of the kings. (2 Chronicles 24:23-25 ESV)
○ Also Jesus’ death was avenged in a similar manner when the Romans lay siege and destroyed Jerusalem.
■See, your house is left to you desolate. (Matthew 23:38 ESV)
■But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” (Matthew 24:2 ESV)
■And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?” (Luke 23:27-31 ESV)
The Blood of Zechariah speaks
- The blood of Zechariah bore witness against Joash. His blood was ultimate proof that God did not want to destroy Joash but wanted him to earnestly change. Joash had potential to do great good and in his earlier life had done the right thing.
- Jesus’ murder is proof that God wants to spare us before the great destruction.
- God used the blood language of love to the point of sacrificing righteous Zechariah so that Joash and his people would change. Changing Joash meant changing the people also for good. A new guide and friend was now available in the place of the late Jehoiada. Joash saw this as a threat and resorted to murder.
- The religious leaders of Jesus’ day saw Jesus as a threat and did not extend any friendship to him.
- Zechariah was faithful unto death. Surely at the resurrection his reward will be great! If God cares so much for the wicked how much more good will he do good to those who are faithful to him.