Daily Devotional

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Identification

And I will pour out a spirit of compassion and supplication on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that, when they look on the one whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn. Zechariah 12:10

Tucked away in the little book of Zechariah, toward the very end of the Old Testament, is what Christians believe to be an identifying reference to Jesus. Nearly hidden in the words of a fairly obscure lesser prophet of Israel, a Messiah is spoken of who will be pierced by the Hebrew people in the city of Jerusalem, only to cleanse those people from their sins. The prophesy goes on to say, “On that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.” While we know that early Christians read this text and could identify Jesus in it, it is very possible that, as a rabbi, Jesus knew of this scripture and drew strength from it. As Jesus’ hands, feet, and side were being pierced at Golgotha—as Jesus forgave the soldiers who were breaking his body—he may have understood his circumstances as they had been foretold in Zechariah. Jesus may have discovered his own identity in the scriptures he had spent his life studying.

It is an astounding claim—we can find ourselves in the Bible! Our truest identity can be discovered in a book that dates back thousands of years. Scripture that revealed who Jesus was can reveal who we are. Of course, theologically speaking, this makes good sense. God spoke creation into being with a word; therefore it would stand to reason that the Word of God—the Bible—would be an identifying source for all of us who have been created. We are children of God. We are followers of Jesus Christ. We are joint heirs to a kingdom of peace, love, and justice that God is trying to bring to fruition in our world. The Bible tells us all that we need to know about ourselves and the God we have come to know through Jesus Christ.

Can you remember a time when a particular passage of scripture seemed to be speaking directly to you?

Lord, I turn to the Bible with the deep hope that your word will speak to me. I don’t feel as though that happens every time I open the Bible, but there are certainly times when it seems as if a particular passage of scripture was composed specifically for me. In those precious and sacred moments, it is as if I discover who I truly am in your Word. Thank you for that gift, and help me to always open the Bible with the expectation that I can find myself and you in its pages. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.