TODAY’S READING: ZECHARIAH 11-14
“On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.” – Zechariah 13:1
I wrote about the phrase “that day” several times while reading through Isaiah, starting with “That Day Sin Was Taken Away.” The day sin was taken away was the day of Jesus’ crucifixion. So, “that day” is almost always a reference to Jesus’ crucifixion. That is the case in Zechariah 13:1.
On that day, the day of Jesus’ crucifixion, a fountain was opened. The first time the word fountain appears in scripture is Genesis 7:11, which says, “on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth.” The Hebrew word for fountain here is mayan. It’s basic meaning is source or headwaters. However, this is not the Hebrew word translated fountain in Zechariah 13:1.
In Zechariah 13:1, the Hebrew word translated fountain is maqor. Its basic meaning is fountain, spring, source. However, its proper meaning is something dug as it derives from the Hebrew root word meaning to dig. So, this fountain was not a naturally existing source or spring of water. This fountain was one that had to be dug open.
How was this fountain dug open?
Zechariah 12:10 says, “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him 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.”
Of course, this reference to one who was pierced is a reference to Jesus on the cross. Therefore, Jesus the fountain that was opened as his side was pierced or dug out. John 19:34 says, “But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.” In verse 37, John even says that this was in fulfillment of Zechariah 12:10.
It’s interesting to know that the first time maqor, the Hebrew word for fountain in Zechariah 13:1 is used is in Leviticus 12:7. Leviticus 12 is about the purification of a woman after childbirth. Leviticus 12:6-7 says, “And when the days of her purifying are completed, whether for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the entrance of the tent of meeting a lamb a year old for a burnt offering, and a pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering, and he shall offer it before the Lord and make atonement for her. Then she shall be clean from the flow [maqor] of her blood. This is the law for her who bears a child, either male or female.”
I believe this passage speaks to Israel and Jesus. Israel is the woman that is giving birth to a son, Jesus. Jesus was truly born as the son of God on the day of his crucifixion. I believe if you look at the instances when Jesus is spoken of as the only begotten son of God – as in “Today I have begotten you” – they speak to his crucifixion.
If Israel is the woman who birthed Jesus, the begotten son of God – then who did the shedding of blood? Israel. And, the Gentiles who did the actual piercing. Which is to say all mankind. We must understand that God did not shed the blood of Jesus.
Notice that the woman, Israel, sheds the blood, but the priest takes the blood into the tent of meeting as the woman was not allowed to enter that because she was unclean. And, when the priest takes the blood into the tent of meeting the woman is cleansed from the flow of her blood, or from the piercing of Jesus’ side on the cross.
The author of Hebrews writes about this in some way all the way from chapter nine to 13. In Hebrews 9:7, he mentions that it was the high priest that entered into the holy of holies, but only once a year and with blood. But, this offering could not perfect, or cleanse, the conscience of a worshiper.
But, Hebrews 9:11-14 says, “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to the living God.”
See, we shed the blood of Jesus. We pierced his side and opened the fountain. But, Jesus took his blood that was shed by us, not God, into the more perfect tent, the true holy of holies, the dwelling place of God. However, we know that the dwelling place of God is within us. So, when Jesus takes his blood that we shed deep within us, that is when we truly understand that we crucified the only perfect and completely innocent man who was the very son of God, then our conscience is cleansed, then is our purification from the shedding of blood completed.
See, God did not do violence to Jesus on the cross. God was in Jesus on the cross having violence done to him. We were the perpetrators of the violence done to Jesus. But, when we truly understand that we were the ones to shed Jesus’ blood, not God, then our consciences are purified from dead works. That is to say we no longer desire to do works of death for all death is a work of Satan. Every injustice, every wickedness, every evil, every killing is a work of Satan for he is the one who steals, kills, and destroys. Instead, we desire to do the works of the living God, whose works always and only bring life, for Jesus came to bring life and life abundantly.
And, all of this is the background for the author of Hebrews statement “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” (Hebrews 9:22) The context is not that if God did not shed Jesus’ blood to satisfy justice, his wrath that he needed to pour out on someone, then there would be no forgiveness of sin.
We must always remember that we are the ones that shed Jesus’ blood not God. Therefore, this is the true context of “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” Sin was not able to be completely forgiven and done away with until we had put all of our evil, wickedness, violence, and desire to kill upon Jesus. Once Jesus, who never sinned but was made to be sin, had borne in his body all of the evil, wickedness, and violence we could dish out, then Jesus could forgive all sin. For, we are not aware of how our wickedness is great in the earth and that every intention of our thoughts of our hearts is only evil continually until we see that shed the blood of Jesus.
As long as we think God shed the blood of Jesus on the cross we continue to have justification for our own wicked and evil thoughts because we view God as one who does wicked and evil things in certain circumstances.
There is a lot more that could be said, and is said in Hebrews, about the blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross when we pierced his side. But, the most fundamental truth that we must remember to understand what truly happened on the cross is that we shed the blood of Jesus.
We shed the blood of Jesus.
We opened the fountain of the side of Jesus from which came the blood and water “to cleanse them from and uncleanness.” (Zechariah 13:1)
Unwittingly, when we pierced Jesus, God poured out “a spirit of grace” and we cried “pleas for mercy.” (Zechariah 12:10)
But, we must not be confused. It cannot be said enough.
We shed the blood of Jesus.