Last time we spoke about Palm Sunday and how Jesus was welcomed as a King. The next Sunday was Easter, and we celebrated Jesus’s resurrection. The Sunday after Easter – Now what? Recently I got a text message from my landlord that for some reason, he wanted to sell the flat. But we have so many memories in that house. I was thinking “Now what?” What am I anticipating? Acts 1:6-8 - 6 Then they gathered around him, and asked him, “Lord, Are you at this time going to restore the Kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his authority.8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the Earth”.
When the disciples asked Jesus at what time the Kingdom will be restored, Jesus said that it is not for them to know. The disciples must have thought, “Now what?” To a person like me, the question asked by the disciples is confusing. But the disciples knew what they were asking. First it was Palm Sunday. Then it was Jesus’s death and then it was His Resurrection. Right after this, the disciples were anticipating that the Kingdom would be restored. But when Jesus said that it is not for them to know, they were left with the question, “Now what?” What kind of kingdom were they talking about? What kind of Kingdom were they anticipating? Even now, we celebrated Palm Sunday and then Easter. Now What?
This morning, I’m going to give you the picture of the Kingdom the disciples were talking about. In the book of Zechariah, we’re going to look at eight visions. These visions are like a coin. There are two sides of a coin. Both the sides together make a coin. These 8 visions are paired as follows:
Both the visions feature the same people.
Vision 1 – Zechariah 1:7-17 - Some horsemen (various colors and riders) .
These riders are the people who go patrolling around. Those days there was peace outside on everyside.
Inside, it was strife. God said that we’re going to bring that peace inside.
Vision 8 – Zechariah 6:1-8 – Four chariots - Horsemen who were commissioned out. They go out on a
mission of Judgment. God’s people will experience God’s peace, the others will be judged.
Vision 2 & Vision 7:
Vision 2--Zechariah 2:1-13 – A man with a measuring line.
There are no physical walls in Jerusalem. God himself will be the Protector as a Wall of Fire. Many
people from outside will come inside and join them.
Vision 7 – Zechariah 5:1-4 – Giant Scroll (Law of the Lord)
The Law of The Lord (Scroll) has 2 sides -
1 – no false vows (sins against God)
2 – no stealing (sins against eachother)
The Lord will send the scroll into the world and it will burn down the houses where the law is broken.
The coming Kingdom is going to be a place of justice and prosperity.
Vision 3 & Vision 6:
Vision 3 – 4 horns and 4 craftsmen
4 horns – Oppressors of God’s people
4 craftsmen – Chase away horns.
The craftsmen will come to terrify and throw down the Oppressors of God’s people.
Vision 6 – Zechariah 5:5-11 – the woman in a basket. This represents all the iniquity of God’s people.
Two women with stork wings come and lift the basket and fly the iniquities away. Both the visions
represent freedom – Freedom from outside Opression and freedom from inside oppression.
We get all these pieces together and come to the center of it all.
Vision 4 & Vision 5:
Vision 4 – Zechariah 3:1-10 -- Clean garments for the High Priest
The great High priest stands with soiled clothes as an accuser. When Satan tries to accuse him, God does
not allow the Satan to say anything.
Zechariah 3:2-4 – the Lord said to Satan, “ the Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord, who has chosen
Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”
Vision 5 – Zechariah 4:1-14 – The Gold lampstand and the two Olive trees.
The 2 Olive trees represent Governor and high priest (righteous). It is here that we start to understand why the disciples were asking about the Kingdom. This kingdom is a place of justice, prosperity, liberty, blameless and righteous. But how is God going to do this? There is a ninth vision. When God’s Governor and High priest obey God that is how the kingdom comes. Jesus is the King and also the High priest.
Hebrews 1: 1-3 – In the past, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed Heir of all things, and through whom also He made the Universe.3 the Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins he sat down at the right hand of the majesty in Heaven.
This building up of the kingdom has already started. God wants to and is using all of us for building his kingdom. We carry Easter – Death and Resurrection and share it with people who don’t know Jesus.
Final question – if the Kingdom had already started, and we are waiting for it to come, how are we better off when compared to people during the days of Zechariah and the disciples?
1 Peter 1:3-9
We know for sure about this kingdom and the salvation we have. We know the reason why we wake up being hopeful.
1 peter 1:11 – concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that could follow.
We are better off because we have Jesus , we experienced grace while they were waiting and pleading to experience that.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.