Is Zechariah 12:10 a Messianic prophecy?Question: "Is Zechariah 12:10 a Messianic prophecy?"
Answer: Zechariah 12:10 reads, “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.” This prediction, that Israel will see someone whom they “pierced,” is amazing because it is God Himself speaking—the Lord is the One who is “pierced.” This appears to fit later descriptions of Jesus Christ’s suffering. Indeed, the New Testament specifies that this prophecy is truly Messianic.
This verse indicates a future time when the Jewish people will plead for the mercy of God. This will happen when they see “the one they have pierced.” Zechariah’s verse is mentioned in John 19:36-37 when Jesus, hanging on the cross, was pierced with a spear: “These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: . . . ‘They will look on the one they have pierced.’” Revelation 1:7 adds, “Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him”—definitely an allusion to Zechariah 12:10. Isaiah 53:5 also predicts that the Messiah would be pierced: “But he was pierced for our transgressions.”
In addition to the idea of a “pierced” God is the concept of the “only child.” Zechariah’s mention of a “firstborn son” bears an unmistakable connection to Jesus as God’s Son. The Hebrew word bekor was translated in the Septuagint as prototokos, the same term used for Jesus in Colossians 1:15: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn [prototokos] of all creation.” And, of course, there is John 3:16, which includes a reference to Jesus as God’s “one and only Son.”
This Messianic prophecy has not yet been completely fulfilled. Jesus has been “pierced,” but there will still be a future time when all of Jerusalem will see Him and mourn their ill treatment of Him. At that time, they will cry out to God for mercy, and He will answer them by saving them from their enemies: “On that day the LORD will shield those who live in Jerusalem. . . . I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem” (Zechariah 12:8-9). These events will occur at the end of the tribulation period at Christ’s second coming.
In summary, Zechariah 12:10 predicts the piercing of the Son of God, the Messiah, fulfilled at the first coming of Jesus Christ when He died on the cross and was pierced by a spear in His side (John 19:36–37). The complete fulfillment of this verse awaits the last days when the Jewish people will plead for mercy from the One they have pierced.
Recommended Resource: Haggai, Zechariah NIV Application Commentary by Mark Boda
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Questions about Zechariah
Is Zechariah 12:10 a Messianic prophecy?