10 “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. Zechariah 12:10
Through the Bible: Zechariah 10-14
A couple of days ago I talked about how there’s only a few verses in the Old Testament (6 if you use the ESV) where the word “grace” is used, and that two out of six are in Zechariah. So here is the second one.
In 12:10, grace is given from God the Son to the very people who pierced Him. Grace is given in order that they might repent and turn to Him.
There is a concept in theology called “prevenient grace.” It’s super confusing, and is the source for a lot of arguments between reformed Christians and Arminian Christians. You can read a concise description of the argument here: What is Prevenient Grace?
Basically, the word “prevenient” describes something that comes before something else—an act that precedes another act. So “prevenient grace” is grace given by God that precedes saving grace. And that’s what I see in 12:10.
Before we can repent of our sin, God has to give us a measure of grace to even be aware of out need to repent in the first place. Ephesians 2:1 says that we are dead in our trespasses and sins. A dead person can’t respond to anything, so how can they come to the point of salvation? The answer is Zechariah 12:10: It is God who pours out His spirit of grace, so that I can look on the One I have pierced, and mourn.
This wrecks me. I pierced my Lord because of my sin and my rebellion. I am the reason He died on the cross. I am the reason the crown was placed on his head. I am the reason nails were driven through His hands and feet.
And without God pouring out on me a spirit of grace and mercy, I would not even be able to feel sorrow and shame for it. Without God’s kindness leading me to repentance (Romans 2:4), the crucifixion of Jesus wouldn’t even be a footnote in a history book. Jesus would be just one of hundreds of Jews executed by the Romans.
The grace to take responsibility for the death of Jesus is given by God.
The grace to believe in something as wondrous and unbelievable as the resurrection of Jesus is also given by God.
I contribute nothing! It is all grace, and only grace, that brings me to Jesus.
And that is amazing.