The portion of scripture that appears in our Bibles as Zechariah Ch 12 vv 10-4 is generally seen as a prophecy concerning the Second Coming of Christ even though John quotes this passage in his gospel. But I listened to Derek Walker (Oxford Bible Church) state that prophecies concerning the first Coming will also apply to the Second Coming. So it occurred to me that this prophecy might also apply to Christ’s first Coming. Verse 10 states “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 a only child, and grieve bitterly for him as a firstborn son.” The Spirit was poured out at Pentecost. Of the 120 who were in the upper room at that time how many had been in Jerusalem for the previous Passover? Most, if not all, could have been. but then one could argue that only Mary His mother was mourning for him as a firstborn son. Even his brothers were sceptical as to Jesus’ claims to be the Messiah. While verse 11 seems to refer to future battle on the plain of Megiddo (Armageddon?), verse 12 could apply to the crucifixion:- “The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of the house of David and their wives,” Now Joseph the husband of Mary was of the house of David but he had apparently died before Jesus started his ministry but there is an early Christian tradition that Cleopas(Clopas) to whom Jesus appeared on the road to Emmaus was a brother of Joseph. His wife Mary is mentioned in John’s Gospel as being at the cross. (How accurate the tradition I do not know but as Scripture states that Jesus appeared to his brothers after the Resurrection it does not contradict it at least.) Verse 12 continues:- “the clan of Nathan and their wives,” Zechariah may have thought that he was referring Nathan the prophet but there is another Nathan mentioned in Scripture, namely one of Solomon’s brothers and he is named in Luke’s genealogy of Jesus through the line of his mother Mary, John records that her sister was there as well. Verse 13 goes on to speak of the clan of Levi and their wives, and we know that through her cousin Elizabeth Mary was related to the Levitical priesthood. Verse 13 ends with the clan of Shimei and his wives, now Shimei was a Benjaminite who cursed David when he fled from Absalom. The New Testament’s most famous Benjaminite was Saul of Tarsus, was he a descendant of Shimei? Scripture does not say, but we know he had relatives who also believed before he did and had witnessed the risen Christ, presumably amongst the 500 that Paul referred to in one of his letters. Whether he was physically a descendant of Shimei or not Saul was very much a spiritual successor to him.
Though we look forward to the Jewish people of today recognising their Messiah but forget just how many believed in the 1st century.
Returning to Cleopas and his wife Mary on the road to Emmaus, I find the story has its comedic aspects. Mary had probably visited the empty tomb and she may not have been able to explain everything she saw it would appear that she could not rule out the possibility of Jesus’ resurrection. but her husband would have none of it Hence the argument they were having. Then a stranger approached them and Cleopas felt it necessary to protect his wife from derision. After all, what self-respecting man would accept a tale told by women, I mean, crucifixion destroys the ligaments leaving the extremities useless so he just could not have got up and walked away, never mind walking along side of him. Eventually when Jesus revealed himself one can imagining Cleopas’ face turning red with embarrassment, and his wife saying “I told you so.” Before returning to Jerusalem to inform the other disciples.
David G. Rose 2013