Season of Advent – Part 1 (Hope)

Zechariah 1-6 (3:1-4:14)

Season of Advent – Part 1 (Hope)

What Zechariah is Dreaming of this Christmas

I. FINDING our FOOTING in Zechariah.
B. DISCERNING the literary STRUCTURE. (Chap. 1-6)
C. HOPE is the HEART of the MESSAGE (3:1-4:14)

Zechariah is a very complicated book. Many see it as the Revelation of the Old Testament because of its apocalyptic nature and the number of visions and symbolic images. The first six chapters are a series of 8 dreams/visions given to the prophet. It’s important to grasp a little of the lay of the land as we engage this text.

II. The priest is PURIFIED. (3:1-10)
A. The ACCUSATIONS…are TRUE. (3:1-3)
B. God’s DECISION, not our WORTHINESS. (3:2-5)
C. Called to FOLLOW and to REPRESENT. (3:6-10)

The returning exiles are given a priest who will lead the people in the worship of Yahweh as they are returning to the land of their forefathers. But the images of the vision are disconcerting to say the least, starting out with Satan accusing him before God.

1. Kid’s Question: When have you done something wrong and others found out about it?
2. In what ways is Satan using your inner critic to hurl accusations at you? What is the truth about those accusations that comes out of the free grace of God for you?

III. The king is EMPOWERED. (4:1-14)
A. The SOURCE is ETERNAL. (4:2-3,6; I Sam 16:13)
B. Making the IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE. (4:7-9)
C. SMALL things MATTER. (4:10)

Along with Joshua the priest, God will use the king Zerubbabel to oversee the rebuilding of the temple. While this doesn’t always look like the people had hoped, God has a clear message for His people about how things are to be accomplished.

3. What aspects of power do we seek out to help us solve our problems? Is more power the answer?
4. What are some of the small things in your life that have made a big difference?

IV. It all POINTS to JESUS. (3:8; Lk. 24:27)
A. The coming PRIEST and KING. (3:1; 4:6; Heb 1:3)
B. The “BRANCH” that removes SIN. (3:8-9; Is. 11:1)
C. ANOINTED to SERVE.(4:14; Jn 1:41; Mk. 10:45)

These dreams are all giving insight to the time they are coming into, but in a deeper way they are pointing beyond Joshua and Zerubbabel to the final king who will come in the line of David, Jesus the Messiah. What is currently happening is symbolically representing what is coming. It is in this we find our theme of Hope for the first week of Advent.

5. What does it mean to you that Jesus is both your priest and your king?

A. The power of SMALL things and SYMBOLIC acts. (3:8; 4:10)
B. Our lives become VISIONS that inspire HOPE. (4:4,12)
C. We issue INVITATIONS to PEACE. (3:10)

This complicated text, if we sit still long enough to let it penetrate our hearts and minds, has a very uncomplicated and simple focus of application. It reminds us that hope is here…right with us. That the way hope comes and the way God works almost always looks different than we expect.

6. What are the small things and symbolic acts that God might be calling you to in response to this Advent text?
7. Who has been a vision that inspired the hope of the gospel for you? How did they do that?
8. Where is God calling you to issue an invitation of peace to someone in your own life? How will you respond?