Jerusalem Leaders will Look to Me 

Chapter 18 of Corrupting The Image 3 : Jerusalem Leaders will Look to Me 

The spirit of grace and supplication will then cause the leadership to realize not all hope is lost; they will look to the only one who can save them.  

“I will pour out on the kingship of David and the population of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication so that they will look to [אל el] me, the one they have pierced” (Zech 12:10 [NET2]).  

The preposition el [אל el] (Greek pros) means “to or toward” and not al which means “upon, over, above.” Translations erroneously view this preposition as “al” which means upon, over, or above. Sadly, based on this unfortunate translation, commentators266 have implied Jesus is returning to destroy the inhabitants of Jerusalem and when they look “upon” him they will cry with fear and terror, “Oh no!! Here comes Jesus, we are in trouble!” This false teaching, which also considers prophecies to be already fulfilled, such as the theory that Jesus already came back, is the essence of Preterism: Jesus came back on the dust clouds of the Roman army to destroy the Jews. That is not what the Bible teaches. Jesus is not coming to destroy Israel, but to save her;267 and his people will call him with hope and expectation of final redemption, not with terror. 

The Septuagint of Zech 12:10 reads epiblepsontai pros me), “they will look to me/toward me,” which is the same preposition we find in “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with [pros] God,” (John 1:1). Pros means “facing” or “toward”; it expresses a relationship. In this beautiful relationship recorded in John’s gospel, the Logos (Jesus) and the Father are looking at each other.  

The meaning of the preposition in Zechariah 12 is that they will look to Him as a little baby looks to his mother or father to give him sustenance and clothing and protection. This will occur when the leadership finally looks to Jesus to save them. Suddenly, many texts will flood into their minds, and they will have their “aha moment.” 

The passage from Numbers Rabbah could come to mind: 

“When King Solomon speaks of his ‘beloved,’ he usually means Israel the nation. In one instance he compares his beloved to a roe, and therein he refers to a feature which marks alike Moses and the Messiah, the Two redeemers of Israel. Just as a roe comes within the range of man’s vision only to disappear from sight and then appear again, so it is with these redeemers. Moses appeared to the Israelites, then disappeared, and eventually appeared once more, and the same peculiarity we have in connection with Messiah; He will appear, disappear, and appear again” (Numb. Rabba 11). 

The meaning will become clear that Jesus the Messiah came then left and will return. Then the Midrash Ruth could come to mind:  

“The fourteenth verse in the second chapter of Ruth is thus explained. ‘Come thou hither’ is the prediction of Messiah’s kingdom. ‘Dip the morsel in the vinegar,’ foretells the agony through which Messiah will pass, as it is written in Isaiah (chpt. 53), ‘He was wounded for our sins, He was bruised for our transgressions.’ ‘And she set herself beside the reapers’ predicts the temporary departure of Messiah’s kingdom. ‘And he reached her a parched corn’ means the restoration of His kingdom” (Midr. Ruth 5). 

God will pour out his spirit of grace and supplication so that they can look to Yeshua for the first time in their collective history. The weight of the moment will be grave. Hours may pass until someone breaks the deafening silence with a verse:  

“My servant grew up in the LORD’s presence like a tender green shoot, sprouting from a root in dry and sterile ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him’” (Isa 53:2). 

Another may add:  

“He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we did not care” (Isa 53:3). 

With hot tears running down her cheeks, another may interject:  

“Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God for his own sins!” (Isa 53:4). 

There is silence for some time. Hearts are heavy, and then another with his face to the ground quietly says:  

“But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed!” (Isa 53:5). 

Then they all confess together:  

“All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the guilt and sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. From prison and trial they led him away to his death. But who among the people realized that he was dying for their sins—that he was suffering their punishment?” (Isa 53:6–8). 

The painful reality of their rejection of HaMashiach, the only one who can save them, will truly sink in. They will contemplate how the one they had pinned their hopes on for thousands of years was the chief cornerstone that the builders, their leaders, had rejected; and who, though he had done no wrong, was whipped and sent to his death on a cross like a criminal and was put in a rich man’s grave (Isa 53:8, 9). 

They will Mourn  

The gravity of having rejected the Messiah, the one they pierced, will be parallel to that of Joseph’s brothers finally recognizing their brother as a fellow Hebrew and not a pagan Egyptian. When the leadership of Jerusalem sees Jesus as their brother and savior and not as a Christian (or pagan) invention, they will lament and weep bitterly, just as they would mourn at the death of an only child!  

“Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem … all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves” (Zech 12:10, 11–14). 

Parents can imagine the sorrow they would feel at losing a child; their mourning would not last for five minutes but would carry on for days, weeks, even months. That will be the same heartfelt mourning they will feel when they realize they rejected the chief cornerstone. Each person will lament alone in profound sorrow, broken and in agony over the centuries of rejecting their Promised One—the very one who loved them more than any other and had come to His Own. Their hearts will be broken with contrition as they desperately call out to the One they had despised. Their hearts will be vexed realizing all the misery that might have been avoided if they had embraced him sooner.  

They will mourn at how their leadership, two thousand years previously, did not see their true King “due to our sins.” They will consider how the masses said, “Baruch Haba B’shem Adonai,” but their leadership said, “Crucify him.” They will weep, but for the first time ever, the leadership in Jerusalem will acknowledge their offense; and that will be the key to Messiah’s return. 

“I will return again to My place till they acknowledge their offense. Then they will seek My face; in their affliction [tribulation] they will earnestly seek Me” (Hos 5:15).  

All these things will have led up to this grand-finale climactic moment where all is lost, but then a faint ray of hope begins to shine through. The Jewish people’s history taught them that however deep the mourning and however grave the situation, they always kept a flicker of hope alive within their souls. Just as God had stated, through the tribulation of those days, they will earnestly seek him. It will be then that the “scornful men, who rule this people who are in Jerusalem” (Isa 28:14), who made a covenant with death and Sheol and said, “we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood we have hidden ourselves” (Isa 28:15) will seek him. In their affliction—Jacob’s trouble—they will fully understand Jesus to be the chief cornerstone. 

I will praise You, for You have answered me, and have become my salvation (Yeshuah) (Ps 118:21). The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone (Ps 118:22). This was the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes (Ps 118:23). This is the day the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it (Ps 118:24).  

In that day, the words of Isaiah the prophet will ring true: 

Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone,268 a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily (Isa 28:16).  

They will accept Yeshua as the sure foundation because the tribulation will have swept “away the refuge of lies” (Isa 28:17). It will be like a veil lifted from their eyes. They will see that:  

It pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand (Isa 53:10).  

God’s spirit of grace and supplication will be at work telling them: 

“So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm” (Joel 2:13). 

Thus, with all their heart they will call upon Jesus to save them. At the top of their lungs, they will shout and join the throngs of people who welcomed Jesus at his first coming by saying “Save now [Hoshianna], I pray, O LORD; O LORD, I pray, send now prosperity. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD” “Baruch Haba B’shem Adonai,” (Ps 118:25–26); come Yeshua, “We welcome you in the name of Yehovah.” Just as they anticipated in the Babylonian Talmud, their confession will bring them to say: 

“Come, and let us return to the LORD; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, That we may live in His sight” (Hos 6:1–2). 

Thomas Constable points out that “Corporate Israel has never prayed like this. The fulfillment must still be future, at the beginning of Christ’s millennial reign.”269 

Remarriage 

God divorced the ten northern tribes of Israel, but He intends to marry his bride upon his return. Judah was not divorced, but was declared an adulterous wife. How can the marriage supper of the Lamb take place under these circumstances? There must be a legal mechanism for the marriage to happen. The beautiful thing is that there is such a mechanism. Briefly stated, the “old covenant” was a marriage contract that God and Israel entered at Sinai.  

  • “I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine,” says the Lord GOD (Ezek 16:8). 
  • … the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD (Jer 31:32). 

However shocking it may sound, Scripture tells us clearly: God divorced the northern kingdom of Israel because of their adultery:  

“Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also” (Jer 3:8). 

God did not divorce Judah “for the sake of My servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel” (1 Kgs 11:32). Paul explains how the old marriage (old covenant) is annulled by the death of the husband. 

“For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law [of the husband], so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law [of the husband] through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another–to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God” (Rom 7:2–4). 

The northern tribes of Israel are forever mixed with the nations; but Judah is still under the old marriage covenant with its stains of adultery and infidelity. By welcoming Jesus in the name of the Lord, they recognize him as the husband who died and “the one they pierced” (Zech 12:10). Paul says, because of that “you also have become dead to the law [of the husband] through the body of Christ” (Rom 7:4). Isaiah speaks of this time when Jesus comes (Isa 4:2) and purges the blood of Jerusalem:  

“And it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy–everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem. When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning” (Isa 4:3–4). 

Their acceptance of Jesus will bring many verses into focus: 

“And it will be said in that day: ‘Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation [Yeshuah]’” (Isa 25:9). 

Indeed, they will be comforted after the great tribulation of the time of Jacob’s trouble through which they passed: 

“Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” Says your God (Isa 40:1). “Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, That her warfare is ended, That her iniquity is pardoned; For she has received from the LORD’s hand Double for all her sins” (Isa 40:2). 

Furthermore, the words of Joel will take on a greater significance: 

“And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the remnant whom the LORD calls” (Joel 2:32). 

Ephraim Ransomed 

God also specifically states he will ransom Ephraim (the house of Israel) from Sheol and Death, the curse that has plagued man since the Fall in the Garden of Eden. The leadership of Jerusalem has repented and embraced Yeshua, the One who broke the curse of sin and death. This is the same duo with which the leaders of Jerusalem had made a deal:  

“The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; his sin is kept in store (Hos 13:12). Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol [שְׁאוֹל֙]? Shall I redeem them from Death? O Death [מָ֗וֶת Mavet], where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your sting? Compassion is hidden from my eyes” (Hos 13:14). 

Paul uses this passage to speak about the resurrection and the transformation that will take place at the gathering of the saints. 

“So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Cor 15:54). “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” (1 Cor 15:55). 

The confession of the Jerusalem leadership will bring forgiveness and reconciliation, and will turn the tables. Up until then, “The same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them” (Dan 7:21) “until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints” (Dan 7:21-22). Just as Jesus said that they would not see him “from now until you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’” (Matt 23:39 NET). Nothing will change for the saints “until” then; and then the judgment is made for them because of what they confess.  

For the Love of the Saints 

Jesus alluded to this shift as well when He said:  

“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be (Matt 24:21). And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake [δια δε τους εκλεκτους dia de tous eklektos] those days will be shortened” (Matt 24:22). 

Why will they be shortened? It took me a long time to put the pieces together and to understand how it works. If we know that the tribulation will be 1,260 days long, how can the days be shortened? 

When the word: sake, Dia is followed by an accusative (objective) case, according to BDAG Lexicon, it means, “the reason why something happens, results, exists: because of, for the sake of.”270 Based on the Greek grammar, the saints are not passive recipients of an act of pity from God. The shortening of the days of Tribulation is not done to them, but is caused by them, based on an action they performed. 

Rather, the time of the affliction gets reduced “as a result of [something] the elect [did], those days will be shortened;” the elect cause the shortening of the days. What will they do? They will finally answer Jesus’ challenge and welcome Him in the name of the LORD, and say “Baruch haba b’shem Adonai” (Matt 23:39). 

Their welcoming Jesus in the name of the Lord will set in motion his return! Immediately prior to this, there seems to be a time of silence, “Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD; for He is aroused from His holy habitation” (Zech 2:13). It is as if He were drawing a deep breath followed by:  

The LORD also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; the heavens and earth will shake; but the LORD will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel (Joel 3:16).  

The Day of the Lord will finally commence when, “the LORD comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity” (Isa 26:21). The world will shudder at his coming.