Pastor Ron E. Thompson: There Is a Fountain
Our focus today takes us to the Old Testament book of Zechariah. He was a prophet who was a contemporary of Haggai. Cyrus, the Persian Emperor, had freed about 50,000 Jews from their captivity in Babylon and sent them back to Jerusalem to resettle their homeland.
They immediately began to rebuild the temple, but opposition and lack of concern caused the project to stop. God sent Zechariah and Haggai to encourage the people to complete the temple because He had other assignments in mind.
No other Old Testament prophet has more prophecy concerning Christ, the Messiah, His ministry, sacrifice, and second coming, than Zechariah. He comforted the people and urged them to repent and prepare themselves for Christ’s coming. The entire book of visions and prophecies describes how God is going to save Israel and make her a blessing to the nations.
These prophecies, like most of the Old Testament, are designed specifically for the Jews, but speak volumes to saved Gentiles who are also Abraham’s children (Romans 11:25-26). God’s appeal to sinning, unclean, Israel is woven throughout Zechariah’s prophecy. I want to call our attention to Zechariah 13 :1 where Jehovah says there is a fountain opened to the house of David to cleanse them, a clear reference to the atoning work of Jesus at Calvary for us all.
- The Source of the Fountain. Christ Himself is the source of the fountain. The prophet Jeremiah said because Israel had forsaken God, the Spring of Living Water, turned to idols, and had dug cracked cisterns, their hope would be written in dust. When God sent the Messiah to save His people, they nailed Him to a cross. They did not deserve His mercy or forgiveness, but God graciously provided a fountain to cleanse from sin against God and against other people. Out of the wounded side of the Savior where a spear was cast flowed blood and water (John 19:34). We try to cover our sins that are nauseating and disgusting to God with our good works. But that is like working hard all day, sweating and grimy, then putting on our best suit of clothes instead of taking a needed shower. I Peter 1:18-19 adds that as a slave was ransomed when someone bought his freedom, God ransomed us from the cruelty of sin, not with silver or gold, but with the precious blood of His own Son.
Ira Stanphill composed over five hundred gospel songs. One of them was the hymn, “Room at the Cross for You.” An evangelist was holding a crusade and his song leader was singing this hymn when a young man, lost in depression, walked by on his way to a bridge where he planned to commit suicide. The young man was so gripped by the message of that song that he went inside where his life was changed as he gave himself to God. Later, he became an evangelist himself. Here are some lyrics of that hymn: “The cross upon which Jesus died is a shelter in which we can hide; And its grace so free is sufficient for me, and deep is its fountain as wide as the sea. Tho’ millions have come, there’s still room for one. Yes, there’s room at the cross for you.”
- The Sufficiency of the Fountain. The question is why did this fountain have to be opened? Can you image what this would have meant to the Jews? Let me read Hebrews 10:2-4 NLT: “If they [animal sacrifices] could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared. But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” No animal or even human sacrifice could cover our wickedness, disobedience, lack of trust, and prejudice against the glory of God. Bible scholar, John Piper has explained: “The fountain that needed to be opened was not the neck of an animal, but the pierced side of the Son of God.” But for the fountain of Christ’s blood to take away sin, sinners would have to be repentant and call upon God for mercy. The Holy Spirit will bring conviction of sin, mourning, and sometimes tears, as we do when someone dies. Zechariah 12:10-11 says this is going to take place in Israel. And Zechariah 8:8 promises to bring Israel back to Jerusalem and be their God.
For whom is this fountain sufficient? Undoubtedly for the Jews God will be merciful, take away their hard hearts, and they will turn to Jesus for salvation. But it is also a promise to Gentile Christians. In Christ we are no longer isolated from Israel and strangers to God’s covenant of promise (Ephesians 2:12). “People of Judah and Israel, you have been a curse to the nations, but I will save you and make you a blessing to them. So don’t be afraid or lose courage” (Ezekiel 8:13 CEV). And when Messiah comes, “many nations shall join themselves to the Lord “
(Zechariah 2:11 AMP). Beloved, that is you and me! I close with William Cowper’s beloved hymn: “There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins, and sinner plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains!” Have you come to the Fountain?