When the shepherd is struck
27 “You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written:” ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ 28 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” 29 Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.” 30 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “today-yes, tonight-before the cock crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.” 31 But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same.
Jesus didn’t go into his darkest time unaware of His Father’s will. He had studied the Old Testament. He knew the prophecies of the Messiah, of himself. He had read Zechariah’s prophecy many times and quotes it here as they walk to the garden of Gethsemane.
The striking of the shepherd in Zechariah 13 is used by Jesus as he is only hours away from the cross.
What does it reveal:
1. Jesus knows that though he would be handed over to men he is actually in his Father’s hands, that the striking would be God. When struck, knowing there is a God-plan behind it will strengthen you.
2. Jesus knows that his disciples will desert him. Zechariah says there will be a purging. Everyone believes they are stronger than they really are. All sin and fall short. We all turn back at some point. But the purging is to bring us home again. You may know some today who have scattered because of the falling of a shepherd, we must believe they will return. Zechariah says they will.
3. Jesus never speaks of being struck without also referring to the resurrection. He tells them he will go ahead and presumably wait for them in Galilee, the place of ministry, the Galilee of the Gentiles. Today some may not have returned, they may have still fled, but Jesus is waiting for them, he has a plan for their lives.
Have you been struck today?
Are you running away?
He is alive and waiting for you.