On this Palm Sunday, as we prepare for Holy Week and Easter, let’s take a look at a few prophecies that predicted the life and death of Jesus.
The entire book of Zechariah is filled with Messianic prophecies. I recommend a deep dive into Zechariah, along with the insights noted in The Moody Bible Commentary. For now, let’s take a quick look at three prophecies from Zechariah that were the most specific.
- Read Zechariah 9:9:
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
In all four gospels (Matthew 21:1–9, Mark 11:1–10, Luke 19:28–38, and John 12:14–16), you can read how Jesus made His final triumphant entry into Jerusalem with the crowd shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest” (Matthew 21:9). As Jesus went through the crowd, he was riding on – you guessed it – a donkey’s colt.
2. Next, look at Zechariah 11:12–13:
Then [Zechariah] said to them, “If it seems good to you, give me my wages; but if not, keep them.” And they weighed out as my wages thirty pieces of silver. 13 Then the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the lordly price at which I was priced by them. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord, to the potter.
Did you know that Judas betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver – that lordly price – as seen in Matthew 26:14–16:
Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
The prophet Zechariah told the Jewish people that the Messiah would be “priced” at thirty pieces of silver. It’s no coincidence. God wants to be seen, heard, and sought. He left us prophecy so that we would know Jesus was The One.
3. Finally, read Zechariah 12:10:
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.”
Of course, they pierced Jesus during the process of the crucifixion, but also read what happened just after Jesus cried out, “It is finished!”
John, the only disciple who stayed by Jesus during the moments before His death on the cross, recorded what happened to Jesus on that cross. In John 19:31–37, John explained that “one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.”
John also pointed out that he was presenting true, eye-witness testimony to the events. In addition, John made note that the side of Jesus was pierced to fulfill this prophecy from Zechariah (John 19:37).
The ancient Talmud also interpreted Zechariah words, “whom they pierced,” as “the slaying of the Messiah.”[i] This prophecy also holds significance in the words, “they will look on me” (like they did the bronze serpent for healing as described in Numbers 21:9) and “only child” and “firstborn son.”
Oh friend, there are rich treasures in the Old Testament prophecies! I hope you enjoyed this brief glance.
May your Holy Week be blessed by the presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
[i] Rydelnik, Michael, and Michael G. Vanlaningham. “Zechariah 12:10–14.” Essay. In The Moody Bible Commentary, 1432–1433. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2014