+ Dr. Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen introduces Zechariah, a book of visions and prophecies which point to the coming of the Lord to Jerusalem.
Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen is professor of systematic theology in Fuller’s School of Theology. He has authored or edited over 20 books in English and seven in Finnish. Ordained by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, he travels widely and has taught and lived with his family on three continents: Europe, Asia, and North America.
“Zechariah comes from the priestly family. He came from a devout, good family, and he had a vision in his heart to help rebuild the temple.” – Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen
My name is Dr. Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, and I am professor of systematic theology here at Fuller Theological Seminary. I have been assigned three biblical books or three books from the Bible which, I guess, are not familiar to most Bible readers. They are Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.
And then we come to the second of the three post-exilic minor prophets here, whose name is Zechariah. This book is much longer. Altogether, no less than 14 chapters.
We know something about the author, Zechariah. Again, if you go back to Ezra and Nehemiah, this two-part book, telling us about the time of the return from the exile, it tells us that a person, by the name Zechariah, he helped Haggai and others to rebuild the temple. And we also know that Zechariah comes from the priestly family. So he came from a devout, good family. And he had a vision in his heart to help rebuild the temple and so help people to get back to their normal life.
The book consists of two parts. The first eight chapters tell us of a number of dreams and visions. And then the latter part of the book, chapters 9 to 14, they talk about the coming visit of the Lord God to Jerusalem, and there are wonderful promises. And it is here, in the second part of the Book of Zechariah, that we Christians also find many passages that are then referred to in the New Testament.
Let me read to you one passage from Zechariah chapter 9. It is something you hear read during the Palm Sunday celebrations in our Christian churches. It says the following: “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” You may remember who is this victorious king, who, however, is riding on a donkey. He’s, of course, no one else than our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
If you go to Matthew chapter 21, or to John chapter 12, you will find this same passage referred to. Also, if you read towards the end of the Book of Zechariah, say chapters 13 and 14, and you happen to be beyond Palm Sunday, you happen to find yourself during the time of the Easter, there are also many prophecies and predictions about what happens to our Lord and Savior during the last week. It’s a very moving and spiritually edifying passages you can find in here.