Bowie Apostolic Church
Day 23-24: Pierced Among Transgressors
by From the Pastor's Desk on March 24th, 2013

Day 23: Named Among the Transgressors

 Isaiah 53:12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.

Luke 23: 32 Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33 And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 

In an earlier post, I mentioned that the company we keep can define our reputation. As they say, “Birds of a feather flock together.” This is true in so many instances, except this one. Jesus was already labeled as a friend of sinners and a wine bibber because of the fact He was actually willing to minister to people who were not self righteous. Even though the bible says that “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches... (Proverbs 22:1)” we can see in the context of scripture that Jesus' name was slandered and held in contempt. Not only did they mock Him on the cross, but He was numbered with the transgressors before He was on the cross.

It was a custom for the Roman procurator (Pontius Pilate) to let go a criminal at the passover. Jesus was numbered among transgressors during this very time. Barrabas was a zealot who was imprisoned. He was a horrible man and worthy of prison. Pilate gave the Jews a choice between Barrabas (whom he knew was guilty) and Jesus the Messiah (whom he knew was innocent). In Pilate's mind the choice was simple. I am quite sure he was shocked when they chose Barrabas over Jesus, but they did.

Finally, we must know that crucifixion was a death used for the worst criminals. The absolute worst! In addition to that it was routinely used for rebellious slaves. Jesus was neither. The mere sentence of crucifixion puts Him in the category of a criminal even if He was crucified alone. The two thieves that were with Him are confirmation of this statement and more importantly they are confirmation of scripture. He was numbered among thieves. The innocent and righteous King was tortured, taunted and mutilated on the cross like a guilty slave. He became like us so that we could become like Him. Do you see yourself on the cross? He became your sin so you can become His righteousness.

Day 24: They Will Look Upon Me Whom They Have Pierced

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.

John 19:34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.

The prophet Zechariah ministered at a time of restoration of Israel after the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. It is very tragic to live during this time and then have to prophesy again about an attack on Jerusalem. However, in chapter 12 that is just what is going on.

It is God who speaks of Himself in this prophecy who says He will “pour out a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy.” This is a definite reference to the working of Jesus' ministry. He was full of grace and He was full of compassion for the nation of Israel. He even mourned for them because He knew that in the future, Jerusalem would yet again be attacked by Rome. Just as in the case of Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians, Jerusalem would be destroyed.

Then God says something very telling “when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him.” First and foremost, God is saying that He is coming as a man. Secondly, He (God!) would be pierced. This happened to this One and only God who came as the man Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

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