Dear CSOPC brothers and sisters,
The Apostle Paul writes in Colossians 4:3, “At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ.” The Lord had indeed opened for us a door for the word. As I mentioned this past Sunday, we are thankful and excited to launch a Bible study targeting our Hispanic brothers and sisters in our area. Our intern, Jovanni Castilla, will be leading this study under the supervision of the session. This Bible study – to be taught in Spanish – will begin the first week of April; and we pray the Lord will use it in a wonderful and powerful way for his kingdom. If you know of anyone who might be interested, please let them know!
TONIGHT our Galatians Bible study will meet at Jovanni and Lina’s house at 7:00 to continue our study. Their address is 17331 South Summit Canyon Drive, Houston, 77095. Come and join us.
Also, be in prayer as our North Houston small group meets tonight at 7:00. Pray for the Lord’s blessing on their time together.
SIGN UP for our Spring Retreat, April 23-25 at the Trinity Pines Retreat Center. More info and to register here: http://providencepres.com/retreat/.
Finally, this week’s devotion (attached) is a reflection from Zechariah on the blessings of the Messianic age!
Please let me know if you have any questions and I look forward to worshipping together this Lord’s Day!
From the Pastor’s Desk
“There is a Fountain Filled with Blood”
Zechariah 13:1, “On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.”
The prophet Zechariah ministered to the post-exilic community in Jerusalem. And he called them to repentance and to faith in the covenant LORD. After setting forth the grand purposes of God towards his people in a series of night visions (1:1-8:23); Zechariah then looks forward to the coming of the messianic king (9:1-14:21) and to the restoration of God’s people. Last week we examined one of Zechariah’s visions, and this week we will consider one of his statements concerning the coming of the king.
Throughout the second part of the book, there are repeated references to “that day.” For example, “On that day the LORD their God will save them, as the flock of his people … and on that day, declares the LORD of hosts, I will cut off the names of the idols from the lands, so that they shall be remembered no more” (Zech 9:16; 13:2; also see 12:6, 8, 9; 13:1, 4, etc). When is ‘that day’? What is ‘that day’? Put simply, ‘that day’ is the day of the King – the day of the Messianic king – the age of the king – the age of the Messiah. And according to the New Testament, ‘that day’ is now (Acts 2:17; Heb 1:2). And so we can ask the question, what will characterize this time or this ‘day’? What will mark this time or ‘day’ of the king? One passage among many in the book of Zechariah that speaks to this issue is Zech 12:10-13:1.
There are two things to note in this passage. First, ‘that day’ – the day of the King – the Messianic age – will be marked by an outpouring of the Spirit leading to conviction of sin: “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy” (12:10; cf. Ezek 39:29; Joel 2:28-29). Moreover, when they look on the one whom they have pierced, “they shall mourn for him.” In ‘that day,’ the LORD will pour out his Spirit on his people and hearts will be convicted of sin.
Second, ‘that day’ – the day of the king – will be marked by the presence of a great fountain for cleansing: “And on that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem , to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness” (13:1). God is holy and sinful man must be cleansed from sin in order to stand in his presence. And the Lord’s fountain is where such cleansing can be found.
Reading this passage in Zechariah through New Testament and Christ-centered lenses reveals that Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of this text in Zechariah. First, Jesus Christ is the possessor and the distributer of the Spirit – and on the day of Pentecost he poured out his spirit on his church (John 7:39; 20:22; Acts 2:1-41; 1 Cor 12:13). And second, Christ is the one who was pierced for us (John 19:37). He shed his blood that we might be washed whiter than snow. His blood is cleaning blood – redeeming blood – his blood cleanses us from all sin (Eph 1:7; 1 Pet 1:19; 1 John 1:7; Rev 5:9).
Brothers and sisters, the king has come. The king about which Zechariah spoke – and the day to which Zechariah looked – has come. And Christ has given us his Spirit – and He has shed his blood that we might be cleansed. Forgiveness in Christ! What a king! What a glorious king! May we praise him today! May we worship him today! May we pray the Spirit to convict us of our sin and of our lukewarm worship! And may we rejoice in our pierced and risen King!