Print Sermon

These sermon manuscripts and videos now go out to about 1,500,000 computers in over 215 countries every year at www.sermonsfortheworld.com. Hundreds of others watch the videos on YouTube, but they soon leave YouTube and come to our website. YouTube feeds people to our website. The sermon manuscripts are given in 35 languages to about 120,000 computers each month. The sermon manuscripts are not copyrighted, so preachers can use them without our permission. Please click here to learn how you can make a monthly donation to help us in this great work of spreading the Gospel to the whole world, including the Muslim and Hindu nations.

Whenever you write to Dr. Hymers always tell him what country you live in, or he cannot answer you. Dr. Hymers’ e-mail is rlhymersjr@sbcglobal.net.




THEY SHALL LOOK UPON ME
WHOM THEY HAVE PIERCED

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, March 21, 2010

“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10).


There is no doubt in my mind that Dr. John F. Walvoord’s commentary on these verses is true, that these verses refer prophetically to the great revival in Israel “at the second Advent of Christ” (John F. Walvoord, Th.D., Roy B. Zuck, Th.D,. editors; The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Victor Books, 1985 edition, p. 1567; note on Zechariah 12:10; 13:1). And yet it seems evident to me that these verses also describe what happens to everyone who is converted.

I know that some of you want to be made more sorrowful, more mournful because of your sin. But Spurgeon said, “The man who grieves because he does not grieve is often the man who grieves most…I suspect that hardness [of heart] is almost gone when it is mourned over” (C. H. Spurgeon, “How Hearts are Softened,” The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Pilgrim Publications, 1974 reprint, volume XXXIII, page 516). It will be good for us to stick closely to the words of our text this morning.

“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10).

Let us see two great truths in the text.

I. First, the Spirit of God causes men to mourn for their sin.

Man in his fallen state cannot renew his own heart. The power that makes us mourn for our sin does not come from ourselves. In our text we hear God say,

“I will pour upon [them] the spirit of grace” (Zechariah 12:10).

When God deals with a person He begins to soften his hardened heart. Job said,

“God maketh my heart soft, and the Almighty troubleth me”
       (Job 23:16).

Until God works your heart is dead and insensible. But even now there are some of you that desire to have your hearts softened. Even now there are some of you that wish to be troubled by your sins. This makes me think that God is already beginning to pour upon you “the spirit of grace.” Your desire to be softened and convicted shows that God is already working in your heart.

But the work of the Holy Spirit is a secret work. You cannot tell if He is working by your physical senses. You may feel as cold and hard as ever, and yet be at the very edge of conversion – without knowing it. You may know that God is doing something unusual in your life, but how that is happening may still be a secret to you. Do not be surprised if God is dealing with you now, though you do not know it,

“For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not”
       (Job 33:14).

The Spirit of God may be softening your heart and convicting you without you knowing that He is producing those feelings. You may be listening to the Gospel and seeking to understand it as you never did before – and yet not understand that God is drawing you with “bands of love” (Hosea 11:4). You may not realize that God is drawing you to His Son – that “with lovingkindness have I drawn thee” (Jeremiah 31:3).

Sometimes a person who has been in church for years begins to feel a sense of sin and a new interest in the Gospel. He wonders if his feelings are right, or if they are strong enough, or if this will only lead to a false conversion. And yet the feelings do not subside. Perhaps he dares to think that God is drawing him. But another feeling says, “This is all an illusion. This is no different from what happened to you before.” Can it be that this second feeling comes from God? Or could it be that old Serpent, doing his best to make you stumble at the very door of conversion?

Another person, who is new in the church, may think, “Why do I feel as I do? Is there something wrong with me? Why do I feel these strange emotions when I hear the preaching?” Could this possibly be the “still small voice” of God? (I Kings 19:12). Could it be that God is beginning to pour upon you “the spirit of grace and of supplications” (Zechariah 12:10)?

It is a great thing when the Spirit of God comes to you as “the spirit of grace” – to make you sensible of your sin, and the need to seek for His Son. Spurgeon said, “We are so graceless that we will not accept grace till God gives us ‘grace for grace’ – grace to accept grace” – love to accept the love of God in Christ (Spurgeon, ibid., p. 520).

Notice that the text also says, “I will pour upon [them] the spirit of grace and of supplications” (Zechariah 12:10). The Hebrew word translated “supplications” means “earnest prayer” (Strong’s Concordance #8469). Spurgeon said, “This is the creation of desires and longings which express themselves in prayer…The words may be broken and confused; but what are the words? Sighs, tears, heavings of the breast, and upward glancings of the eye – these are true prayers…Are you groaning, crying, sighing – ‘Lord, save, or I perish; give me Christ, or else I die’? Well then, I trust you have come under the sacred outpouring of the text – ‘I will pour upon [them] the spirit of grace and supplications” (Spurgeon, ibid., p. 521).

Come to Jesus as you are, confessing the hardness of your heart. Put yourself in the hands of Christ, who can melt your hardness and remove your guilt. Spurgeon said, “He who can make the dry bones live, and he alone, can make the hardened heart mourn over sin” (Spurgeon, ibid.).

II. Second, the Spirit of God turns men’s hearts to the crucified Christ.

The text says,

“I will pour upon [them] the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him…” (Zechariah 12:10).

Dr. Gill said, “the change from the first person to the third…is not at all unusual in Scripture” (John Gill, D.D., An Exposition of the Old Testament, The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1989 reprint, volume 6, p. 740; note on Zechariah 12:10). The Apostle John said that the text was fulfilled when one of the Roman soldiers came to the dead body of Jesus on the Cross and,

“…with a spear pierced his side…For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled…They shall look on him whom they pierced” (John 19:34, 36, 37).

As we will see tonight, the Centurion looked at Him on the Cross and confessed his faith.

“I will pour upon [them] the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him…” (Zechariah 12:10).

Spurgeon said,

True sorrow for sin comes not without the Spirit of God; but even the Spirit of God himself does not work it except by leading us to look to Jesus the crucified. It is a beautiful remark of an old [minister], that eyes are made for two things at least; first to look with, and next, to weep with. The eye which looks to the pierced [Jesus] is the eye which weeps for him. O Soul, when thou comest to look where all eyes should look, even to him who was pierced, then thine eye begins to weep for that for which all eyes should weep, even the sin which [crucified] the Saviour! There is no saving repentance except within sight of the cross…the essence of evangelical repentance is that it looks to him whom it pierced by its sin. Sorrow for sin without faith in Christ…kills but never blesses (Spurgeon, ibid., pp. 521-522).

Again, Spurgeon said,

This is that which invests the piercing of our Lord with such intensity of sin; it meant the piercing of God…I beseech you to be amazed and ashamed that he should be pierced. This is no common death! This murder is no ordinary crime. O man, he that was pierced with the spear was thy God! On the cross behold thy Maker, thy Benefactor, thy best Friend!

Alas! And did my Saviour bleed?
   And did my Sovereign die?
Would he devote that sacred head
   For such a worm as I?
(“Alas! And Did My Saviour Bleed?”
   by Isaac Watts, D.D., 1674-1748).
(Spurgeon, ibid., pp. 523-524).

I am trying to keep you thinking about the sufferings of Christ – to save you from the penalty of sin and the wrath of divine judgment. Have you become bored by hearing of the pain He went through to save you? I hope not. I hope you are not weary of hearing of the grief He went through in the Garden of Gethsemane, sweating “as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44). I hope you are not tired of hearing about the desertion of His Disciples, the betrayal by Judas, the scourging that laid open great wounds in His back, the cruel crown of thorns that crushed His forehead, the shame and spitting, the mockery, and the pain He endured when His hands and feet were nailed to the Cross.

He was made a curse for you, suffering horrible agony in your place, to pay for your sins, when He “his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree” (I Peter 2:24). Friends, the sufferings of Jesus ought to melt our hearts. I feel sorrow that I can tell you of His sufferings without breaking down in tears. I condemn my own coldness and hardness in being able to tell of His suffering without more sorrow in my heart. Think! Was there ever any sorrow like the sorrow He bore for us?

When God’s Spirit brings the thought of Christ’s love for you on the Cross before your mind, it must surely melt your heart, and cause you to surrender to Him! Hardness of heart dies when we see Jesus dying in such sorrow and pain for us.

“They shall look upon me whom they have pierced” (Zechariah 12:10). Who was it that pierced the Saviour’s hands, and feet, and side? It was you and me. We are the ones who pierced Him! Our sins caused Him to be pierced! Pilate, the Roman governor who tried His case, said,

“I find in him no fault at all” (John 18:38).

The “Messiah [was] cut off, but not for himself” (Daniel 9:26). Our sins crucified the Saviour! Spurgeon said, “He suffered because there was no other way of vindicating the justice of God, no other way of allowing us to escape. The sword which [otherwise] had smitten us [pierced] the Lord’s [Son]” (Spurgeon, ibid., p. 525).

Was it for [sin] that I have done
   He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! Grace unknown!
   And love beyond degree!
(“Alas! And Did My Saviour Bleed?”
   by Isaac Watts, D.D., 1674-1748).

“They shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him” (Zechariah 12:10).

I have been giving you a condensed version of Spurgeon’s sermon, “How Hearts are Softened.” I have shortened it and tried to make it simpler for modern minds. Oh, how I wish I could preach it to you with the pathos and pity of the “Prince of Preachers”! Hear him when he says,

I would say, look to the pierced One till your own heart is pierced. An old [minister] said, ‘Look at the cross until all that is on the cross is in your heart.’ He further says: Look at Jesus until he looks at you. Steadily view [the suffering Saviour on the cross] until he seems to turn his head and look at you, as he did at Peter. See Jesus till you see yourself: mourn for him till you mourn for your sin (Spurgeon, ibid., pp. 525-526).

“They shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him” (Zechariah 12:10).

And, one last time, Spurgeon said,

I see him hanging on the tree, and carefully survey him [and study Him] from his head encircled with thorns, down to his blessed feet, made with nails to be fountains of crimson blood. I have wept behind the cross at the [wounds] of the dread scourging which he bore; and then coming to the front I have gazed upon his pierced hands, and lingered long before [His pierced] side. Then I feel as if I could die of a pleasing grief and mournful joy. Oh, how I then love and adore [Him]! …Ah me! Ah me! Who among the sons of men could fitly tell you of his unknown agonies, his piercing anguish, his distraction and heart-break? [When I am] alone I can hide my face and bow my head; but here [in this pulpit] what can I do? O Lord, what can thy servant do? (Spurgeon, ibid., p. 528).

I can only pray that God will pour upon you “the spirit of grace and of supplications” that you may “look upon me whom they have pierced…and…mourn for him” (Zechariah 12:10). Oh, how I pray that you will look to Jesus, that you will come to Him, that you will be drawn to Him by the cords of love, that you will be washed clean from sin by the Blood He shed to save you! Amen!

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.realconversion.com. Click on “Sermon Manuscripts.”

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Zechariah 12:10-13:1.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Grace Greater Than Our Sin” (by Julia H. Johnston, 1849-1919).


THE OUTLINE OF

THEY SHALL LOOK UPON ME
WHOM THEY HAVE PIERCED

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10).

I.   First, the Spirit of God causes men to mourn for their sin,
Zechariah 12:10a; Job 23:16; 33:14; Hosea 11:4;
Jeremiah 31:3; I Kings 19:12.

II.  Second, the Spirit of God turns men’s hearts to the crucified
Christ, Zechariah 12:10b; John 19:34, 36, 37; Luke 22:44;
I Peter 2:24; John 18:38; Daniel 9:26.