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Zechariah 13:1

13 “On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.
(Zechariah 13:1 NIV)

As we transition from chapter 12 to chapter 13, we recall that chapter 12 describes the enemies of God coming together in the end times to attack small, helpless Jerusalem and the surrounding region of Judah.  But God’s enemies will not succeed – God will intervene and protect and provide for their physical salvation (12:1-9).

Chapter 12 also speaks of Israel’s spiritual salvation (12:10-14).  While we might think this is a time of rejoicing and celebration, the Lord describes it as a time of deep mourning and repentance.  The Jewish people realize that Jesus, the Jewish man that their forefathers rejected and killed so many centuries ago is, in fact, the long-awaited Messiah.  God does not respond in anger, or in retribution, or look down on them for taking so long to figure it out.  Instead, God extends grace and mercy toward His children during this time (12:10).

As we begin chapter 13, today’s text (verse 1) seems to fit more with the end of chapter 12 more than the beginning of chapter 13.  Scholars are split on whether this goes with chapter 12 or 13.  After further study, it seems to me to be much more attached to chapter 12.  Here we see the Lord responding to Israel’s deep mourning and repentance by offering spiritual healing, described as a fountain that cleanses them from their sins and impurity.

In today’s verse, we see Jesus’ death on the cross as the payment for our sins, and the only way to be reconciled with God.  We cannot do anything to earn our way to God; it is only through our acceptance of His blood shed for us that God accepts us and calls us His own.  Only through Jesus do we have spiritual wholeness and removal of our sins forever.

William Cowper (pronounced Cooper) was a popular British poet and hymn writer that lived from 1731 – 1800.  Cowper was also a follower of Jesus.  Like many brilliant minds, he suffered frequent bouts of depression.  He even tried suicide several times and was hospitalized in a mental institution for two years after his suicide attempts.

Despite all his doubts, fears, and depression, Cowper’s faith provided the sole anchor of reality and hope in his life.  Cowper met John Newton, the former slave ship captain who came to Christ and dedicated his life to serving the Lord and ending slavery.  Newton was also a hymn writer (he was most famous for the hymn Amazing Grace), and asked Cowper to apply his poetry and hymn writing skills to a hymn book that Newton was putting together.

Out of this invitation came many hymns, one of them being the classic “There is a Fountain Filled with Blood”:

1. There is a fountain filled with blood
drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
and sinners plunged beneath that flood
lose all their guilty stains.
Lose all their guilty stains,
lose all their guilty stains;
and sinners plunged beneath that flood
lose all their guilty stains.

2. The dying thief rejoiced to see
that fountain in his day;
and there may I, though vile as he,
wash all my sins away.
Wash all my sins away,
wash all my sins away;
and there may I, though vile as he,
wash all my sins away.

3. Dear dying Lamb, thy precious blood
shall never lose its power
till all the ransomed church of God
be saved, to sin no more.
Be saved, to sin no more,
be saved, to sin no more;
till all the ransomed church of God
be saved, to sin no more.

4. E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream
thy flowing wounds supply,
redeeming love has been my theme,
and shall be till I die.
And shall be till I die,
and shall be till I die;
redeeming love has been my theme,
and shall be till I die.

5. Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
I’ll sing thy power to save,
when this poor lisping, stammering tongue
lies silent in the grave.
Lies silent in the grave,
lies silent in the grave;
when this poor lisping, stammering tongue
lies silent in the grave.

Here is one of my favorite renditions of this great hymn, sung by the group Selah
(apologies for any advertisements that might pop up):

There is a Fountain Filled With Blood

Dear friend, as you meditate on today’s text, and on what Jesus did for us on the cross, may Cowper’s words sink deep into your heart and bring comfort and healing to your troubled soul today.

Blessings,
~kevin

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