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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Visions of Hope (Zechariah - part 1)

Sabbath School - June 15 - Zechariah - part 1
A Sabbath School resource from the Victoria Conference of the Adventist Church in Australia
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Read through the first four chapters of Zechariah together as a group, stopping occasionally to discuss the following questions and other questions of your own.


Read Zechariah 1

Have everyone write Zechariah 1:3 in their own words. Then read them aloud.
What is the message here?

Comfort 
In which situation are you most likely to make a difference to the world around you?
  1. Living in comfort
  2. Being comforted by God in hard timesWhy is that?
In the context of our “comfort” level, how does 1:3 challenge you?


Read Zechariah 2

What stands out to you the most from this chapter? Why?

How do you think God’s people reacted to the message that “many nations will join themselves to the Lord on that day” when God comes to lives with us? Why would this have bothered them? 

When God “springs into action” he wraps his arms around all of humanity. Are you comfortable with this idea?

Read Romans 16:25-27

In verse 25 Paul says ‘my gospel’ and the message of ‘Jesus Christ’ combine to reveal a plan kept secret from the beginning of time. 

How does the arrival of Jesus on Earth hearken back to Zechariah 2? How did Jesus “spring in to action” while He was here? 

What does the ministry of Jesus on Earth reveal about the nature of God that was unknowable beforehand?

How was Paul’s unique “good news” (Gospel) that he combined with the story of Jesus able to help people? What was Paul’s unique angle?

What is ‘your gospel’ that you combine with the proclamation of Jesus Christ to lead people to faith? Do you have a unique angle? 
What is the most effective way to share the Gospel with the world around us? What words should we use? What actions?



Read Zechariah 3

As you read through this chapter, list the stages of judgement and forgiveness for sin. 

Who brings accusations to the Lord?
What does God do with the accusations? What does he do to the accuser?
What does God do with “your sins”? Is this fair? Why does God do it?
What does God replace our “dirty rags” with? How does this make you feel?
What does God put out the head of the one He claims and cleans? What does this mean to you?
What solemn command and promise does God give to those he claimed, cleaned and crowned? (Verse 7)
What were the priests a symbol of? 
How Zechariah 3 a foreshadowing of Jesus’ Ministry?

How does the treatment of this filthy man (both at the hands of Satan and God) give you hope? How does it make you feel about the grace and mercy of Jesus? How does it empower and embolden you as you share your faith with others?


Highlights from the 1st half of Zechariah

Consider these messages of Zechariah’s first three chapters: 
Chapter 1: Return to the Lord and He will return to you. 
Chapter 2: God wants to save everyone, not just a select group.
Chapter 3. Salvation is a gift, not a reward. 

What other messages did you get from these three chapters?

How does Zechariah 4:6 build on Chapters 1-3?


A Tale of Two Temples

Read Zechariah 5:5-11
What does God do with the “sins of everyone”?
What do those without God do when the “sin in a basket” arrives?

Read Zechariah 6:9-15
What do those who live in the world but love God do with their wealth?
Who rebuilds the temple of the Lord?
What draws these people to come and build?
How far out does God branch in the rebuilding of His temple?

Compare Zechariah 5:11 and 6:14
What are the similarities and differences?
When people came to each temple, and saw the memorial (basket/crown) of what would they be reminded? How does this reveal the heart of the two temples?

Both temples draw a crowd but for very different reasons.
Read Zechariah 7:8-14 
How does these verses explain the core purpose of the temple of God?
What kind of people would be drawn to this Temple?

Which temple does your church most resemble?
What kind of people does it attract?
Are you putting your fingers in your ears?


Next week we explore the rest of Zechariah and meet Heaven’s best Gift!