Reconciliation/Restoration to God

Zechariah 9:12, Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.

Such was the promise God made to Israel. This is in stark contrast to their previous punishment, “she has received from the LORD’S hand double from all her sins” (Isaiah 40:2). Because of Israel’s apostasy, God punished her double for all her sins. We know why Israel paid double, but why will God restore to her double? God gives His reason, “Because of the blood of My covenant with you, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit” (Zechariah 9:11). Therefore, God says, they ought return to God their stronghold—their only hope—to receive their double restoration. Restoration comes from God alone.

This restoration on behalf of God’s blood covenant came through Jesus Christ on the cross. “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation” (Romans 5:9-11). How is Paul using the word “reconciliation” (καταλλαγή, katallagē)? Reconciliation is the restoration of a broken relationship, which is brought about by God alone.

Through their apostasy, Israel broke their relationship with God and received double what was owed them. But God, in His steadfast love and mercy, restored double what was not owed them by the blood of His covenant through Jesus Christ our Lord, which is received by faith, justifying and reconciling (restoring) them to God. And this is for us too, since by faith we are made God’s people (cf. Romans 2:28-29).

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