. . . for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD. And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee (Zechariah 2:10,11).
This old prophecy of the coming Messiah helps us better understand the world of John 3:16. The Father so loved many nations, that He gave His only begotten Son. The vision also reveals the purpose for Christs coming. The high priest, Joshua (3:1), whose name in Hebrew is equivalent to Jesus in the Greek, represented the people before God. The problem was that he was dressed in filthy garments. More than five hundred years later, on Calvarys cross, Jesus, the only effective high priest and worthy representative before the Father, was dressed in the filth of our sins.
In the same verse, the angel of the LORD is mentioned. He prefigures the divine aspect of the Lord Jesus Christ. This messenger (the basic meaning of angel) promised prophetically to remove iniquity and clothe . . . with change of raiment (3:4). This happened when Jesus, the God-Man, obediently offered the once-for-all sacrifice of Himself on the cross. He now removes sin and clothes redeemed people in His own perfect righteousness. The Father sees the elect in the light of His Sons perfection.
Finally, God promised to bring forth (His) servant the BRANCH (3:8) and to remove the iniquity of that land in one day (3:9). This happened one day when Jesus was pierced (12:10) by Roman soldiers.
No one Biblical image adequately portrays the wonder and majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ and His work of salvation. The mosaic of Biblical prophecy, however, finds unity in Jesus, available now to save all who humble themselves before Him in prayer and trust Him for salvation. PGH