"The Man that is My Fellow"

"Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, and against the man that is My fellow, says the Lord of Hosts: smite the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered" (Zechariah 13:7).

There can be no doubt that this prophetic word was spoken concerning our Lord Jesus Christ, for He quoted it and applied it to Himself, as He walked with His disciples to the Mount of Olives on the night of His betrayal. They are wonderful words, and bring out the divine glory of the Lord, for the Lord of Hosts, speaks of Him as "the Man that is My fellow" which surely carries the meaning of equality. But I suggest that it means more than that; that it means absolute accord with God's thoughts and will. There has been a Man upon earth, between Whom and God in heaven, there was a perfect community of thought, and complete fellowship. He was God's Fellow, answering to every desire in the heart of God, as a well-tuned harp answers to the touch of a master's fingers — "He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth Mine ear to hear as the instructed," was the language of this wholly subject Man. And He continues, "I was not rebellious, neither turned away back," even when with an ardent, but merely human love, Peter urged Him to pity Himself. The will of His God was supreme for Him and not to be challenged or questioned, so He says, "I gave My back to the smiters, and My cheeks to them that plucked off the hair. I hid not My face from shame and spitting" (Isa. 50). But the will of God carried Him into deeper suffering than that which men inflicted upon His exquisitely sensitive frame. Hearken to His words to His disciples at the Supper table: "Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world comes, and has nothing in Me. But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father has given Me commandment, even so I do, Arise, let us go hence." Steadfast as the throne of God, the devil neither by wile or menace could make Him waver, or destroy that most perfect fellowship which from eternity bound the Father and the Son in one. As Abraham and Isaac "went both of them together" to the place of sacrifice, so did this blessed Man tread the Father's way with the Father to fulfil His will to the last letter of it. "Arise, let us go hence" — that hence was Golgotha, where Jehovah's rod smote Him, when He was lifted up, the Son of Man, for our transgressions and sins; and when as the Shepherd He suffered for the flock. The disciples could not travel with Him to the end of that road, for the sheep were to be scattered at His smiting. "Behold," He said to them, "the hour comes, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave Me alone: yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me." The man that was Jehovah's Fellow had company to the very end of the way. "And He, bearing His cross, went forth into a place called in the Hebrew Golgotha: where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst." But there was no weakening even then of that perfect acquiescence in God's will or break in that holy oneness between Him and His God. Hear His words, "My God, My God … O My God — Thou art holy … Thou art He … Thou didst make Me hope. Thou art My God … Thou hast heard Me" (Ps. 22).

We cannot know, nor may we presume to attempt to discover what were the feelings of the Lord of hosts as He raised His rod to smite the Shepherd — the Man that was His Fellow, but we are permitted to hear these words — "THEREFORE DOTH MY FATHER LOVE ME, because I lay down My life, that I might take it again. No man takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself; I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of My Father." And again, "I have glorified Thee on the earth, I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do." And we may see the great result of that one obedience; the scattered sheep were to be gathered again into an indissoluble unity through that very smiting and death. "It is expedient" said Caiaphas, "that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not." But he did not speak this of himself, impious hypocrite that he was, but he prophesied — he was made the mouthpiece of the Holy Ghost for the time being — that Jesus should die for that nation, and not for that nation only, but that also He should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad (John 11:49-52). It is the risen Christ who becomes the object of His people's faith and the Centre to whom they gather. God is gathering to Christ, but He could not have gathered apart from the cross. "I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men to Me," are words that we should ponder often and well. And God will be glorified in the multitude of His sons, conformed to the image of His Son, the Firstborn among many brethren.

It was the Man that is Jehovah's Fellow that suffered the smiting, and He it is that will fill the universe with a glad surprise when He brings all things in heaven and on earth into reconciliation to the will of God, in which He ever delighted and to which He was entirely subject.