Buckingham Fountain, located in Chicago’s Grant Park, is made of pink Georgia marble and contains a million and a half gallons of water. From April to October, the fountain shoots 14,000 gallons of water 120 feet into the air.
When God pours out His Spirit of grace and supplication on the remnant of Israel, there will be a fountain of cleansing for the house of David and the city of Jerusalem (v. 1). Those who embrace Jesus as Messiah will turn from sin and idolatry (vv. 2–5).
The transformation described in these verses points to a new order that is ushered in when Jesus claims His throne and reigns in Jerusalem. Unfortunately, it will not come without suffering. The time leading up to Christ’s return will be one of great suffering (Matt. 24:21; Rev. 7:14). Zechariah predicts that two-thirds of those who reside in the land of Palestine will perish (Zech. 13:8–9).
The term fountain (v. 1) could also be translated as spring. Jesus used the same imagery when he spoke to the woman at the well. “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst,” He told her. “Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13–14).
The fountain of forgiveness that Jesus provides is a fountain of blood because Jesus cleansed our sins when He shed His blood on the cross (Heb. 9:14). Zechariah connects this fountain of cleansing to the suffering of Christ in verse 7 where he predicts Christ’s death. Jesus quoted this verse to His disciples on the night of His betrayal (Matt. 26:31). The hymn writer was right to say, “There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins; And sinners plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains.”
There is no substitute for the blood of Christ. There is no gospel without the resurrection of Christ, and there would be no salvation without His blood (1 Peter 1:19). “It is not enough to preach the resurrection, for it is principally by Christ’s death that we are saved,” John Stott observes.