Him whom they pierced
This passage can be looked at in two parts: verses 1-8, and 9-14.
In the first part God will bring salvation to his people delivering them from the nations which afflict them. Though it was not recognized by many of his contemporaries, God’s victory over the nations took place in the death and resurrection of Jesus. The universal character of his conquest was represented by the three languages in which the accusation over his head was written: Aramaic, Latin, and Greek. One day that victory will be made clear to all.
In the second part the theme of universal victory is continued but the house of David and the people of Jerusalem would find a new spirit as they looked to the one whom they pierced. And so it was for those who finally saw in the death and resurrection of Jesus God’s great victory over Sin and Death.
To give his life as a ransom
The the disciples of Jesus had but small appreciation of what was about to transpire. Thus they asked questions that expressed maybe their own ambitions rather than any real sensitivity to the great events that were to take place. They were, in a short time, to learn some powerful lessons: the true nature of greatness, the shape of Jesus’ mission, and the roles that they would fulfil when Jesus had finished the work which his Father had sent him to do.
Our heavenly Father has graciously made us his and fits us to accomplish that which He would have us to do – Ephesians 2:10. This is the fruit of the work of him who gave his life as a ransom.