"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Zechariah 9:9
Many times in Jesus’ ministry, the people who heard his profound words of wisdom and saw His miraculous deeds pressed to bring Him to Jerusalem and announce Him as their king. They hoped He would be the one who would deliver Israel from its oppressors, and once again restore a long awaited kingdom to their land. Indeed, Jesus had brought a new kingdom to this earth, but it was not the kingdom that the people were hoping for. They desired to see national freedom, but Christ had come to bring a different kind of freedom altogether.
Every time, the people pressed to take Him upon their shoulders and announce Him as their king, Jesus evaded their grasp and went away to a quiet place, or off to some other town to continue His ministry there. Until one day, when Jesus commanded His disciples to go into town and get a certain donkey for Him so that He might ride into Jerusalem. In fulfillment of the above prophecy in Zechariah, Jesus rode into Jerusalem with men and women, boys and girls, waving palm branches and singing specific Psalms that were reserved for the coming of the Messiah.
Why did Jesus refuse the exaltation of the people in so many instances, and then deliberately organize a ride into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey? It is because Jesus, the author of our salvation, was fulfilling a prophecy given nearly 600 years previous. In the book of Daniel, the prophet receives a message from God that describes the exact day when the Messiah would present Himself in Jerusalem. Jesus’ famous donkey ride was a fulfillment, to the day, of that peculiar prophecy, and a further declaration that He was the promised deliverer who would bring salvation to the world.
The week that followed was history’s most tragic turn of events. The man who was hailed as a miraculous king as He entered Jerusalem, was cursed as a blasphemous criminal, and sent out of Jerusalem to his death on a Roman cross. The Son of God was maligned and abandoned by His closest friends and betrayed with a kiss. But none of these things deterred Him from accomplishing His mission.
You see, Jesus came “to seek and to save that which was lost”. Jesus knew that He must pay the ultimate price to purchase us from the kingdom of darkness in order to bring us into the kingdom of light. And because of His love for us, and His willingness to follow through with the greatest act of self-sacrificial love, He allowed Himself to be taken to the cross of Calvary, there to become the sacrifice for our sins.
This Easter season, I hope you will remember what Jesus did for you because of His great love for you. Please come celebrate with us this Easter, the death, burial and resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ.