All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:
“Tell the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your King is coming to you,
Lowly, and sitting on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.’”
The Bible records two instances in which Jesus rode instead of walking. The first we’ll remember and celebrate this coming Palm Sunday. The second we’ll celebrate sometime in the future.
Matthew 21:1-5 records Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem the Sunday before His crucifixion. In a perfect fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9, He enters the city riding on a young donkey.
Albert Barnes and others who study the historical side of Scriptures attest that horses were rare in Judea, so they were only used in times of war. During peace time, kings and princes rode donkeys. (Judges 10:4, 12:14 and 1 Samuel 25:20 show the noble and the wealthy riding donkeys.)
The unmistakable picture is that of a King coming as a peacemaker. The crowds immediately recognized what Jesus was doing and began shouting the Messianic sections of Psalm 118. All of the promises they had clung to through countless Passover celebrations were about to reach their fulfillment.
Except they didn’t.
We know how the story plays out. The mood changed and days later that crowd who had pronounced blessings became a mob calling for His blood.
Now let’s skip ahead.
In Revelation 19:11, John reports, “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.”
Now Christ rides a white horse. Roman general rode white horses, especially in their victory parades. Jesus is not coming to make peace this time. The text plainly says He’s coming to make war. The offer of peace has expired, and those who have rejected it have become His enemies and will face Him on the battlefield. Further reading in Revelation 19 reveals it’s a war He will win decisively.
As you celebrate Palm Sunday this weekend, consider what an amazing thing it is for the King, crowned with power and majesty, to offer us terms of peace, a peace that would cost us nothing but our allegiance to Him.
Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!