“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.
I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
And the horse from Jerusalem;
The battle bow shall be cut off.
He shall speak peace to the nations;
His dominion shall be ‘from sea to sea,
And from the River to the ends of the earth.’
“As for you also,
Because of the blood of your covenant,
I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.
Return to the stronghold,
You prisoners of hope.
Even today I declare
That I will restore double to you.
For I have bent Judah, My bow,
Fitted the bow with Ephraim,
And raised up your sons, O Zion,
Against your sons, O Greece,
And made you like the sword of a mighty man.” (Zechariah 9:9-13)
All four of the Gospels in the New Testament describe Jesus’ triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem the week before he was crucified. Two of them, John and Matthew, quote God’s words about the king riding on a donkey. It was a prophesy that Jesus fulfilled. But the expectations of God’s people regarding the nature of the coming Messiah was something other than what God had in mind. While they saw a conqueror bent on overthrowing the Roman government—a thought heavy on the minds of Jesus’ disciples and the adoring crowds that cast palm branches at his feet—Jesus’ throne was not earthly, but instead was heavenly. The fulfillment of God’s words to Zechariah was far grander than the disciples or anyone else ever imagined. Jesus was not king just of Israel, but of the universe itself—of all that there was. And he intended to reign in the hearts of his people forever. Of course, God made his intent clear, when he told the Israelites that he would get rid of the weapons of war from their hands, when he spoke of salvation and peace. Our weapons are not the weapons of this world, but rather spiritual. God has conquered sin and brought salvation to us all.