“Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Look, your King is coming to you; He is righteous and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
– Zechariah 9:9 (HCSB)
Jesus Christ, the King of all creation, had the right to every kind of luxury available on earth. At His word alone the winds cease and the storms of the sea subside. At His command the demons quiver, and the sicknesses of mankind are unable to resist His healing power. However, no miraculous deed or marvelous work could ever compare to the purpose for which Christ came to the world. The greatest healing that ever occurred in the history of the world was about to take place.
All throughout the towns of Galilee, Jesus Christ would do marvelous things in His own name, and in the Father’s. When John the Baptist sent servants to ask Jesus if He was the Messiah, the Lord replied in Matthew 11:5 (ESV) saying, “The blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.” Christ had done many astonishing works that even those who lived in a carnal state could appreciate Him. However, that was still not the greatest miracle.
Jesus foretold the events that were to take place in Jerusalem to His disciples, before the triumphant entry in Luke 9:21-22 (ESV) it saying, “And He strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, saying, ‘The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.'” Why would an all-powerful, gracious, and loving God allow Himself to go through that?
There was once a crippled man who was brought to Jesus in order to be healed, and it was recorded in Matthew 9:2 (ESV) saying, “And behold, some people brought to Him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.'”
Jesus was burdened by many things on this earth, but there is no biblical indication that He was especially burdened by the physical sicknesses and poverty of this world. He did concern Himself many times, but each miracle’s purpose was to point to a greater miracle, the one that was to take place on the cross. Have people forgotten the stench of sin that we become so eager to believe that Christ’s only purpose is to heal us and get rid of discomfort? Have Christians forgotten the purpose of His coming to the earth?
The Lord, as foretold by the prophets of old, came on a colt. The One arriving to Jerusalem was to be the sacrifice, and that great miracle. This miracle would surpass all others. Every single moment in Jesus’ ministry now led up to this moment as He was entering the city of Jerusalem. The Lord, by His own sovereign will, stuck to His promise. Every Scripture was fulfilled in Christ, and even so the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9.
When Jesus asked the disciples to fetch a colt for Him to ride, they were no doubt in a confused state of mind. A king is supposed to ride into a city on horse, but not on something so lowly and plain. The disciples fetched the colt, but they were greatly disappointed. They also believed that Jesus’ miracles were a sign of something great, but only in the sense that there would be a physical kingdom that Christ would reign over. The Scriptures even tell us that the disciples got into disputes over who was to sit at His right hand when His Kingdom would come. Rather than Christ arriving to Jerusalem with a noble steed, Jesus arrives on a humble foal.
Christ was not only following the foretold Word, He was the Word itself. When the Father spoke, the Son would act. This was a partnership that existed before the creation of the World, and even so the cause of creation. The Son of God fulfilled the Scriptures because every letter, iota, and speck pointed to the glory of Jesus, and His coming.
Now He rides on a colt, and He arrives to Jerusalem. The people are gathering, they lay down palms as they welcome Jesus, and they sing their song, “Hosanna!” In any way that they rejoiced, they still missed the glory of His coming and why it was so great. The Messiah was believed to be a warrior, a conqueror, and a victor over the enemy of Israel. That enemy was Rome, but Jesus’ enemy was sin. That is why they were quick to shout, “Crucify Him,” in only a matter of a few days. They didn’t realize the purpose of what He was doing, but they worshipped Him with the wrong understanding of who He is.
Christ, riding into Jerusalem on a colt, was reflecting His own coming to earth. It is difficult to grasp the idea that a great God had come down to us, and lived among us. The Word took on flesh and we were witnesses of His glory. This glory was not just any glory, for there were prophets before and after Christ who could heal, but it was a peculiar glory of Christ. Christ was most glorified in His humility. The greatest worship that Christ ever received, though the minds of the worshippers were carnal, was when he was on a foal. The greatest glory that He received was because Christ humbled Himself, and descended from Heaven’s throne to save us from sin.
Do we ever wonder why it is called a triumphant entry? After all, what did Christ do that we could consider to be triumphant? He didn’t conquer an army, He didn’t end all hunger, and He didn’t even put an end to Roman oppression. What was so triumphant about His riding into Jerusalem? Today, many Christians would just smile and wave, just like the Jews of that day, and they wouldn’t even realize the reason for their joy and worship.
It was indeed a triumphant entry and a victorious procession, for Christ had come to Jerusalem to defeat every satanic stronghold that stood against Him. He came to save the elect of God, the ones who were chosen before time. The remission of sin was to take place on the cross, paying salvation’s price once and for all. Christ was riding into Jerusalem knowing that His Father, as well as Himself, would be glorified. However, while riding on a colt, He also knew of the horrible tragedy, torment, and hideous death ahead that was to take place, and yet He was ready. His love for His children, and His zeal for God’s glory would not stop Him from completing the mission He was destined to complete.
Soli Deo Gloria.