Conquering kings arrive on great stallions. Conquering kings arrive with pomp and fanfare. Conquering kings arrive followed by an army with banners, flags and news of victory. Conquering kings arrive having vanquished the enemy and ready to take the plaudits and honour which accompany the making of history.
Not so this king!
In this prophecy Zechariah describes how the enemy will be beaten (vv1-7) and how God Himself will surround His people to prevent further oppression (v8). The capital city, Jerusalem, will rejoice and be filled with shouts of triumph (v9), as would be expected for the return of the king.
However, this king looks different. Instead of a mighty horse, He will ride a donkey. Instead of the external signs of victory such as royal clothes and crowns, He is marked out by the internal qualities of humility and justice (v9). Instead of bringing a trail of conquered prisoners, He brings salvation.
This humble king may arrive on a lowly donkey but He ushers in a large kingdom ‘from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth’ (v10) which will be marked out by peace to all nations.
This scene would have appeared farfetched to Zechariah’s listeners but it did actually happen! All four gospel authors write of the account of Jesus’ triumphal entry when He, the King of Kings, entered Jerusalem on a borrowed donkey. The crowds acclaimed Him as a victorious king who is blessed by God shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!’ (see Mark 11:9,10).
As that procession into Jerusalem happened very few people would have recalled the words Zechariah followed with in verse 11. The prophecy talks about this being fulfilled with the ‘blood of the covenant’ (v11) which again brings the cross into view. We know that this triumphal King on a donkey would end up crucified just one short week later.
Further reading: Luke 19:28-40
To think about:
Jesus is the king! His kingship is one which looks different from the power and might of the world. Try to describe what Jesus the king means to you.
|Journal page by Bernice|
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