In the end, Jesus will return riding a horse. It is the symbol of battle, which the Revelator described in the Bible’s last book. However, when Jesus first came He was riding a donkey. He declared Himself the Savior of the world. Jesus could have ridden a stalwart stallion, rippled with muscle and decor. However, He came to bring reclamation: He came as the King of Redemption.
Contrary to opinions, the donkey is an intelligent creature. Sure-footed and having superb eyesight, the donkey can scale the rockiest cliffs while carrying a heavy burden. The Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem is layered with meaning, not the least of which is this most unobtrusive colt that He sits upon. While the modern Christian world might bypasses its significance, the pharisees knew the meaning and it angered them. They knew that Jesus was proclaiming Himself to be a king. They knew the intent of the donkey; their manuscripts were firmly imprinted in their minds. A king riding a donkey was always welcomed with shouts of joy and exclamation. That’s why they tried to keep the people from crying out, “Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.”
It might seem odd, but the donkey symbolized a strength in balance, wisdom, and authority. Kings chose the donkey to proclaim their arrival to end war and bring about a change. Solomon rode a donkey, (1 Kings 1:33) to signify his new role as the King of Israel. Many other kings did the same.
Zechariah saw it centuries prior: Zechariah 9:9-10 “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the war-horses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.”
The King is coming! This King will make a trade, even today… He will give you beauty for ashes; the oil of joy for mourning; the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. This King has come to preach peace, bind up the brokenhearted, and proclaim liberty to the captives. He will open the prison to them that are bound and announce the year of Jubilee.
Finally, in a distant view, Jacob gives a blessing to his sons. To Judah he says, “You , Judah, are like a lion. You, Judah, will be a ruler, “ Genesis 49:10 -11 “The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his. He will tether his donkey to a vine, his colt to the choicest branch; he will wash his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes.”
Jesus, the Lion of Judah, the King of Redemption is coming!
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole