Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
A Servant King
These words of the prophet Zechariah were originally proclaimed to the people of Judah, who had become discouraged after returning to Jerusalem from exile in Babylon. Things just weren’t the same. The city, along with its glorious temple, was in ruins.
Zechariah spoke God’s word that pointed the people away from their present woes to the future and the coming of the Messiah: “See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” The coming of Christ was so certain that Zechariah wanted the people to look and “see” him. He wanted them to see that he would be a different kind of king.
When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey just a week before he would be crucified, it was clear that he was a different kind of king. From all outward appearances, he didn’t look like much of a king. There was no band of soldiers at his side flaunting their weapons and strength. Instead, he came with gentleness. Even his vehicle was lowly and unintimidating, not a powerful war-horse, but a wobbly colt. Instead of seizing his position with an army or by force, he earned it by doing everything that his heavenly Father commanded. Not only is Jesus perfectly righteous—without sin of any kind—but he takes his righteousness and gives it to his unrighteous people. He has salvation, and he freely distributes it.
Take comfort in the fact that Jesus humbled himself and came to be with us, to care for us, to die and rise again for us. Rejoice that this King came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for you.
Lord Jesus, you are my righteousness; I am your sin. I thank you that you became what you were not, so that I might be what I am not. Amen.