Key Passage: Matthew 21: 1-17
Key Text: Matthew 21:15 – “Say to the daughter of Zion, Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.”
God has a distinct way He speaks and acts and His signature can be discerned throughout history.
This week as we focus our attention on the Passion Week, I want to look at some of the not often spoken of events that happened this week. It is so instructive to study and see what some of these activities were. Today I want to look at Jesus entry in Jerusalem on a donkey. Why did the King of Kings choose such a lowly animal to enter Jerusalem with?
To really understand this, one would need to go into the Old Testament and examine the inauguration of another king. In 1 Kings 1, we read the story of David in his old age and last days on earth. His son Adionijah, the son of Haggith, the younger brother of Absalom, decided he would cease the throne. The Bible says it like this; “.Now, Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king. And he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.” He colluded with Joab the head of the army and Abiathar the priest and seemed to have executed a perfect coup. But David’s long time friend and prophet, Nathan went and told Bathsheba the mother of Solomon that her life and her son’s life were in danger and she needed to go and see David quickly, to let him know what Adonijah had done.
When David heard, his response and instructions on the issue were quite revealing. And the king said to them, “Take with you the servants of your lord and have Solomon my son ride on my own mule, and bring him down to Gihon. 34 And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet there anoint him king over Israel. Then blow the trumpet and say, Long live King Solomon! 35 You shall then come up after him, and he shall come and sit on my throne, for he shall be king in my place. And I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah.”
David could have asked Solomon to be put on one of his finest chariots, get the entire special forces to accompany him and all the priest in ceremonial outfits to counter what Adonijah had done. Instead he chose his mule or donkey and asked for a very simple procession to Gihon.
Adonijah was a self-appointed, self-proclaimed king. Solomon was the God appointed, God proclaimed king. The image of the mule or donkey had to do with humility and servant hood, contrasted with the image of chariots and horses, which speaks of dominion and oppression.
Solomon was taking to Gihon, whilst Adonijah went to the Stone of Zeholeth by En-Rogel. The Stone of Zeholeth, also means the serpent’s stone, an image of Satan and rebellion, whist Gihon means spring of grace, which is an image of God and Christ.
The second area of the old testament that helps us understand the significance of Jesus coming into Jerusalem on a donkey, can be found in Zechariah 9:9, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey”. This is one of the clearest prophecies about the person of Jesus Christ and the Jews in Jerusalem on that day, were not lost on the importance of the ‘King on the donkey’.
The donkey was a sign of His humility. The donkey was a sign of His servant hood. It was also a statement that though there is a self appointed king, in this case Herod, who is a type of Adonijah; He is the God appointed and God proclaimed King like Solomon; And He is not an oppressor, but a servant leader, who will bear the burdens of the people.
This is why as Jesus was coming into Jerusalem; the people began to shout
“Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest!”
They were saying our king please come and save us now!! They knew this was the promised Messiah and the promised deliverer. But the donkey he rode on was the real proof that He was the one.
God chooses the humble!!
Let’s pray: Dear Father, thank you for opening my eyes to see the Messiah. Thank you for letting me know Jesus your son. I ask you to please empower me to be humble lowly like the Lord Jesus. Help me to abhor all forms of self-appointment and self-proclamation. Father, I need you grace to be who you have called me to be. I want to be like my king on a donkey, serving humanity and bearing my brothers burdens. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.