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. Zechariah 9:9
Centuries before Christ was born a babe in the manger, the words were written that the King of Jerusalem would come. He would ride on a humble colt donkey into the great city of our God.
The use of a donkey by our Lord when riding into Jerusalem was no mark of defeat or shame. It was a claim by Jesus that he was the Messiah, the King of the Jews. He did what Israelite kings and leaders of old had done, including Solomon (1 Kings 1:32-33).
This was not lost on the crowd in Jerusalem at the time. They lauded him as such by shouting: ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel.’
But why not ride into Jerusalem on a noble steed?
A donkey is not a war horse. It is a beast of peace. Jesus came to bring the peace of God which passes all understanding as the angels sang at his birth: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace among those with whom he is pleased.’