Why did Jesus enter Jerusalem on a donkey? Why did it have to be a donkey that no one has ever ridden on?
Here’s what Jesus requested before He began the Palm Sunday journey: “He sent two disciples (I wonder which two) saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt (donkey in Hebrew) tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here.” Luke 19: 29-30
In the Old Testament, the requirement of the law was to bring an animal without blemish or defect, one that had never been put to secular use; one that had never been under a yoke. Hold that thought, we will come back to it.
Riding on a donkey is a symbol of peace. By using a donkey, Jesus was revealing his desire to connect with common people. When a leader would ride in on a horse, it signified he was coming in war. Entering Jerusalem on a donkey was displaying his humility.
In church this week, our Pastor pointed out the prophecy of Zechariah, “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. Zechariah 9: 9
Jesus, the King of Glory, as an infant, once laid in an animal trough. He now is choosing to enter again, in humility, on a donkey, still connecting with His people. He entered this world in a stable or cave, where animals were fed and lived. I’ll bet donkeys were there too!
Why would it be any different now for Him not to come in humbleness and peace? Scripture tells us, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Hebrews 13: 8 Even the prophecy of His birth and entering in through the way of peace declared: “Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.” Luke 2: 14
As He was entering Jerusalem, the prophecy of His coming IN peace still remained throughout His life.
About The Yoke
All the phrases about “yokes” are flooding my mind as I recall the words of Jesus. He said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart…” Matthew 11: 28-30 Yes, we certainly can learn from Him on humility as He modeled it well.
He wanted His people to “Be Yoked To Him.” He demonstrated this by not allowing any other previous “yokes.” He even specifically mentioned this to His disciples, when He sent them out looking for “his ride,” saying, “Untie it.” Yes, we need “untied” from any yokes that would hinder our connection to Him. He came to break the “yoke of slavery and lift heavy burdens.” Isaiah 9: 4 Jesus came to “Break the yoke of bondage…and tear off the chains.” Nahum 1: 13
His entering, riding in peace and restoration, illustrated the Word of the prophet Jeremiah when he prayed, “Turn me again to you and restore me, for you alone are the Lord my God.” Jeremiah 31: 18
His will for us is always to turn toward Him for restoration. If we are yoked to anything else, our necks cannot turn. “Who gives the wild donkey its freedom? Who untied its ropes?” Job 39: 5
Some of us have been “tied” to the same prophecy that Ishmael was tied to: “He will be a wild donkey of a man…and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.” Genesis 16: 12
Clearly Jesus’ “Triumphant Entry” ride was for our turning and our entering into peace and freedom. This was accomplished on the cross. May the “Prince of Peace” ride, for He, shall ride again!
Yes, He traded in His donkey for a white horse who’s coming in victory as our Triumphant King, the One who is Faithful and True.