Summary: Zechariah 9:9 promises the king of Israel would come into Jerusalem riding on a donkey. 400 years later, Jesus fulfilled this important prophecy.
“Rejoice Over Your King”
Today marks the opening of a very serious and enjoyable time of year for Christians, the week we call Holy Week.
We have been planning events, making arrangements and preparing ourselves for this special season of worship within the church.
We call it “Holy Week” because this is when we celebrate the events which began and led up to the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This is the most significant point in human history - a point which all history prior had looked forward to with expectancy, and all history since has looked back upon with wonder.
Certainly the ministry of Jesus Christ was more than a week.
But this one week of His life was so filled with significance, with every moment driving toward the culmination of His coming which was His propitiatory work on the cross.
Holy Week begins with a very memorable scene from Scripture which is most of us are likely quite familiar.
In fact, it is one of the few stories of Christ which is found in all four of the Gospels.
Jesus Christ, riding into Jerusalem on a donkey.
The donkey was, in the ancient world, a symbol of peace.
As opposed to the horse, which was a symbol of war.
Jesus was the “Prince of Peace” as He was called by the prophet Isaiah, the one who would usher in peace - not from man to man, but with man to God.
Romans 5:1 “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”
As He enters Jerusalem, He is surrounded by people holding palm branches and shouting “Hosanna”!
Hosanna means, “Save Us, We Pray!”
Their palm branches were symbolic of victory, because many of them believed Christ to have come to usher in a time of victory over the occupying Romans.
REMEMBER: These people were very aware that just a short time before Jesus had raised a man, Lazarus, from his grave.
This was the culmination of His many powerful miracles, which had begun three years earlier with the changing of water into wine at the wedding in Cana of Galilee.
They believed Him to have mighty powers, and that He could lead them to a powerful political victory.
In fact, the people are now ready to declare Him King of Israel, much to the chagrin of the Jewish leaders.
In fact, Luke’s gospel tells us that the Pharisees are standing by watching this all go on, and they demand that Jesus silence His disciples (Luke 19:39).
Jesus responds with a famous remark saying, ““I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out” (v.40).
NOTE: Jesus is making this remark to remind His hearers that all creation was made to worship God.
Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”
This was the moment in which God had decreed that Christ’s Kingship would be declared to the world.
If the people didn’t declare this truth, the very created elements would declare it!
But this special moment in history was not just planned that day; it had been a part of the plan of God from the beginning of creation... a truth that is prophesied over 400 years prior to this event.
This morning, we are going to examine the messianic prophesy which foretells this event, and see what it tells us about the King who is to come...
READ: Zechariah 9:9
The prophet Zechariah lived at a time in Israel’s history which is filled with significance.
The Jews had been in exile since they had been captured and taken into captivity by the Babylonians in 586 BC.
Under the leadership of Ezra and Nehemiah, they had been allowed to return to Jerusalem to rebuild and restore their nation.
However, they had seen many obstacles in their attempts to rebuild, and there was great dismay among the people.
They had faced several major obstacles, and their morale was shaken.
Zechariah comes to the people of Israel to provide them words of exhortation and encouragement.
He is like a coach, coming in to his team which has gone into half-time with a deficit on the scoreboard.
Their confidence is waning, so he provides them a needed word to encourage their confidence and get them to move forward.
Within these words of encouragement from Zechariah are found some of the most profound Messianic prophecies in Scripture.
In fact, there are eight (8) very specific messianic prophecies in the brief 14 chapters of his book.
He is giving the people insight into the truth that all of this history that they are living out is leading up to something of major revelational and historical significance.
There is a king coming; a righteous, saving king, who will bring the blessings of God to His people.