“Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey’” – Matthew 21:5, NKJV
What an exciting time this was for the people and disciples when Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. People were spreading their clothes on the road while others were cutting down branches from the trees and spreading them on the road for Jesus as He rode on the donkey. Then, those who going before Him and those who were following cried out, “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Hosanna in the highest!”
This was happening on what we call Palm Sunday. What is the significance of Palm Sunday? For Christians, it is a reminder of the welcoming of Jesus into our hearts and of our willingness to follow him. According to the Bible, it is Jesus fulfilling the words of the prophet Zechariah which declared,
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
He is just and endowed with salvation,
Humble, and mounted on a donkey,
Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9)
Even though Jesus was a King, not an earthly one, He came in humility, riding a donkey instead of a horse. The donkey was a symbol of peace while the horse was a symbol of war. The kingdom of Jesus is described by the prophet Isaiah. “His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity.”
When King David wanted to establish his son, Solomon as the rightful heir to his throne, he had him ride King David’s own mule and like, Jesus, Solomon made a triumphal entry into Jerusalem I (1 Kings 1:28-40, NLT). Solomon was declared the true heir of his father’s kingdom just as Jesus is the true Heir of His Father’s kingdom. Donkeys and mules are associated with rule and kingship.
As Jesus rode in their midst, the people cried, “Hosanna in the highest“. Hosanna is an exclamation of adoration. It also means, “oh save!” Praise God for sending His Son into the world to save us.