Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the war-horses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.
Rejoice and Shout, Your King Comes to You
This past year, some friends gave my family tickets to a local college football game. Our friends encouraged us to arrive early, because the moments before the game were electrifying. We were not disappointed! As the home team made its entrance onto the field, the college band played the school’s fight song as loud as they could. The scoreboard flashed, “Stand up and make some noise!” There was smoke. There were fireworks. Then the announcer yelled, “Here comes your championship football team…” and 70,000 people screamed with joy as the team ran onto the field. This was a memorable entrance!
The prophet Zechariah prepares hearts for Jesus’ memorable entrance on Palm Sunday. He exclaims, “Rejoice greatly! Shout!” This message builds up joy and excitement for the coming king. But the manner in which Jesus comes on Palm Sunday might seem like a major let-down. He comes, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey.
Imagine the reaction in a full stadium if one football player came out on a lowly donkey. The crowd might become restless. So also, we might wonder, “Where is Jesus’ pomp and circumstance? What kind of king rides on a lowly donkey? What kind of king seeks to proclaim and extend peace without a single weapon of war, and in such a lowly manner?”
Jesus does! His humble ride is fitting of his humble mission to bring us peace. Jesus humbly rode into Jerusalem on that Sunday, knowing that he would face death on that Friday. Jesus humbly rode on for the proud and pompous. Jesus humbly rode on for the disobedient and defiant. Jesus humbly rode on to face the punishment our sins deserved, so that he could win and proclaim the peace of God’s forgiveness.
So, rejoice greatly and shout! Your King came for you. And your King still comes to you through his Word to proclaim his peace and fill your heart with his joy.
King Jesus, let the peace which you won for me rule my heart and mind. Let it overflow in joy in my life as well. Amen.
Source: WELS Devotions