Jesus’ triumphal entry was on a donkey? That’s right. A donkey. Most conquerors, when riding into a city in a Triumph, ride a beautiful stallion, full of power and majesty, with the captured led before them, the spoils of war paraded, the victorious army and heroes of war standing tall and fearsome, trumpeters marching alongside, and dancers and revelers encouraging the crowds towards awe and wonder. Jesus? He rode a donkey.
This was his moment. Everyone wanted him crowned the Victor! Everyone cheered for him as the Conquering One- who would usher in God’s Kingdom- wiping out the Romans, making Jerusalem the center of the Reign of the earth.
So Jesus rode a donkey. The donkey was the only thing he organized. He sent his disciples ahead to find the colt… and then Jesus sat on the beast of burden… the animal that carried the load of others… that carried the ridicule of history… the unworthiness of class… the lowly stature… the rawness of labor… the stubbornness of getting the job done no matter what it cost.
Jesus identified with the donkey. For while the world searches for the conquering stallion, the King slipped in on a beast of burden.
This is our King, the God who carried our burden and was weighed down by our sorrows. This is our King, who absorbed our cruelty, who was wounded and crushed for our sins. This is our King, who labored for us… even to death. The Triumph of Jesus Christ is that he is our Redeemer, who came from above, knelt beneath us, and lifted us up on his back.
So "Rejoice greatly, O people of Zion! Shout in Triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey- even on a donkey’s colt." – Zechariah 9:9