The Christian celebration of Easter begins a week prior, the first day of Holy Week. The Sunday before Easter Sunday is known as Palm Sunday and is the day on which Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem took place. On this day Jesus entered Jerusalem sitting on a donkey amidst the waving of palm branches and on top of those laid on the road for him. The event is recorded in all four gospels (Matthew 21:1, Mark 11:1, Luke 19:29, John 12:12).
The one startling fact is that Jesus rides a donkey into Jerusalem. This demonstrates the incredible humility of Jesus as one who not only stood out as a compassionate healer and was upheld as a moral barometer but also as one who claimed to be God. He entered Jerusalem as a king as those standing around cheering were yelling out things, such as,
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
It’s easy to see that this language seemed a bit too blasphemous for some of the Pharisees as they wanted Jesus to rebuke the people (Luke 19:38-40).
But one of the main reasons why Jesus rode on a donkey was to intentionally fulfilled what was predicted centuries ago by the prophet, 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)
Now, it might seem odd for a person to intentionally fulfill a prediction, but if we consider the notion that the original prophecy was actually predicted about the coming Messiah, king of kings, God incarnate, it should certainly put a hair on any thinking man’s back that someone would actually intentionally fulfill this prophecy. If Jesus were not, in fact, God, this action would itself make him into an egomaniacal madman.
Arthur is an author, a former agnostic, and current ambassador of Jesus of Nazareth who loves to share the best of reasons for God's ultimate reality. His love and passion are helping skeptics and Christians grow in their faith and knowledge of God through accessible materials.