“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
How amazing that the words above were written by Zechariah over 500 years before the birth of Christ! And how incredible that God would reveal his loving plan for the redemption of his people long before the event should come to pass!
The idea of the Messiah’s coming was certainly not new to the Old Testament Jews. They had long awaited the Messiah’s coming as promised by the prophets. Generations of Jews had hoped and longed for a king to come and save them from their oppression; a king who would conquer their enemies and establish a kingdom where they could live in peace. They had been watching for a mighty king to come, perhaps one who would victoriously ride into town in a chariot. What they weren’t looking for was a king such as the one that Zechariah foretold above: a king who would come, “righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey.” Lowly and humble? Yes, Jesus later entered into Jerusalem to the people’s shouts and praise: “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Matthew 21: 9), but most did not understand the true nature of his kingship.
Coming from the other side of the cross, do we apprehend the nature of Christ’s kingship today any better than the Jews did so long ago? The apostle Paul describes Jesus as one “who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness” (Philippians 2: 6-7). Paul takes this statement even one step further and tells us in verse 5 that our attitude should be the same as Christ’s and we are to imitate his humility. The next obvious thought is how anyone of us can possibly accomplish this. We know that our sinful nature fights against an attitude of humble service, and trying harder just doesn’t seem to change that fact. Realizing this chasm between our own nature and that of Christ’s, we once again kneel before his manger and thank our heavenly Father for sending such a righteous and holy king as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Heavenly Father, we thank and praise you for the grace that you have poured out upon us by sending your son to die that we might be forgiven and have eternal life. Take the scales off our eyes and help us to see who you are and then empower us by your Spirit to love and serve you. Amen.
~ Dennis and Chris Wolford