Zechariah 9:9 - 12
9:9 Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion! Shout, daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King comes to you! He is righteous, and having salvation; lowly, and riding on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey. 9:10 I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow will be cut off; and he will speak peace to the nations: and his dominion will be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. 9:11 As for you also, because of the blood of your covenant, I have set free your prisoners from the pit in which is no water. 9:12 Turn to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope! Even today I declare that I will restore double to you.
The King is Coming!
We have seen in Isaiah that the coming Messiah was a Servant Prophet, a Servant Disciple and a Servant King. Today we switch over to the Book of Zechariah to look at in more detail about this Servant King Messiah. Zechariah gives us a picture of how the Messiah will announce His arrival and what sort of qualities that this Servant King will have. He comes into Jerusalem on a donkey! The phrases ‘Daughter of Zion' and ‘Daughter of Jerusalem' are terms symbolizing God's people who believe. It is a scene of exultation, excitement and emotion. The people recognize this man as their Messiah: their Servant-King.
Royalty: He is recognized as the long waited for king. He is "Your King" oh nation of Israel. King is either the Lord God (Isaiah 43:15) or a King from the line of David (2 Samuel 3:17). This King is both and is the definitive king of Isaiah 9:7! He is described as "yours" because this King is not a foreigner but an Israelite! But His arrival is not just for their benefit and gain as Zechariah goes on to clarify.
Righteous: In the example of Alexander the Great, we see a ruler who had great vanity, and this vanity caused him to act injudiciously at times. Alexander the Great could have been the fulfillment of the previous section of Zechariah, particularly with his marauding forces. This Kingly ruler however will reign with righteousness and justice. This Messiah King will desire to enact God's Will in all circumstances and at all times - perfect obedience. Throughout the Old Testament, and in Isaiah as we have seen, righteousness is part of the Messiah!
Salvation: This Servant King comes with salvation and saving power! The Messiah shows Himself as one who saves and offers salvation to the people. He has come to help and restore people back into an obedient relationship with God. Again as we have seen with Isaiah who wrote about 200 years before Zechariah, righteousness and salvation are combined in the Servant King (Isaiah 45:8; 51:4).
Gentle: In this translation, the word lowly is used, but perhaps a better translation is ‘gentle'. The extended meaning of this word in Hebrew signifies one who has known suffering and sorrow, and lives a simple lifestyle. Humility is worn by this Servant King, like a crown. There is no pride in this King, but a gentle and humble spirit. This is reflected again by Isaiah in Isaiah 53:1-3, where the Servant King would endure rejection and suffering. Perhaps the greatest symbol of his gentle humility is the transportation he is on. A donkey. Donkeys were ridden by every class of people. This is to signify that this King is one of the people and arriving unassumingly.
Peace reigns: The Servant King Messiah has bought peace with Him! By this, He has established the environment in order for total peace to exist! Peace comes through people telling the good news that Isaiah talked about in Isaiah 52:7. "How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of good, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, "Your God reigns!" Peace with God comes only through the sacrifice of the Suffering Servant King of Isaiah 53. A life of obedience to God in all those who follow this Messiah, will bring about peace between people and nations. This Messiah's reign is not limited to Israel but all nations of the world. The second coming of the Messiah is hinted at here, but we will save that for a couple of days time.
He releases prisoners: This Messiah will release those who are enslaved to sin and are prisoners to its power. He will deliver them because of the covenant that exists between God and Israel. But this King will have a new Covenant between God and all people of all nations! Where God will live inside those who place their hope in Him. This covenant means all people can be saved and be set free from the guilt and stain of their sinful ways. They will be able to live a life of total obedience to God, by submitting themselves to this King!
How is Jesus this King?
This prophecy by Zechariah is seen as being fulfilled when as both Matthew and John recall how Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem on a donkey.
When they drew near to Jerusalem, and came to Bethsphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go into the village that is opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them, and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,' and immediately he will send them." All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet, saying, "Tell the daughter of Zion, behold, your King comes to you, humble, and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey." (Matthew 21:1-5)
And the scene as recalled by the Apostle John:"On the next day a great multitude had come to the feast. When they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, they took the branches of the palm trees, and went out to meet him, and cried out, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel!" Jesus, having found a young donkey, sat on it. As it is written, "Don't be afraid, daughter of Zion. Behold, your King comes, sitting on a donkey's colt."(John 12:12-15)
This is Jesus, the Messiah who was and is a gentle King, reigning righteously, offering salvation and has setup the environment for peace on earth to reign. This Jesus, who through His sacrifice on the Cross enables all people of every nation to have peace with God and have God Himself live inside them.