"Zechariah ... looks forward to the coming of a very special king." Whitney T. Kuniholm wrote this in his book titled The Essential Jesus: 100 Readings Through the Bible's Greatest Story. I am journaling through this book.
...See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9)My Bible titled this section "The Coming of Zion's King" (9:9-13) and "The Lord Will Appear" (9:14-17). What do we learn here from Zechariah Chapter 9 about this King?
This King will be righteous and victorious, yet lowly & humble (9:9). In fact he will ride on a donkey instead of a horse (9:9). This King will bring peace (9:10) and restoration (9:12) into the world and his realm will be everywhere across the earth (9:10). Freedom from death and hell will be available through this King because of a covenant sealed with blood (9:11).
This preview or prophecy of the coming King in Zechariah was fulfilled 500 years later by Jesus. Kuniholm explains by writing the following.
Jesus was humble - he entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey (Matthew 21:1-11)l; he was the epitome of a servant leader (John 13:1-17). Jesus bought freedom - by dying on the cross, he freed people from the prison of sin and enabled them to have a relationship with God once again (Ephesians 1:7). Jesus will bring peace - someday in the future Jesus will come again to establish an everlasting peace for those who believe in him (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)."
We rely on formalities and external 'things' to give ourselves beauty, stature, importance, and power before others. We use things like clothing, cars, houses, careers, trophies, and titles to raise ourselves up above others. We use these external things to help create or reinforce our importance. Many times these external things are used to create only a perception of importance and power without any reality.
How strong is our desire to impress people? My experience is that most of us can figure out relatively quickly how to impress others. I have also noticed as I get older that the ways I used when I was younger don't always work as I get older. One can go from the top to the bottom in a flash. Just look at the life of most celebrities. Very few spend their whole life held in high regard by the masses. Most fall out of popularity as things change. Let's face it with this world, with humans, things change. Perceptions change. Impressions change. People change. Change is inevitable here on earth.
Do we want to spend all of our time and effort trying to impress people and create a perception of importance before others that is only temporary? Or do we want to make an impression that will not change? Not necessarily before others but before our Creator. Before God.
Jesus IS important. He is in fact above all. Jesus is the very Son of God, the center of God's entire story of all of human history and eternity. Anything external used to give him importance before man would have just simply paled in comparison with the absolute reality and truth of the fact the Jesus is fully God.
The King of Kings entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey instead of a white horse as any earthly king would have chosen at this point in history. Jesus was not focused on making an impression on people to bring importance to himself, on his own glory before man, but bringing glory and honor to God the Father.
"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies." (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)How often do I rely on external things to give myself importance before others when Jesus through his incredible humble act at the cross has already given me importance before God. He has bought me at a very high price and placed the Holy Spirit inside me. My value does not have to be determined by some external thing that is subject to change but something internal that will never change - God.
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Photo credit: Photo titled "The Donkey & The White Horse". Uploaded to flickr.com on July 5, 2008 by Thierry Hermann