United Church of God

The King of Peace Comes Humbly Riding on a Donkey

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The King of Peace Comes Humbly Riding on a Donkey

MP3 Audio (21.54 MB)


The King of Peace Comes Humbly Riding on a Donkey

MP3 Audio (21.54 MB)

Prophecy told that the Messiah who would come to bring peace and reconciliation. BUT… also that He would be rejected by humanity.


Prophecies of The King of Peace

Today we are going to survey the prophecies made about Jesus as the Messiah who would come to bring peace and reconciliation. BUT… would be rejected by humanity.

The Messiah Would Be Rejected

[ca 740-700 B.C.] Isaiah 52:13 - 53:3 Jews who knew the scriptures were eagerly expecting a powerful Messiah figure to restore Israel to its former position of honor, Godly purpose, and dominant status on the world stage.  They understood “the servant of the Lord” to be the Messiah come with great ruling power. For example; Isaiah 42:1-4.

Embedded in these prophecies of the Messiah were a subtext of suffering and death which confused the Jews. These prophecies of the suffering and rejected servant only made sense after Jesus first coming. Jesus had prepared the disciples for this. He told them the rejection would come and the contempt  would come Luke 17:25, Matthew 16:21, Mark 10:34. Yet like so many other prophecies they only really got it after it came to pass.

The holy spirit would later help them to recall and understand all these events and fulfilments... but their understanding began with clear, literal statements from Jesus which they would be able remember... and record for future generations.

Messiah Would Be a King AND Priest

Psalm 110:1-6 [ca 1,000 B.C. lifetime of David] the Messiah would be an authoritative king and priest according to the order of Melkizadek. Psalm 110 is quoted several times in the NT indicating it was an important concept within the teaching of the church.

  • Hebrews 5:5-6 10, 7:21- The office of Priest granted to Christ by the Father
  • Hebrews 1:3, 12:8- The office of King granted to Christ by the Father. Note: the phrase “at the right hand of” signifies second in authority to the Father.

Note: the book of Hebrews was written a few years before the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. ...almost 30-40 years after the date of Jesus death. Hebrews provides a more detailed exposition of these concepts. However, the basic idea was understood by the Church from the very beginning:

  • Acts 2:34-36 only 7 weeks after Jesus’ resurrection Psalm 110 is applied to the resurrected Christ in the very first sermon message delivered by the ministry of the Church.

The Church did not just pluck these ideas out of thin air... it was not a matter of some mystic interpretation. Jesus had told them in advance that Psalm 110 was about Him. The holy spirit called these things into remembrance Matthew 22:44.

Zechariah 6:11-13 [ca 520-518 B.C.] under the old covenant the office of king and priest were strictly separated. That old covenant would be terminated after Jesus death. The new covenant combines the roles of king and priest in Christ… according to the order of Melkizadek. Zechariah’s prophecy must therefore be referring to the Messiah… not Joshua son of Zodak.

The Messianic King Would Come to Jerusalem

Zechariah 9:9-10 the fulfillment of this is present in all 4 gospel accounts Matthew 21:1-9 [ quotes Psalm 118:26].

Once again, in word and deed, Jesus was providing pointers back to the prophecies about the Messiah. They only understood them after they had come to pass... but they did not simply go back to the prophets and look for verification... they knew where to look because Jesus had shown them where to go... John 12:16.

The Messianic King Would Come in Peace

Understanding the symbolism of Jesus act of riding a donkey requires a short history lesson: before the time of cars and jeeps, conquering kings used horses and mules to get around. Which of those options they chose was significant. Coming to a city riding a donkey or mule into a city meant the king came in peace. . Coming to a city riding a horse up to the gates of a city meant his intent was war, not peace.

Jesus rode a donkey for his final entry in to Jerusalem, on one hand to fulfill prophecy... on the other hand to signify that He comes in peace.

A biblical example of a peaceful king riding a donkey is 1 Kings 1:32-38. God allowed Solomon to build the temple in Jerusalem because he was a king of peace, whereas David had been a king of war. Here Solomon comes to the city and is declared king while riding on a mule... as a symbol of peaceful intent and a peaceful transfer of power.

Genesis 49:10-11 [ occurred 1,859 B.C. recorded around 1,450 B.C.] this prophecy is wrapped in a riddle... but from it we learn that:

  • the kingship [scepter] would go to the physical descendants of Judah [Jesus was a descendant of Judah in the kingly lineage of David]
  • this kingship extends over all nations [which could not be applied to the Davidic kings of Israel’s history]. This prophecy can only be applied to Christ as king.
  • this king rides a donkey [meaning he comes in peace]
  • this king  washes his garments in the blood of grapes. This indicates he provides a cleansing from sin. None of the historic kings of Israel could do this. It can only apply to Christ.

Wine is a biblical symbol of blood

The connection of wine symbolizing the blood of cleansing is made explicit when Jesus introduces the new covenant symbols of the Passover... “this cup of wine is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for forgiveness of sin”.

  • This blood on the garments can apply to the blood of Jesus who was sacrificed to pay the penalty of your sin. Who rescues you from the consequences of your sin. Who provides  cleansing and purification from the contamination of sin. The king who comes in peace uses His own  blood in this manner. This personal cleansing is depicted in Revelation 7:13-14.
  • The blood on the garments can also apply to the king who comes in war. When the Messiah comes the second time He will be riding a horse, not a donkey. He comes to judge the kings, governments, philosophies, religious traditions, and societies of the earth  Revelation 14:17-20; 19:11-15.
    • This is prophesied by Isaiah 63:1-6. The messiah rejected by humanity returns in power and shows  God’s wrath upon unrepentant sin.

Jesus Christ Offers You Peace

Jesus... the word... the logos... the second member of the God family... came to humanity in the flesh... with an offer of peace. A few accepted it, most did not.

The ongoing proclamation of God's truth by His Church is a call to restored relationship with God... a relationship of reconciliation and of peace. That peace is made possible through Jesus Christ. Each of us must accept Christ: as Lord & master, teacher, law-giver, king, priest... AND our atoning sacrifice for sin.

Once more this year at the Passover and we take a small cup of wine. It is a memorial... a reminder of our peace treaty with God. Through Christ and His blood we are brought into a new relationship with God a relationship of peace.

You must greet and accept the great king who comes to you in peace. Your acceptance of His offer of peace is signed, sealed and delivered through your baptism.

  • Romans 3:24-25 you must be willing to accept  this offer of peace with God. You must believe God’s words and act accordingly
  • Romans 5:9 by accepting the great king and his offer of peace you do not have to experience the wrath of the king when He returns.
  • Colossians 1:20 accepting Christ is acceptance of God’s terms of peace 
  • Ephesians 2:13 you are brought near to God through this offer of peace

Most Have Rejected The King of Peace

Jesus was the prophesied king of peace, redemption, salvation, and righteousness. He came riding on a donkey to the city that was His. He came to His own people. Even before He got up on that donkey and rode into the city He knew both Jew and gentile would reject Him Matthew 20:18-19.

After entering the city He went to the temple and taught. Those in power heard Him and decided He must be stopped Matthew 21:45.

They did not have to reject Him, God did not force them to reject Him to fulfill prophecy... but, He knew what would happen because He knew the hearts of human beings  Matthew 23:37-39.

Later that week, Jesus was arrested and put on trial. The Jews found Him guilty but they needed the Romans to agree to put Him to death. Pilate,the Roman judge, looked into the matter. He found no crime worthy of death. He offered to let release Jesus to please the crowd...  but through coercion and deception the crowd was turned against Jesus Matthew 27:20-22.

Pilate had heard about the Messianic controversy. So, he asked the people of Jerusalem a question John 18:15. The king of peace was rejected.


Today we have looked at only a sliver of the prophesies God gave to validate His written word. The rejection of the Messiah/ king who came in peace, was prophesied almost 2,000 years in advance. More detail was added through the centuries.

God knew in advance humanity would reject Him... and they did. Without intervention from God the human heart will not be ruled by God or conform to His ways.

However, through the blood of Jesus Christ you can enter into a new and better relationship with the creator of the universe. A relationship of peace and reconciliation. We will memorialize this bond of peace once again at this year’s Passover.

For those who have not yet made this commitment and welcomed the king of peace... act now.