Zechariah 9:9-17; Revelation 17:9-18; Psalms 145:8-21; Proverbs 30:17
OT: “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout in triumph, Daughter Jerusalem! Look, your King is coming to you; he is righteous and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem. The bow of war will be removed, and he will proclaim peace to the nations. His dominion will extend from sea to sea, from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth.” (Zechariah 9:9-10 CSB)
Centuries before Zechariah was alive, Isaiah prophesied these words: “Look, the Lord has proclaimed to the ends of the earth, “Say to Daughter Zion: Look, your salvation is coming, his wages are with him, and his reward accompanies him.” And they will be called the Holy People, the Lord’s Redeemed; and you will be called Cared For, A City Not Deserted (Isaiah 62:11-12).” God gave Zechariah more details to further refine the words He spoke through Isaiah. The long awaited salvation of God’s people would come in the form of a righteous and victorious King. However, that king would not come on a high and mighty steed… at least not at first. He would come humbly, riding on a young donkey.
Centuries after Zechariah shared his vision and gave his words of prophecy, Jesus entered Jerusalem, riding on a young donkey. The account is recorded in the gospel of Matthew 21:1-11. John also wrote about Jesus’ fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy in John 12:12-15. John went on to say in verse 16, that while those things were happening, they had no idea – it never crossed their minds that Jesus was fulfilling prophecy. It wasn’t until after Jesus was resurrected and ascended into heaven that they realized that Zechariah’s prophecy had been fulfilled through Christ. In fact, that was the case with most of the messianic prophecies written in the law, the prophets and the psalms. It wasn’t until the resurrected Jesus opened their minds (Luke 24:45) and the Holy Spirit was given to lead them into all truth, that they finally saw and understood. That is often the case with Biblical prophecy. We don’t recognize fulfillment until afterwards, as we look back with the clarity of hindsight and the revelation of the Holy Spirit.
Not all of Zechariah’s prophecy in 9:9-10 was fulfilled in Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Zechariah 9:9-10 is an example of “prophetic compression,” where two or more stages of fulfillment are mentioned in one prophecy. The first part of this prophecy declared in verse 9 was fulfilled at Christ’s first coming. The rest of this prophecy – the part described in verse 10 – will not fully be realized until Christ comes again. Then, at the end of this age, Christ will come again as the Victorious King. At that coming, all the enemies of Christ and His people will be utterly destroyed, and He will establish His everlasting dominion, centered and starting from the New Jerusalem, and extending to the ends of the earth. As believers in Christ and faithful followers of Jesus, we can say that our King has indeed come and won the battle over sin… but He is most definitely coming again to bring the fullness of His righteousness and justice to bear on the earth forever. That future inevitability is our present hope, joy and peace.
Psalms: “The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and great in faithful love. The Lord is good to everyone; his compassion rests on all he has made. All you have made will thank you, Lord; the faithful will bless you. They will speak of the glory of your kingdom and will declare your might, informing all people of your mighty acts and of the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom; your rule is for all generations. The Lord is faithful in all his words and gracious in all his actions. The Lord helps all who fall; he raises up all who are oppressed. All eyes look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all his acts. The Lord is near all who call out to him, all who call out to him with integrity. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry for help and saves them. The Lord guards all those who love him, but he destroys all the wicked. My mouth will declare the Lord’s praise; let every living thing bless his holy name forever and ever.” (Psalms 145:8-21 CSB)
This promised King who has come and is coming again… what is He like? David described Him in this psalm that has been passed down from generation to generation over the millennia. “The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and great in faithful love. The Lord is good to everyone; His compassion rests on all He has made.” In fact, it is because of this mercy, faithful love and compassion that so much time has transpired from His first coming to His second. The word of God says that the Father has delayed Christ’s second coming because it is His desire that all would be saved. The gospel message must be preached to every nation, language and people group on the earth before the Father will be ready to bring an end to this age. All who call on the Lord in faith will be saved. All who love Him by keeping His words in faith-filled and loving obedience will be preserved, protected and provided for. And as we have seen in our daily reading from Revelation, all who remain committed to wickedness will eventually be destroyed. So, as David proclaimed thousands of years ago: “Let every living thing bless His holy name forever and ever!”
Prayer: Lord, I thank You that you are gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and great in faithful love. I thank You that in Your first coming, You did not come as a victorious and vengeful king, but you came as a lowly servant riding on a donkey. I thank You, that through Your compassion and faithful love, You gave your life for me while I was still a sinner and an enemy of God. Because of that, I am now Your sanctified son through faith in Your Only Begotten Son. And now, I look forward to Your second victorious coming when all will be made right and peace will rule the world. Until that day, help me get Your glorious message of good news to all who will hear – that they may be saved as well. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.