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Why Did Christ Ride a Donkey on His Triumphant Entry?

The story of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem can be read in the 21st chapter of Matthew and it tells us how he sent two of his disciples to a village to get a donkey with a colt beside it. He told them to bring the donkey and the colt to him so he can ride the donkey on his way to Jerusalem. But why did Jesus choose the lowly donkey instead of getting a magnificent horse to ride on?

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Jesus rode a donkey for three reasons. The first one is a fulfillment of the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9, making his triumphant entry while riding a lowly animal a symbol of peace. When horses are mentioned in the Bible they are almost always in relation to kings and war, while donkeys are mentioned in relation to common people. The donkey’s purpose was in agriculture as well as trade.

Christ_rode_a_donkey
“Jesus used the donkey to connect with the common people.”

Smaller than horses and gifted with cautiousness, that can sometimes be mistaken for stubbornness, donkeys were not usually used during times of war. Zechariah 9:9 prophesied the coming of a king “righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” This prophecy was fulfilled in Matthew 21:1-11 when Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem and it was triumphant because he had done so without bloodshed on the side of the people.

Second, in the ancient Biblical world, a leader rode on a horse if he was coming in war and a donkey to signify peace.

Third, Jesus used the donkey to connect with the common people.  Life was also not easy for a Jew living under Roman rule in the 1st century—more so for the poor. But Jesus embraced the poor and sick people during his time here on earth. His choice of a donkey instead of a horse was God’s way of saying that he came as a king who will serve and save the oppressed.

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5 thoughts on “Why Did Christ Ride a Donkey on His Triumphant Entry?

  1. Hello, I was wondering if you have a representative store in London, England. Your shipping costs for the Timeline posters are just astronomical.
    There is this CLC shop in East London which functions as an intermediary for Rose Publishing / Ascension Press where I get all my pamphlets from.
    I thought I had bought the Amazing Timeline as a poster way back when, but I don’t remember ever receiving it. But I might be wrong, or it could be in Limbo
    somewhere, wherever that is …
    God bless
    Chris

    1. Hi Chris: You are correct about the postage. Unfortunately because of the size of the chart it must be shipped as an oversize box – it can’t go first class or any rates by UPS or DHL. We are working on a solution. As to distributors, you point out that you know a store that handles pamphlets. Once again the size of the Chart is an issue. Very, very few bookstores are willing to carry a chart of this size.

      The answer? If you can get a friend or two to order with you, we can ship them in the same box. You will get the 25% volume discount on the poster plus split the postage cost. If three of you ordered the standard timeline, the cost with shipping would come to $27 which is the same as priority shipping in the US. Hope this helps!

    2. Hi Chris: You are correct about the postage. Unfortunately because of the size of the chart it must be shipped as an oversize box – it can’t go first class or any rates by UPS or DHL. We are working on a solution. As to distributors, you point out that you know a store that handles pamphlets. Once again the size of the Chart is an issue. Very, very few bookstores are willing to carry a chart of this size.

      The answer? If you can get a friend or two to order with you, we can ship them in the same box. You will get the 25% volume discount on the poster plus split the postage cost. If three of you ordered the standard timeline, the cost with shipping would come to $27 which is the same as priority shipping in the US. Hope this helps!

  2. In this context, the English term “donkey” tends to be misleading and derisive; a more proper term for the animal is “ass”.

    The ass is the mount of a king.

    Granted, in battle kings employ horses for their soldiers and couriers and chariots; but the king himself goes to battle riding in a horse-drawn chariot, and not mounted astride a horse; consider Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, I Kings chapter 22.

    The ass is the mount of men of honour and influence; consider Balaam, Numbers chapter 22.

    The ass is the mount of the wealthy; consider the woman of Shunem, II Kings chapter 4.

    Here is a link to a web site which discusses the distinction between various animals of this general category:

    http://tbnranch.com/2012/01/13/donkey-ass-burro-mule-hinny-what-they-all-mean/

  3. Thank for the teaching,may the lord continue to uphold you in Jesus Name.

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