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Glimpses 4 of 4 "A King on a Colt"

Updated on November 10, 2009

The King on a Colt

            What is it that makes a King a King? Though such a question would not seem to be very applicable to a typical person, all would do well to recognize a king when in his presence. Imagine the outcome of receiving a visit from a king but never recognizing who he was. It has been said, “He who is looking for the kings coming will surely recognize him when he arrives.” Often times, characteristics such as power, prestige, honor, and riches are attributed to kings, and are therefore what one would look for in anticipating his arrival. The very thought of being in his presence could easily lead one to a position of humility. So then, imagine you were told that a king was coming to town, and rather than riding on a warrior horse bearing the scars of blood spilling victories with the backing of an enormous army seasoned in battle, he would be riding on a humble donkey with no visible army in sight. In addition to this unusual mode of transportation for a king, he would not be carrying a sword in hopes to rule, but salvation in hopes to save. Yes, believe it or not, it is a true story. Possibly one of the most amazing aspects about this story is that it was spoken of before it ever happened. The book of Zechariah opens up the corridors of time, and like a time machine of ones spiritual imagination projects a picture of the king on a colt. Zechariah 9:9-10 speaks of a King who surpasses the stereotypical ideas of human thought, and answers the question, “what makes the King the King?”

            Who is this king of Glory with…what? Is that salvation in His hands? Who is this King of Glory…what? Is that a donkey that He’s riding? Who is this King of Glory…what? Is He by himself? This is precisely the way many people respond to thought of a king on a colt. Wonder no longer about who this is, for no one else can carry the weight of salvation but Jesus. It takes a special type of focus to recognize the king that is mentioned in the book of Zechariah. The vision that is spoken of is that which is found in looking not with physical eyes but rather spiritual eyes. It is this kind of vision that the disciples gained soon after the ascension of Christ, and they received the “Spirit of truth that guides in all truth.” (John 16:13) One could only imagine the surprise on their faces once they gained a new perspective on the Old Testament and finally realized that Jesus had placed His signature on every page. It is with this same spiritual sight that we will focus briefly on what makes this King the King.

            Zech 9:9 records the following, “rejoice greatly, O daughters of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is Just and having salvation. When reading such a verse, the question might come to mind, “Is this really news to rejoice and shout over?” The only way to truly answer such a question is to take into consideration the implication of such news. The first portion of this great prophecy is in the fact that it is not just “A” King that is coming, but rather “Your” King. It would do one well to first acknowledge the fact that the King comes not for a nameless and ignorant people, but rather to those who He knows. Even before the foundations of this world were placed in position, Jesus knew those who He would die for. Rejoicing seems to become a little more appropriate when one considers the fact that he comes as a personal King who knows His people.

            The text points out a second reason for rejoicing in the simple word, “just”. He is not only a personal king, but He is just. What exactly is meant by this word “just”? In layman’s terms, He does what’s right because it’s right and because He is right. Far gone are the fears of a king who comes only for his own gain and selfish ambition. Far gone are the days in which a king makes decisions based upon his own evil desire. This is a King who comes to do right, not because His people deserve it, but because it is His nature to do so.

            What is it that would bring such a King to such a wretched place as ours? What could be so important that He could not send a messenger in His place? It shines clear from the scripture, He brings salvation. As mentioned earlier, it is Christ and Christ alone who can carry such a weight. It was not possible that any other could deliver such an expensive gift. The cost, weight, and method of salvation can be brought about by none other than the King Himself. The most sobering aspect about such a transaction is that He brought such a gift knowing that those He would offer it to would not even recognize Him when He came. After all, who would be expecting a King on a colt? John Piper explains it well in his book, “The Passion of Jesus Christ” when he records the following; “There is only one explanation for God’s sacrifice for us. It is not us. It is “the riches of His grace” (Eph 1:7). It is all free. It is not a response to our worth. It is the overflow of His infinite worth. In fact, that is what divine love is in the end: a passion to enthrall undeserving sinners, at great cost, with what will make us supremely happy forever, namely, His infinite beauty. This is what makes the King the King!


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