“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” (Zechariah 9:9)
What do you do when you look around and all you see is a mess? Nothing is as you’d hoped it would be. Life all of sudden doesn’t seem to make sense. You’re glad for where you are and what you have, but you also recognize in the midst of circumstances the discouraging realization that you still have so far to go.
Boy, if that doesn’t ring true for what many are experiencing today. One day we went to bed and everything was normal. Then, just as quickly, it seems we woke up to a new reality and everything was different. Everything was harder than it was the day before. Where there was once freedom, now a new reality of limitations and restrictions has taken over.
What does all this have to do with the above verse? Simply this. In the time of Zechariah’s prophecy, the children of Israel had returned home from Babylonian captivity some 15-20 years prior. Even at this point in history, when they look around they still see nothing but the marks of destruction; they still see broken walls and broken dreams in the land, and discouragement was running rampant.
But in the midst of that discouragement, Zechariah brings a word of hope from the Lord regarding their future.
What seems to be their new reality is not all there is. They might not understand their times of walking through the rubble and living in the ruins of their former life, but God has something – God has Someone coming on the horizon who is going to usher in the greatest story of rebuilding and restoration the world has ever seen or known.
Although God delivered His people from Babylonian captivity and brought them back to their homeland to start living and inhabiting it again, He is not as interested in their physical buildings that lay in rubble. He is more concerned with their spiritual buildings, their hearts, that may have collected just as much dust in them as the ruins around them.
Therefore, through Zechariah’s prophecy, God focuses His people to not dwell on the mess of today, but rather, focus on the message for all the tomorrows to come. For that’s where they and we will find hope for the future.
Zechariah lets them know better days are coming because there is a coming King like no other. When He comes in, His appearance and riding may appear to the masses as lowly. But this King’s reign will be a reason to rejoice in the midst of rubble and ruins. The King’s coming would be a reason to shout because true salvation and deliverance have never been so close. This King’s coming will be a reason to celebrate in full jubilation, and to shout, “Hosanna in the highest,” (Mark 11:8) because when He comes, victory comes with Him. When He comes, restoration comes with Him. When He comes, better days come with Him!
The triumphal entry of our Lord was prophesied hundreds of years before it occurred, and still brings a message of hope to us who hear it thousands of years later because it reminds us in the face of all the turmoil this world was bound up in, Jesus marched forth toward His destiny of the cross to bring more peace and victory than we could ever hope to receive on our own. And, although things may not seem to be the way we planned or look how we envisioned, with Him as our hope and guide, we can be assured that if nothing stopped Him from moving forward into the hardest thing He would ever face just so that we all would have a better future, then nothing will stop Him now from being that source of faith that many so long for.
Even in the midst of adversity and hardship, Jesus is still riding in our lives with a message of hope and peace today. Days and circumstances may seem discouraging, but you’re not riding through them alone.
When He came in on what we celebrate as Palm Sunday, “many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way. And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest” (Mark 11:8-10). But we know His story didn’t stop there. In Zechariah’s prophecy, He is also seen as the One who subdues enemies and brings everlasting peace for His people.
When Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of riding in on the donkey He didn’t stop there for you either. He came to usher so much more in your life and mine. Where do you find yourself today? For many that question may bring some very difficult answers. Although the answers may appear difficult and we may not find an immediate solution to those answers, one thing we can do is still celebrate this day in victory, by faith, as we would any other Palm Sunday. We may not be in physical church buildings, gathering together and shouting the victory, but I believe where we are we can set aside some time to still proclaim, “Hosanna in the highest!” because that day was not the end of His story, neither is it the end of ours.
What we are facing today cannot diminish His promises for all our tomorrows to come. If He already walked into the hardest thing for us, surely He will see us to a victorious ending. It may not always feel like it, and what’s going on around us may make many sway, but rest assured, what’s going on does not have the last word. Jesus rode in victory and through His resurrection power (which we celebrate next week for Easter Sunday), He remains victorious today and forevermore! Therefore, even if we can’t see it right now we know that better days are coming!
So hold on, my friends. Don’t let what you see today make you question your tomorrows. Nobody loves you like that same Jesus who rode in to save your life and mine. The King has come once, and He’s coming back again. Victory is His, and victory can be yours too. One day this will all be over (both now, and in eternity), and every promise He rode in for will come to pass (2 Corinthians 1:20). How can it get any better than that!
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