“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zechariah 9:9)
Sometimes I am perplexed when I hear comments about the Old Testament implying that is not that important for New Testament Christianity. There are numerous reasons that one could list to dispel these comments, but let’s look at just one – Messianic Prophecies. Although I have not counted them myself, it is recorded that there are over three hundred of them in the Old Testament.
All four of the gospel writers record this episode when Jesus instructed His disciples to go and retrieve a foal of a donkey for Him. In fact Matthew records that they were to bring both the donkey and the foal (colt). (21:2) And Luke states specifically that Jesus rode on the foal just as Zechariah had prophesied. Matthew also testifies that, “all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet…”(21:4)
The prophet Zechariah also wrote that Messiah would be a man. (6:12) He certainly came in the likeness of men. (Phil 2:7) Jeremiah indicated that He would be a king who would execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. (23:5) The crowd cheered Him that day saying, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! The King of Israel!” And Isaiah foretold that His name shall be called Immanuel, God with us. (7:14) Jesus claimed to be God and demonstrated His Deity many times.
The Apostle Peter wrote that “prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”(II Peter 1:21) The Old Testament Scriptures lay the foundation for the coming of the Messiah. No other person that ever lived could possibly come close to fulfilling these prophecies as accurately as Jesus has. Zechariah’s prophecy was significant in that it was a clear presentation of Messiah to the people of Israel and that His purpose was salvation.