Answers to your Scripture questions
How does the quote from Zechariah 9.9 found in Matthew 21.5 relate to Palm Sunday? — Jonathan Hobbs, by e-mail
Matthew realizes that Jesus’ action of riding into Jerusalem on a donkey suggests the prophecy of Zechariah 9.9 and introduces the passage in Matthew 21.5, “Your King is coming to you! He is humble and rides on a donkey. He comes on the colt of a donkey.” (CEV) The Christian church believes that the events of Palm Sunday fulfill the prophecy found in Zechariah 9.9. Jesus was the gentle Savior, riding a donkey into Jerusalem to announce peace and salvation.
When Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the people greeted him with palm branches (John 12.12, 13). The multitude that John saw in the vision was standing before the throne, clothed in white robes and holding palm branches (Revelation 7.9). In Hebrew culture the symbolic meaning of the palm branch evolved over time. The celebratory presentation of palm branches in the Zechariah passage symbolized the king’s triumph over the people’s enemies. In the New Testament Messianic setting, conquest of the enemy came to include triumph over sin.
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