Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Having just described how He would punish the various cities around the Jews who were very wicked, and how He would protect His people while doing so (9:1-8), God then inspired Zechariah to give even better news to the Jews in the form of a prophecy that clearly points to the arrival of the Messiah in Jerusalem (9:9). Around 550 years later, Jesus of Nazareth would fulfill this prophecy, riding on a donkey into Jerusalem, being the epitome of righteousness (1 Pet. 2:22) and bringing salvation with Him since He would willingly die for our sins not long afterward (cf. Matt. 21:1-5; Mk. 11:1-10; Lk. 19:29-38; John 12:12-19).
Zechariah then foretold of the peaceful nature of the reign of Christ when he wrote of how God would “cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off” (9:10a). God wanted the prophet to let the Jews know that their Messiah would “speak peace to the nations” (9:10b). Other Messianic prophecies were similar. For example, both the prophet Micah and the prophet Isaiah wrote concerning the Messiah and His kingdom, the church: “It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and it shall be lifted up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it, and many nations shall come, and say: ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and shall decide for strong nations far away; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Mic. 4:1-3; cf. Is. 2:2-4).
Centuries later, Christ would say that His kingdom was not of this world and did not center itself around physical fighting and warfare (John 18:36). Paul taught that the Messiah would bring peace between Jews and Gentiles (Eph. 2:1-16), the most basic fulfillment of the prophecies of Zechariah, Micah, and Isaiah. The apostle also taught that the fight Christians must give themselves to is spiritual in nature rather than worldly or physical. He wrote, “For though we walk in the flash, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Cor. 10:3-5; cf. Eph. 6:10-18; 1 Tim. 1:18-19; 2 Tim. 2:3-4). Christians, do we understand this today? Or have we convinced ourselves that the cause of Christ is more effectively progressed through worldly methods such as elective, legislative, and judicial victories rather than by converting hearts and minds to the will of Christ through evangelism? To which do we devote more of our passion, attention, time, and knowledge?
Zechariah then foretold that the Messiah’s “rule shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth” (9:10c). So did Daniel: “And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed” (Dan. 7:14). Jesus also proclaimed His kingdom to be universal, with “all authority…in heaven and on earth” being given to Him (Matt. 28:18). No wonder He is “King of kings and Lord of lords” (1 Tim. 6:15; Rev. 17:14)! May we serve Him and Him alone with every fiber of our being, both now and for eternity!