Why A Donkey?

In the “Palm Sunday” passages of Scripture, we see that Jesus rides on a “donkey” and a “colt” (Matt. 21:1-11).

There seem 2 main reasons for Him choosing a donkey:

  1. It shows Christ coming humbly. In fact, Zech. 9:9, where Matthew 21 quotes from, says: “See, your king comes to you…LOWLY and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” A donkey and it’s (smaller) colt doesn’t exactly suggest pomp and ostentatious splendor.
  2. But also, donkeys were animals ridden on when peace had been achieved. See Judges 5:10 (after they won the battle); 1 Kings 1:33 (where David inaugurates Solomon as king by riding on a donkey). These pictures contrast kings riding horses in times of war (see Rev. 19:11).

Putting these together seems to show Jesus coming as a humble King to bring peace. This peace, however, was ultimately the peace between a holy God and sinful people that Jesus secured in his life and impending death, and resurrection.

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