Historically, kings ride horses. But this King rode an unbroken donkey—a symbol of humility and peace (Matthew 21:1-11). Jesus rode into Jerusalem, not as a conqueror on a white stallion—that would come later–but as a humble King “endowed with salvation.”
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
He is just and endowed with salvation,
Humble, and mounted on a donkey,
Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9).
One week before His crucifixion, Jesus formally presented Himself as the Messiah-King of Israel. The crowds were celebrating. They were laying down palm branches on the roadway for Jesus. They were singing Messianic psalms. “Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD” (Psalm 118:26). To them, Jesus represented a kind of prosperity and freedom from Roman rule.
In contrast to this scene, in Revelation 19:11-16 at the end of the tribulation period, Jesus is seen coming out of heaven riding on a white horse. In Revelation 20:16, the words, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS were written on His robe. He will no longer ride in humility on the back of a donkey.
In His First Coming, Jesus came to die; in His Second Coming, He returns as a conquering King to reign on His Millennial Kingdom on earth. On Palm Sunday, Jesus presented Himself as King to the Nation Israel. But later they rejected Him and demanded that He be crucified.