Triumphant and lowly
"Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey." Zechariah 9.9
Long before marketing was conceived, Jesus appreciated the power of symbolic gestures. Riding into Jerusalem on a donkey at the beginning of the Passover festival was in deliberate fulfilment of the prophetic anticipation of Messiah's arrival. The manner of transport evoked humility and peace, enabled by the confidence of victory.
Jesus also knew how to enthuse - and lose - a crowd. Neither was accidental, both had to happen. When things are going well, people love a popular leader. When things turn sour they look for someone to blame. In presenting himself as Israel's Lord Jesus was fulfilling the popular face of his vocation, yet that was never to be at the expense of the costlier obverse of that same vocation: to be Israel's Saviour.
The means by which he was to fulfil the latter role are preserved in the Easter story, which we celebrate annually at this time of year because the significance of these events is no longer confined to Israel; it is global!