Day 36 (3/30): The Significance of the Donkey Colt

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Day 36 (3/30): The Significance of the Donkey Colt

Scripture Reading: Matthew 21:4-6
Written by Julie Saffrin

This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

“Say to Daughter Zion,
    ‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
    and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them.

The Passover remembrance and celebration in Jerusalem had its beginnings in Exodus when God “passed over” all firstborn sons from perishing and the Egyptian pharaoh freed the Hebrews from slavery.

Interesting, a line in Exodus talks about firstborn donkeys too. “Every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb…Every firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem.” (Ex. 13:13)

The donkey colt is the only animal specifically called out in Scripture that is redeemed by a lamb. So too are firstborn sons. Jesus, the Firstborn Son of God, is the sinless, pure, only Redeeming Lamb, the One Who redeems both donkeys and men. Jesus rode a donkey colt to fulfill both prophecy and the law. In John 1:29, John sees Jesus coming to him and says, “Look, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world!” One cannot help but notice the symbolism of a lowly colt carrying Jesus, the Savior of the World as He rode into Jerusalem for Passover.

Jesus and His disciples walked everywhere. On this day, they were two miles from the Jerusalem’s gates, along with an “exceptionally large crowd” who had witnessed Jesus’s miracles. Jesus summoned His disciples to fetch a donkey colt to fulfill Zechariah 9:9. “Look, your King arrives…on a donkey’s colt.” Jesus was the Sacrificial Lamb who rode on a colt, a creature prophesied about four hundred years earlier.

All donkeys and colts have the mark of a cross on their skin, and it comes through on their fur as well. The mark runs across their shoulders and down their spines. God created them that way.

Reflection: As a disciple of Christ, go confidently where the Savior calls you this week. For you, by Jesus’ Redeeming Love, bear the mark of the cross on your heart. Let the world see that mark. Offer them a glimpse of what Holy Week is all about.

Prayer: Lord, help me notice the little details, to search for answers to my questions in Your Word and by spending time with You. Amen.