"Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming sitting on a donkey's colt!"
It is impossible to read the four passages for today without noticing the juxtaposition of pride and humility. In both 2 Chronicles and Revelation, Scripture provides us with examples of rulers who are full of themselves. Uzziah began his reign by doing what was right in the eyes of the LORD, but his God-given success birthed his pride which caused him to assume the role God had given only to the priest. In Revelation 13, the beasts, who were given the authority of the dragon (Satan), blaspheme God, His name, and His dwelling. Isaiah 14:12-15 depicts the pride of Satan with the repeated phrase "I will ascend to heaven...set my throne on high...make myself like the Most High."
In contrast, John 12:15, quoting Zechariah 9:9, presents Jesus as a king who comes riding not just on a donkey but on a donkey's colt. Zechariah 9:9 further describes this king Jesus as "righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey."
When I read about Uzziah, my mind always goes to Isaiah 6. In the year Uzziah died, the LORD called Isaiah as His prophet to Judah. Part of God's affirmation of Isaiah as a prophet was allowing him to view the throne room of heaven where the eternal King reigns. He saw the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up with angelic beings around the throne. Isaiah was privileged to see the King of kings in His glory.
Created beings, whether angel or human, may be "allowed to exercise authority," for a season (Revelation 13:5) but their rule is always limited. Colossians 1:16 provides the reason for their limitation, "For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him." Jesus adds to our understanding in Matthew 28:18 when He says, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me."
So, when Uzziah pridefully chose not to stay within the limits of his God-given authority, just like the angels in Jude 6, he was judged. The beast will have authority for forty-two months; however, Revelation 20:8 describes their final judgment, "the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever."
Authority rode into Jerusalem on a donkey's colt. Without all the visible signs of power, like Uzziah or the beast and the dragon, this humble King came with righteousness and salvation. The One Isaiah saw "high and lifted up" road into Jerusalem knowing what lay at the end of that week. “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour." (John 12:27)
The people on the road to Jerusalem celebrated because they thought they knew Jesus and the reason for His coming. Their view of King Jesus was not the same as Isaiah's. I fear I am more like them than I care to admit. I know Jesus and the reason He came to earth, but at times I lose sight of His glory, majesty, and honor. Around Christmas, I see Jesus as the baby in a manger, thankfully knowing He came with salvation through the cross. Yet, I fail to fill my mind with the heavenly prospective Isaiah was blessed to see.
King Jesus, You and Your kingdom are so vastly different from the rulers of this world and their spheres of influence. Forgive me for patterning my life after those whose authority and power is so often prideful. Holy Spirit, continue to teach me the humility of the One who emptied Himself by taking the form of a slave. I desire always to see and make Him known as the One who is high and lifted up.