Today we are finishing up the prophecies of Zechariah (chapters 9-14), in which we see two different and distinct descriptions of the promised Messiah.
First, He is portrayed as a humble man of peace. “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. … He will speak peace to the nations; and His dominion will be from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth.” (9:9-10)
In contrast, the second picture Zechariah describes is that of a conquering hero in full battle array, coming in might and power to defend and rescue His people. “For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.” (14:2-4)
Zechariah is not describing two different people, but two different comings of the same Messiah: Jesus!
Matthew 21:1-11 tells us of the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, riding on the foal of a donkey just as Zechariah described. The people did indeed rejoice greatly and shout in triumph, welcoming Jesus as “He who comes in the name of the Lord.” Jesus was the humble servant, and just a week later would give His life willingly on the cross for the sins of His people. He came first in humility, to offer salvation.
We’ve yet to see the fulfillment of Zechariah 14. Other prophets have given us many details of the great battle to come when Jesus will return for a second time and stand on the Mount of Olives. The first time Jesus came to offer salvation to all who are willing to lay down their lives and surrender to Him as Lord and Savior. When He comes the second time, those who have refused to believe will face Him in judgment, and there will no longer be an opportunity for salvation; only for a reckoning and an accounting of one’s own sin.
History confirms that Zechariah’s first description is true. Why would we doubt the second? Jesus is coming, as the Righteous Judge. I pray that you meet Him before that day, as Savior and Lord.