Jesus Riding Into Jerusalem on a Donkey

A painting of Jesus' final entry into Jerusalem, by Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1897
A painting of Jesus’ final entry into Jerusalem, by Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1897

God Is Always About The Details. Here Are A Few Interesting Things Of Note About Donkeys And Jesus Riding Into Jerusalem On One.

Matthew 21:1-11 tells us about Jesus’ instructions regarding the donkey he rode to enter Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Jesus was fulfilling what had been prophesied in Zechariah 9:9, “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”.

Every Jew would know Zechariah’s messianic prophecy. That’s why the crowds hailed Jesus as their king shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Matthew 21:9) In the ancient Biblical world, a leader rode on a horse if he was going to war and a donkey to signify peace. People seeing Jesus riding into the city on a donkey, understood what that meant…it was a sign of kingship and royalty.

That Jesus rode a donkey that had never been ridden was yet another miraculous part of this prophecy. Donkeys have a reputation of not working or cooperating until they trust the one they work for. When the disciples brought the colt to Jesus, the colt immediately trusted Jesus and carried Him down the path into the city. A donkey’s colt was neither tame or considered able to be ridden. For Jesus to come into Jerusalem in this manner was considered miraculous by those who witnessed it.


Almost all donkeys have a naturally occurring dark cross on their backs. It runs down their spines and across their shoulders. According to the Australian Donkey Society, If you shaved their fur, you would find the cross on their skin.

Jesus entered his first week of life riding in his mother’s womb on a donkey and then again the last week of his life fulfilling prophecy by riding a donkey. How amazing it is to consider that the donkey is the only animal to have a cross on it’s back. Jesus entered this world humbly and left this earth the same way, but when He returns, He will not be riding a donkey, He will be coming in all of His glory and splendour!


By Barbara Butler


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