The Donkey’s Part On Palm Sunday :: By Ron Ferguson

Welcome again to all of you, and we have a message today that shares some wonderful passages of scripture for this event known as Palm Sunday.

The reason for Palm Sunday separates into four sections, and we will consider all four. Shortly, we will consider the donkey’s part.


Palm Sunday was not a separate event, but it was one incident along the continuum for the preparation of Calvary. Every Old Testament prophecy concerning Israel’s King and Messiah that was connected with His ministry and death in Jerusalem was being fulfilled. Let us proceed to the four sections.



What a significant Psalm this one is with some well-known verses. There is quite a correlation between this Psalm and Palm Sunday. I want to look at three small passages and then at verse 26.THE FIRST – Psalm 118:19-20 “Open to me THE GATES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. I shall enter through them. I shall give thanks to the LORD. This is the gate of the LORD. The righteous will enter through it.”

Jesus entered in on the donkey through a gate into Jerusalem, but the Psalm calls it “gates of righteousness.” This verse does not specifically say it was the Lord Jesus but it certainly would apply to Him as He rode into the city on a donkey’s colt. The one entering into Jerusalem through the gates gave thanks as the Lord always did to the Father, and no doubt Jesus did so as He entered in with the throng of people.

In verse 20, this gate is called “the gate of the LORD,” that is, “The LORD’s Gate.

I am sure this is speaking of the triumphal entry through the gate into Jerusalem. It says the righteous will enter through it, and the righteous One did just that along with the hosannas.

THE SECOND – Psalm 118:22-23 “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone. THIS IS THE LORD’S DOING. It is marvelous in our eyes.”

Many know this verse. Jesus is the Stone of Rejection, and Israel is the builders who rejected the Stone. The nation HAD rejected its Messiah BEFORE Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt. The Stone rejected by men has been installed as the Cornerstone in the Church, the Building of the living God, as we have confirmed in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Acts.

Matthew 21:42 “Jesus said to them, ‘Did you never read in the Scriptures, “The stone which the builders rejected, this became the chief cornerstone. This came about from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes”?

AND this verse – Ephesians 2:20 “having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, CHRIST JESUS Himself being THE CORNERSTONE.”

The Chief Cornerstone entered Jerusalem as a humble Servant on a donkey’s colt, but only a few genuine believers recognized who He really was among the crowd hysteria.

Psalm 118:22 ends with two lovely facts. The first is that “this is the LORD’s doing.” The whole of Palm Sunday and the redemption of Calvary are from the LORD. Nothing whatever is from man. The second fact is that “it is marvelous in our eyes.” Everything the Lord does is marvelous in our eyes. It is extra-marvelous that the Lord is the Cornerstone of His Church.

On Palm Sunday, the Lord was mounted on His way to form His Church, and after five days, His death would bring the Church into being. Pentecost played a part as well.

THE THIRD – Psalm 118:24 “THIS IS THE DAY WHICH THE LORD HAS MADE. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” I don’t want to take this verse out of context, but the day the LORD has made can have many applications, but in our thoughts today, I want to apply it to Palm Sunday. It is the day God has made (assigned) for the presentation of the Son, the Messiah, THE King of the Jews. Jesus rode through the streets, and there was rejoicing and gladness from those who knew the Person of Jesus.

THE FOURTH – VERSE 26. Psalm 118:26 “BLESSED IS THE ONE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD. We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.” That is the verse that is directly connected with Palm Sunday, and it states what the crowd would say when Jesus rode into Jerusalem in their midst.

Jesus came in the name of the LORD, but the nation rejected that; they rejected Him and crucified Him. God, though, in fulfillment of the prophecy, saw to it that all was executed as prophetically described.

(b). QUOTE FROM ZECHARIAH. This verse is the best known of all the Palm Sunday quotes from the Old Testament.

Zechariah 9:9 “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.” This verse was fulfilled the day Jesus entered Jerusalem.


(a). THE COLT AND THE DONKEY. On Palm Sunday, Jesus rode the colt accompanied by the mother donkey. The donkey is recognized as a stubborn animal, but when the Lord rode the beast, it was obedient and mild, even though no man had ever ridden it. It knew its Lord. I am reminded of an Old Testament verse that I think could apply even here – Isaiah 1:3: “AN OX KNOWS ITS OWNER AND A DONKEY ITS MASTER’S MANGER, but Israel does not know. My people do not understand.” Isaiah is writing of sinful Judah that would not acknowledge its LORD, and that was in contrast to a donkey that knew its master; even a donkey knew its owner.

Therefore, I think the Palm Sunday donkey knew who was gracefully mounted on it.

The ride into Jerusalem was very much about humility, for an animal – a beast of burden, a working animal – was chosen by the Lord as His carriage. The kings and potentates of the world would have plastered the place with expensive carpets and lights and ceremony. God is not about showmanship or insincerity or deception.


Jesus, on the donkey, entered Jerusalem as the proclaimed King of the Jews and Messiah, but He truly entered as the Lamb of God. We must not forget that Palm Sunday was leading to Calvary. It was on the continuum mentioned earlier.

WAS THE FACT THAT THE LORD RODE THE DONKEY SIGNIFICANT IN ANY WAY? IT MOST DEFINITELY WAS. I want to take you to a well-known incident in Genesis. Let us read from chapter 22.

(a). Genesis 22:1 “Now it came about after these things that God tested Abraham and said to him, ‘Abraham!’ and he said, “Here I am.” He said, ‘Take now your son, YOUR ONLY SON, WHOM YOU LOVE, Isaac, and go to the land of MORIAH and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.'”

Abraham was severely tested in the offering up of his son for sacrifice – the father surrendering the son.

To emphasize the relationship between them, God said this about Isaac: “whom you love.” There is a very precious type here. It speaks of the Father in heaven offering up His Son to sacrifice as the Lamb of God, the Saviour of the world. The Father loves the Son. You may have heard of the parallel here between Abraham and Isaac, and the Father and the Son.

Abraham’s testing was made more difficult by God saying to him, “your only son,” and he was the son of promise.

(Jesus was the only begotten Son of the Father, loved by the Father, offered up for sacrifice.)

(b). Genesis 22:3 “So Abraham rose early in the morning AND SADDLED HIS DONKEY, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son, and he split wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.”

We are told Abraham saddled the donkey, so he therefore rode on it, and we would expect the others rode donkeys as well, so Isaac was riding a donkey to his own sacrifice. Do not miss the point that the donkey(s) were carrying the riders toward the sacrifice.

The donkey that carried Jesus was carrying Him toward the sacrifice.

The father, Abraham, was to offer up his son; God the Father offered up God the Son to the death of the cross. Abraham’s donkey/s carried them to Mt Moriah (the land/region of Moriah), which is Jerusalem, though the city was not yet built in Abraham’s time. The last part of the journey to the place of sacrifice was on foot, as it was with Jesus also.

(c). Genesis 22:5 “And Abraham said to his young men, ‘Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go yonder and WE WILL WORSHIP AND RETURN TO YOU.” Genesis 22:6 “Abraham took THE WOOD of the burnt offering and LAID IT ON ISAAC his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife, so the two of them walked on together.”

Verse 5 is one of the greatest verses of faith in the Bible. Abraham was going to a place of sacrifice and death, but he said, “I and the lad will go yonder and WE WILL WORSHIP AND RETURN.” What faith! Abraham would receive his son again through resurrection. He believed that! We see how the Holy Spirit explained it through Paul in Hebrews – Hebrews 11:17-19 “BY FAITH Abraham, when he was tested, OFFERED UP ISAAC, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son. It was he to whom it was said, “In Isaac your descendants shall be called.” HE CONSIDERED THAT GOD IS ABLE TO RAISE MEN EVEN FROM THE DEAD, from which he also received him back as a type.”

There is another beautiful parallel in Genesis 22:6. Abraham took the wood needed for the sacrifice (the burnt offering) and laid it on the back of his son Isaac to walk to the place of sacrifice.

After having ridden to that same place (Jerusalem), not many days later, Jesus carried the wooden cross on His own back to the place of Golgotha for His sacrifice.

It is no accident these parallels exist. Calvary was foreshadowed 2,000 years before it happened, and from the time of Abraham, we are 4,000 years distant and so close now to the Lord entering Jerusalem again for the second time at the Second Coming.


Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday for His last entry into that city.

That entry is the candle to a much greater majestic entry into the Holy City. We need to look at some verses to see the fact of that future glorious entry. We know that as The Second Coming, and so many of the Old Testament prophets deal with that Coming. We must not dismiss the link of these two entries to Jerusalem.

(a). Acts 1:9-12 “After He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight, and as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was departing, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them, and they also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, WILL COME IN JUST THE SAME WAY as you have watched Him go into heaven.’ Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called OLIVET which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away.”

The ascension of Christ took place at the absolute conclusion of His physical ministry on earth. He left the earth ascending from the Mount of Olives, but when He returns, He will come back to that very place. We are now in the absent years, but they are really not absent because the Holy Spirit has been sent to us.

(b). Zechariah 14:2-4 “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. And 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.”

This is the remarkable prophecy to which the angels at the ascension were referring. It speaks of that great Battle of Armageddon when the Lord/Messiah returns to His own people Israel, and He will destroy all those forces of Antichrist and the False Prophet gathered from all over the world. At that time, He descends to the Mount of Olives, which will split in two.

That is the Second Coming.

(c). Revelation 19:11-16 “I saw heaven opened and behold, A WHITE HORSE, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness HE JUDGES AND WAGES WAR. His eyes are a flame of fire, and upon His head are many diadems and He has a name written upon Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood and His name is called The Word of God. The armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword so that with it He may smite the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron, and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. On His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.'”

The first time the Lord came to Jerusalem as King, He was mounted on a donkey in humiliation. The second time He comes as King of Kings, He will be mounted on a white horse of victory and exalted glory. AND THEN Here He comes, the Lord victorious! This is the same battle – Armageddon, and Jesus comes with the armies of heaven and with His Bride, the Church. The armies will be exterminated, and under this is another reference in Revelation 19. But before that, let us understand that all those who dare lift up their hand against God’s people, the Jews, will be judged by God. Armageddon happens in the valley of Jezreel (all the references are in the Bible), and then immediately after, the Lord descends to Olivet.

On Palm Sunday, Jesus was mounted on a young colt in a humble entry, but when He returns the second time, He will be mounted on a white horse of battle and victory, majestic and all- powerful.

Did you notice the special name the Lord Jesus has at the Second Coming?

When he comes and enters Jerusalem, he will be KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS, but when He entered on Palm Sunday, He was declared as King of the Jews but not believed on as meaning that the people really did not follow Him. Most people that Palm Sunday day were insincere. Now here is some extra on what happens on that momentous day of the Second Coming (Armageddon):

Revelation 19:19-21 “I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies, assembled to make war against Him who sat upon the horse, and against His army, and THE BEAST WAS SEIZED, AND WITH HIM THE FALSE PROPHET who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped his image. THESE TWO WERE THROWN ALIVE INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE which burns with brimstone, and the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat upon the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.”

On the day of the Lord’s return, He will consign Antichrist (the beast) and the False Prophet to the lake of fire, the very first ones who were thrown into it.

The Devil is next to be thrown in, then all his angels (the vile demons), then all the unbelieving dead.

Once Jesus returns and sets up His Millennial Kingdom, then this verse will come to fulfilment – Zechariah 14:9 “And THE LORD WILL BE KING OVER ALL THE EARTH; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one.”


We looked at the fulfilment of Old Testament prophecy, then at Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, and the significant part the donkey played as in a type going back to Abraham. That was His last earthly entry, but then He comes again at the Second Coming, and Palm Sunday was but a part along the continuum.

On the occasion of Palm Sunday, Jesus came humbly with the purpose of being the sacrifice for sins. On the second occasion of His coming, He will be King of Kings coming to claim the fruit of His sacrifice – the great company of redeemed Jews. The entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday was so important on the way to Calvary, but it stands merely as a candle against the greater power of the next coming to the Mount of Olives.

May the Lord bless you all this Easter period.