Rejoice greatly, o daughter of Zion! Shout, o daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; he is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey.
Whoever speaks of rescue, salvation or a saviour presumes a crisis in which help and deliverance are needed. Sin has indeed itself caused people a multitude of troubles: estrangement from God, illness, enmity, death and eternal perdition. One question has always arisen: where is there help and deliverance for mankind? David, the king of Israel, knew the answer. In his youth he had suffered much from oppression and persecution, yet he never failed to experience God’s deliverance.
In many psalms David praises God as the Saviour: “The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their strength in time of trouble. And the LORD shall help them and deliver them; he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him” (Psalm 37:39.40).
God frequently called on people to save His people or individuals in their plight. In the final instance, however, He was Himself their sole Saviour: “I am the LORD your God ever since the land of Egypt, and you shall know no God but me; for there is no saviour besides me” (Hosea 13:4). The varied deliverances that God undertook for His people in Old Testament times were, however, primarily from earthly troubles. For salvation from sins, i.e. the eternal salvation of the lost, the Son of God had to come to this earth as the Saviour announced by the prophet Zechariah, as today’s verse indicated.