Jesus comes riding into Jerusalem on a young donkey. Note Matthew 21:2. This is a sign of peace. He did not look like a king or political leader. He did not come into the city on a war horse. He did not carry a sword. He did not wear a crown. He does not ride in a chariot either. The manner in which Jesus rides into Jerusalem fulfills Zechariah’s prophecy. This scripture contrasts Jesus’ coming. Zechariah 9:9. The contrast is between Jesus and Alexander the Great. Zechariah 9:1-8. The phrase “daughter of Zion” is a poetic phrase, which refers to the people of Jerusalem. This city is built on Mount Zion. John calls Jesus Israel’s king.
The disciples do not understand these events. They lack the perspective of the Cross and the Resurrection. They do not know that Zechariah’s prophecy speaks of Jesus Christ. They possess a weak faith. They need the ministry of the Holy Spirit. John 16:12-14.
The crowd’s size keeps increasing. The news of the raising of Lazarus from the dead brings curious people to the city. The day is one of popular acclaim. Unfortunately, the people do not possess spiritual perception.
Because of the massive response to Jesus, the plans of the Pharisees are impossible to fulfill. They were seeking a “sly” way to arrest and kill Jesus. They think the people might riot if they take Him in public. It should be noted, that not all of the crowd believe in Jesus.