John 12:15 NKJV “FEAR NOT, DAUGHTER OF ZION; BEHOLD, YOUR KING IS COMING, SITTING ON A DONKEY’S COLT.”
This verse quoted by John from Zechariah 9:9 indicating a prophecy regarding the Messiah was fulfilled as Jesus entered Jerusalem the last time prior to His crucifixion at what many refer to as the triumphant entry. This verse is interesting because in Zechariah 9:9 God’s people are told to “Rejoice greatly” but John quotes it as FEAR NOT. You see you can’t be in fear when your rejoicing greatly in victory.
The Hebrew word rejoice used in Zechariah 9:9 means to spin around violently under the influence of a powerful emotion (Strong’s) either great excitement or fear. Context from the previous verses in Zechariah 9 talks about great deliverance from their oppressors who will no longer pass through. This is a glorious freedom that was prophesied would come and did come in Christ Jesus. No longer would sin oppress God’s people for it would be dealt with in Christ. No longer would the law exact judgement upon His people, because it would be fulfilled in Him. No longer would the fear of death oppress them for Jesus would deliver them from that bondage (Hebrews 2:15). They would rejoice greatly because they would be delivered from all reason to fear. This is why John quotes Zechariah 9:9 as Fear Not.
We are to rejoice greatly because Jesus has come and delivered us from anything that would try to terrorize us. Our King has come and set up His throne in the midst of our hearts by His Spirit. Meanwhile, He is physically sitting on the Throne in Heaven at the right hand of the Father, where we are reigning and ruling with Him as joint heirs with Christ (Ephesians 2:6; Romans 8:17). So rejoice and fear not. Fear not and rejoice. Either way you look at it they go hand and hand because the King has come and has set us free.