Sunday night, I heard the same story again, but it hit me differently. I’m not sure if it’s how the pastor told it or how I’ve changed since last Easter but, anyway, it’s about Jesus on Palm Sunday. I completely understand this post is belated.
But did it ever strike you that Jesus rode in on a donkey? That His great entrance into His final week was on a donkey? For most of you, I’m assuming it did. It has always intrigued me. I’ve always seen it as an an allusion to his mother’s precarious caravan to the Bethlehem. That same carrier to the cradle, now, to the grave. I’m not theologically astute, but that is how it has always read to me.
Yet, still, it stopped me in my boots. In a similar, but different way.
I wondered what the crowd saw this move as. A poverty protest toward the rich Romans? Merely a matter of poor planning? Did they even care?
The Jews saw Jesus as the Messiah that would liberate them from Rome. His arrival in Jerusalem was construed as a kick off to the revolution. The first event that would start their glorious reclamation of city and rights and dignity.
But… He came in on a donkey.
No… He came in on a colt of a donkey. A baby donkey.
So small that His feet dragged easily on the gravel below.
When Kings conquered cities they charged through the front gates on giant steeds. Like Clydesdale size. It was a mark of pride to hover above others on such a powerful beast, it mattered greatly to royalty.
And then you have the most anticipated King of all time riding in for his big moment on a tiny little donkey. What kind of King does that?
The king that also washes crusty toes and caresses leper skin. The kind that doesn’t care what He looks like. The kind that thinks spectacles are for Salesmen not Saviors. The meek like. The this isn’t all about me king. The we’re in this together king. The king ready to lay down his life for crooks and liars despite what the world thinks. The king that eats with cheats and whores and children. The king that empties all of himself- all of his love, all of his grace, all of his energy, all of his strength, and all of his blood on behalf of a guilty world.
The king that says, “this donkey, that Hill, these people, those people, these nails, that whip, this strangling, this whole frothing world. This is worthy of my death.”
That’s the kind of King that makes me weak at the knees.
What say you?