Sunday, April 17, 2011

Kings on Donkeys

Donkey and wallphoto © 2005 Gideon | more info (via: Wylio)
As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead. “Go into the village over there,” he said. “As soon as you enter it, you will see a donkey tied there, with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will immediately let you take them.”
This took place to fulfill the prophecy that said,

“Tell the people of Israel,
‘Look, your King is coming to you.
He is humble, riding on a donkey—
riding on a donkey’s colt.’”

The two disciples did as Jesus commanded. They brought the donkey and the colt to him and threw their garments over the colt, and he sat on it.

Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting,

“Praise God for the Son of David!
Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Praise God in highest heaven!”

The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as he entered. “Who is this?” they asked.

And the crowds replied, “It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Matthew 21:1-11 (New Living Translation)

This is the passage that is used to commemorate this day, Palm Sunday, in the Christian tradition (although different branches celebrate the Palm Sunday on different weeks of the year. So it may not necessarily be today for, say, Eastern Orthodox). And it's a celebration of worship, in the midst of sorrow for Lenten practices - wherein we anticipate Christ's ultimate sacrifice.

I accept that. That is part of a rich history of church history and practices. Calendars built around feasts and fasts, sacred sorrows and righteous rejoicing.

But for me today, I was thinking about a king coming into a kingdom that he never envisioned - and being sold out because he was not the ruler they wanted, nor was his kingdom the one they anticipated.

Jesus' worshipers betrayed him because Jesus' Kingdom of God was not their Kingdom of God.

His was about healing and service and sacrifice. The world's tends to be much more worldly - power, control, strength.

We expect triumphal victories, riding into town in Escalades. Jesus rode on a donkey and wept.

5 comments:

  1. Just been reading this very passage!

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  2. that would seem so anti-climatic for even a mayor to do - let alone GOD.

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  3. Anonymous6:40 PM

    Excellent perspective Jason...Riding into Jerusalem on a Donkey was a spiritual - social & political statement. -John Roush

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  4. Great perspective Jason. I agree with your point...LAZ

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