Photo © Can Stock Photo / zatletic
I’m writing about donkeys. This Palm Sunday we hope to have a donkey with us. It’s a good way to help us take to heart what happened with Jesus on the first Palm Sunday. He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. But why?
This was not a very cool thing to do…..unless you knew your Old Testament. Riding an ass would make you look like an ass in the eyes of many. Riding a fine white horse into the city would have been much more impressive for the military-minded Romans, and the revolution-minded Jewish leaders. But Jesus is not interested in military conquest and he had a non-violent approach to changing the world. So he rode into the city on a donkey.
Did some laugh and sneer? Probably! As they looked over the city wall and down their noses. Most people, however, started getting rather carried away. If they knew the prophet Zechariah’s prophecy that God’s king for all would come to Jerusalem riding a donkey, then they would have been asking ‘who is this?’ If they had been looking forward in great expectation to the promised coming of God’s king who would be the Saviour of his people, then they would be getting their palm branches ready. This was a big moment.
But not in a show-off way.
Jesus was riding a donkey. Its like turning up to the monster truck show in a Ford Transit.
Jesus knew this was a big moment. It was big because the Almighty was choosing to make himself small. The king of the universe was not on a trotting white horse, but rather on a clip-clopping donkey. Isn’t it rather humbling for us when God humbles himself before us in this way? Does it not leave you moved, like a young woman might be moved when her young man gets down on one knee to ask the question?
How did the crowd respond?
With shouts of Hosanna (here comes the Saviour). With palm branches in the air and on the pathway. With coats to make his seat more comfortable. With great joy, because God’s long-promised King had come to God’s city.
It is a good moment to remember. And we are planning to remember it with the help of Missy the Donkey, to remind us that the humility of Jesus was part of his greatness.
Our 10.30 service on Palm Sunday 2nd April at St Luke’s will involve a procession to the Methodist Church where the crowd will enjoy shouting ‘Hosanna’ and remembering.
Come and join in.
Yours in Christ,