April 1, 2012

The Journey to the Cross began on the Back of a Donkey

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them.  They brought the donkey, the colt and placed their cloaks on him for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed all shouted, 
   “Hosanna to the Son of David!”
   “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
   “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”       
(Matthew 21:6-9)
donkey
Photo: Christos Loufopoulos 

The word "hosanna" literally meant "save now." The people were wanting Jesus to save them NOW. They laid their cloaks on the road and waved the branches as Jesus rode past on a donkey.

Jesus was on a donkey.

The people were shouting for Jesus to save them as a king! But right in front of their eyes he was on a donkey, the humble little burden-bearer. They shouted "Hosanna!" and no one noticed that the King they wanted to save them was on a donkey!
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Phil. 2:5-8) 
Jesus humbled himself to ride on the donkey. It wasn't time for him to ride on the white horse. Not yet.  Before that day comes, he would become like the animal he rode upon--- a burden-bearer.  He would bear the sins of the world. The people didn't see the donkey that day. Their eyes fell upon Jesus and all the hope that His life could bring them.  They didn't understand the whole plan--- how the coming week would unfold. Jesus would be beaten, humiliated, mocked and crucified.

This day I lift my hands, wave them like branches. I am like those who lined the road to Jerusalem the day Jesus made his way to the cross on the back of a donkey.

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