Riding on A Donkey

Read the story: Return Of The King


Have you ever wondered why Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey? Well actually, it was the fulfillment of an Old Testament prophecy.

“Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

Zechariah 9:9

By entering the Holy City this way, Jesus is publicly declaring his identity as the King of Israel. And by spreading their cloaks on the road, which was an act of homage reserved for royalty, the people were openly declaring that they were ready to accept Him as their king. They wanted a king… but the praise the people lavished on Jesus was not because they recognized Him as their spiritual Savior.

They welcomed Him out of their desire for a messianic deliverer, someone who would lead them in a revolt against the Roman oppressors. They had high hopes for this radical, miracle working, authoritative rabbi.

But when He failed their expectations… when it became clear that he was not going to lead them in a massive revolt against the Roman occupiers… the crowds quickly turned on Him. Within just a few days, their hosannas would change to cries of “Crucify Him!”. Those who hailed Him as a hero would soon reject and abandon Him.

Its interesting, I think, how much like the crowd we are. We have so many expectations of what Jesus should be, could be, might be… for us. And yet we so often miss who He really is.

Like the crowd lining the road that day, we often welcome Jesus into our lives on our own terms, with our own ideas about what he should be doing… and we miss the bigger picture of why He actually came.

And like the crowd that filled the streets of Jerusalem that week, we are quick to turn our backs on Him when He doesn’t meet our expectations. And yet He willing put Himself in our place on the cross.

As you contemplate this story, I wonder if you might take some time to think about what it means for Jesus to be your King.

One Response to “Riding on A Donkey

  • Liz Smalley
    6 months ago

    I’ve thought about this over Easter and it reinforces that a week is a long time in politics. On Palm Sunday everyone is laying down their cloaks before Jesus shouting Hosanna. By Friday Jesus was dead. How quickly we can forget and how easily we are persuaded by the crowd. We need communion to be reminded of who Jesus is and what He did, because we have exceedingly short memories.

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