On the Back of a Donkey

Jesus . . . 
moves toward Jerusalem to face the largest challenge of his ministry and his life;
Jesus . . . 
the one who taught humility and lived what he meant by "the last will be first, and the first will be last;"
Jesus . . . 
fulfills the prophecy he read in the temple at the beginning of his ministry, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor;"
Jesus . . . 
the rabbi who dined with the outcast and received those thought to be unclean;
Jesus . . .
comes "humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey."

This is the way of this one who is called the Messiah, the anointed one, the Christ, a king. 

This Sunday - Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday - we remember together the moment when Jesus rode into Jerusalem not on a steed, not on a white stallion, but on the back of a donkey. Jesus, the one who would soon wash his disciples' feet, eat a meal with them, pray in the garden, feel the betrayer's kiss, hear the crowds chanting for his death, came into town in humility with the sound of people shouting "Hosanna," (means "help, rescue, save") hanging in the air and ringing in his ears. The Prince of Peace came into the bustling city embodying peace while riding a simple beast of burden. And what a tremendous weight this animal carried. The coming days would change everything.

On this weekend and throughout the coming week, consider this scene. 
What does it mean that Jesus chose the way of humility all the way to the end? 
What does this tell us about God? 
What does this say about the way in which we are called to live?

Read Philippians 2:1-13 throughout the week. This is a beautiful poem (perhaps a song) from the early church about the humility of Jesus. 


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