Summary: Ask the question of the reader, "Who do you see sitting on that donkey? What kind of man was Jesus?"
“The Victorious Savior”
April 1st, 2007
It was a glorious Sunday morning. Much like today, the skies were blue. The air was fresh. The birds were singing and the entire universe had an air of expectancy and joy and celebration. I think Jesus’ disciples were feeling pretty good about themselves. They had followed Jesus for about three and a half years and seen Him do many miracles and proved Himself to be the messiah – at least to them. I think they were feeling pretty confident.
Jesus was on His way to an appointment, Sabbath morning. No one realized it but Himself. If they considered it - they probably thought He was on His way to an appointment in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. But He wasn’t in a hurry because this appointment had been arranged many centuries previously. The prophet Zechariah said,
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, your king coming unto you; he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon a donkey, even upon a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zech 9:9).
Only He knew where He was going and what was going to happen because He WAS the Messiah and He was God. You can tell that by the instructions He gave to a couple of His followers. Listen:
“…Jesus went on toward Jerusalem, walking along ahead of his disciples. As they came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany, on the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples ahead, with instructions to go to the next village, and as they entered they were to look for a donkey tied beside the road. It would be a colt, not yet broken for riding. "Untie him," Jesus said, "and bring him here. And if anyone asks you what you are doing, just say, ’The Lord needs him.’ "
They found the colt as Jesus said, and sure enough, as they were untying it, the owners demanded an explanation. "What are you doing?" they asked. "Why are you untying our colt?"
And the disciples simply replied, "The Lord needs him!" So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw some of their clothing across its back for Jesus to sit on.” Luke 19:28-35 (Living)
It interests me that Jesus walked along ahead of His disciples. Can you get that picture in your mind? I imagine there was a large crowd following Him with the disciples, His personal entourage, right behind Him. But He needed prayer. He needed strength. He needed a little time with His Father. He knew what was to come. So He walked alone, as we all sometimes must do. And as we need to do, He prayed.
Then He called those two friends of His and told them to go get that donkey colt. And it all happened just as He said it would. And then listen to what happened.
“Then the crowds spread out their robes along the road ahead of him, and as they reached the place where the road started down from the Mount of Olives, the whole procession began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles Jesus had done.
"God has given us a King!" they exulted. "Long live the King! Let all heaven rejoice! Glory to God in the highest heavens!"
But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, "Sir, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!" He replied, "If they keep quiet, the stones along the road will burst into cheers!"
Luke 19:36-40 (Living)
It was a parade! The people recognized Jesus for who He really was. They had seen Him do many wonderful miracles and now they recognized Him as the King of kings. They saw that He was the Messiah come down from heaven. And He did what you do when the king comes to town. You celebrate. You throw a party. You have a parade. You roll out the red carpet. Only they didn’t have a red carpet so they improvised. They took their colorful coats off and made one. They cut palm branches and laid them in the pathway. And all was well with the world for a brief time. Laughter and cheering echoed across the hills. The people felt joyful and happy. Their King had come home to lead them to victory – and they were celebrating.
What kind of man do you see sitting on that donkey? To most people he is rather effeminate acting and looking. To others, He is distant and weak – maybe a lot like their own fathers. Look at most of the pictures of Him. He is gentle and meek and mild acting. He has children around him and is kind of like a male version of Mother Teresa. They leave us with the impression that He is the world’s nicest guy. He is kind of like Mister Rogers in a beard. Telling me that I need to be like Him makes me feel like I need to be passive and nice. Be swell. Be like Mother Teresa. Be like Captain Kangaroo with the kids.