Day 34: donkey and a king

12 04 2011

donkey and a king

I am not kidding when I tell you that yesterday (Monday, Day 34) as I read through Matthew 21:1-11, I thought to myself, “So, I need a picture of a donkey. Where am I going to find a donkey?” I wasn’t thinking of a donkey picture for Day 34… more like the end of the week. But, as I walked into the church where Jim and other Christ Covenanters were playing volleyball last night, there was this car with this image on the back.

I’m not sure what the image is supposed to mean. Obviously, something to do with a woman I presume is Mary, an animal that I’m hoping is a donkey and not a horse (hoping so that it fits better with this Sunday’s text), and the cross. A bit odd… not the normal three images we think of together. But for me, it is a reminder that the events in Jesus’ ministry over the past several weeks, and the one of this coming Sunday–these all lead to the cross. And, ultimately, the empty tomb. But for now, the cross.

In the Matthew 21 passage, Jesus sends the disciples to find a donkey and colt, untie them, and bring them back to Jesus. Why? To fulfill Old Testament prophecies about the coming King. Jesus.

The crowd at the original “Palm Sunday” has my sympathy: throwing their palms down, in celebration of the coming king… hoping against all hope that he would finally be the one to overthrow the Romans… and then they would realize, before long, that he was not who they hoped him to be. Their dreams might be dashed.

Jesus isn’t always who I hope he will be for me, either. I’m a little more realistic than to expect him to answer all my prayers all the time in the ways I want.. I realize that’s not practical. But I wouldn’t mind a little more help in some areas. Help as I define it, of course. Yet the Jesus of reality, the Jesus of my faith, the Jesus who rode into Jerusalem on a donkey in the midst of “hosannas”… would die on a cross. For me. And for you. And sometimes that’s a little hard to fathom.


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