Lent Devotion for April 9 - Palm Sunday
"Riding into Jerusalem on a Donkey"
Reader: "This is the transforming week.”
Response: "The history of the world changed during the next eight days.”
SCRIPTURE: Zechariah 9:9
9 Rejoice, O people of Zion!
Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem!
Look, your king is coming to you.
He is righteous and victorious,
yet he is humble, riding on a donkey—
riding on a donkey’s colt.
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 21:1-9
21 As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead. 2 “Go into the village over there,” he said. “As soon as you enter it, you will see a donkey tied there, with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will immediately let you take them.”
4 This took place to fulfill the prophecy that said,
5 “Tell the people of Jerusalem,
‘Look, your King is coming to you.
He is humble, riding on a donkey—
riding on a donkey’s colt.’”
6 The two disciples did as Jesus commanded. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt to him and threw their garments over the colt, and he sat on it.
8 Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting,“Praise God for the Son of David!
Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Praise God in highest heaven!”
Reader: “The word of the Lord."
Response: “Thanks be to God.”
The latter part of the book of Zechariah is very prophetic in nature as it refers to future events. Such is the case with this passage. Verse nine refers clearly to Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on that Palm Sunday, yet it was about 500 years until this prophecy was fulfilled. A king from the line of David would be the one riding on the donkey. Kings rode horses into battle. When a king rode a mule, he was bringing peace. When Absalom tried to wrest the throne from his father David, to escape, David road out of Jerusalem on a donkey, an animal of peace. David was in effect saying I’m not going to fight my son. Meanwhile, Absalom rode around in a chariot pulled by a team of horses. He was at war. Now you have the drama of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, a royal limo! In the people’s minds, He should be on a white horse. In the book of Revelation (19:11), the heavens are opened and Jesus, the warrior, is riding a white horse bringing judgment and defeat to the forces of evil. What was a phrase in the Old Testament, became a physical reality in the New Testament, the mid-point? What was a physical reality in the New Testament, the King riding on a donkey, will yet become the eternal reality when Jesus returns to reign on earth forever and ever. We live in the midst of the Bible verses! We are living somewhere between the “donkey ride” and the “white horse” ride. Don’t ever think of the Bible as an ancient history book. Part of it is old and part hasn’t yet happened and we live in between the two. You see, we are actually in the Bible, we’re in God’s story as it is being written.
(See you can pin the tale on the donkey!! – I know that was really bad, but your little kids will enjoy it!)
If you are in Orlando, join us on Maundy Thursday evening for the Lord’s Supper and the Faure Requiem and then again on Good Friday for the “Christ and the Passover” presentation by Jews for Jesus. If you are not in Orlando, there is still time to get here!
God, my father, I come before Thee with a heart of repentance. I am not famous or influential in circles of power. Few people actually know me, considering how many people there are. I will eventually leave this world and few will notice. May we never get confused with our place and role in your grand story. The donkey played the role of carrying the Savior amidst the cheering throngs. The crowds were not cheering the donkey. Lord, do not let us get confused. All our role is to carry the Savior, the source of peace, to the people. Thank you for the “donkeys” who brought you to us.