“Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. ... This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,“Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”. [Matthew 21:2,4-5 ESV]
A few things strike me about this passage that we often read on Palm Sunday.
Firstly, the disciples were instructed to fetch a donkey and a colt.
I had not seen that before. Here is the way that theologian John Gill explains it:
Very probably, Christ rode; first on one, and then on the other, as the prophecy hereby fulfilled seems to require, and as the sequel of the account shows. The ancient allegorical sense of the ass and colt is not to be despised: that the ass may signify the Jews, who had been used to bear the burdensome rites and ceremonies of the law; and the colt, the wild and untamed Gentiles, and the coming of Christ, first to the one, and then to the other.Fascinating how deliberate and intentional the events played out.
Can you see Jesus dismounting one animal to ride the other as people shouted praises?
I believe that there was something significant about this.
Secondly, the passage reminds me that Jesus was a king who came in absolute humility.
The animals he rode were not a mere acquiescent adherence to the prophecy.
I think of it as a picture of how God comes to each of us.
He comes to live with us in meekness, patience and humility.
He does not shout in our face and blow us away with his power.
He whispers to us and invites us to follow him.
And our response should be like those who watched him that day.
Those who welcomed his entrance worshiped him and celebrated his coming.
Such is the way that we should react to his humble presence in our lives.
Hosanna to the King! All praise to you Messiah Jesus! Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!
... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.