For Holy Week, I gave myself the task of writing character sketches of the "ignored" characters of the Easter story. And though it may seem a strange way to start, I focus on the colt that Jesus rode on Palm Sunday for our story today. Remember, creative exercises are good for my brain. Judge lightly.
Use your imagination as we enter into Jerusalem...
Matthew 21...As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethpage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away"...
Laboring to carry his Rider towards Jerusalem, the colt stopped and started, braying unhappily. If the animal had known that he carried a King upon his back, his step would have been lighter, easier, quicker to please. Yet, the beast stumbled on, unaware of the honor given, knowing not that his Creator sat upon him.
As they entered into the city, the rush of people, the waving of palm branches, the shouting of the villagers frightened the colt, yet the Wise Rider still urged him on;
This One who rode him was kind.
Traveling onward, he felt the Kind Man’s hands upon his sweat-covered neck, and he lifted his head to receive the welcome caress;
This One who rode him was gentle.
Stepping across the coat-strewn road, the donkey yielded to the soft words of the Gentle-man as He quietly commanded “Stop”. Amidst voices, “Hosanna!” “God, save us!” he felt his Rider descend.
And now, this Man, this Master, was leading him through streets of the burgeoning town.
Who was this Man they honored here?
Who was this Grace-full Leader?
Could He be of Majesty?
Could He be a King?
Kings were not gentle, nor humble. This Man was both of these. Kings sat upon horses and chariots; this Man, upon unsaddled beast. Kings spoke with volume, conceit; this Man was serene in His power. Kings wore fine robes and crowns on their heads, this Man, just a coat and His tears.
Today, now, greatly admired, this Man would soon be rejected. The tears of this sorrow fell freely.
And the colt, un-tethered, un-hindered--now honored—bowed down to show his respect. This Man who had chosen to ride like the lowly had come from on High to save those He loved. But love is not what He found.
The colt sauntered steady and the Servant climbed on him. This Man he now wanted to please. The step of this donkey was now firmer, now quicker, now prouder—all now without complaint. His job was important, so worthy, so awesome…
For he carried the King of all Kings!