In ancient times, when a conquering king was invading a country, he would ride in on a warhorse. Horses were regarded as battle-worthy and regal steads, especially when a king was there to conquer.
Donkeys, on the other hand, were used by kings who were intent on ushering in an era of peace with people. It meant the humble stead matched the humility of the king coming in – not to conquer, but to bring peace.
Zechariah 9:9 mentions such a king :
“Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
What is so victorious about being lowly and riding on a donkey? Everything.
Jesus opened Holy Week on Sunday, the first day of the Jewish week, by riding in on a donkey because He was and is a conquering Prince of Peace – peace over sin, shame and victory over death. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid,” [John 14:27]. He did not come to conquer the Romans; He came for something much bigger than that.
Back in Genesis, Adam and Eve had enjoyed face-to-face fellowship with God. I can’t imagine the joy of walking in step with God the Father in the cool of the day, enjoying the Garden and simply conversing. Maybe laughing! Imagine God holding His hand out to help Eve step over a rock!
But things went horribly wrong. Adam and Eve was discovered by God to have eaten the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and had to banish them from the luscious Garden of Eden. Sin entered the world, ushered in by the father of lies, but not without a promise from God to satan: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel,” [Genesis 3:15].
As a final testament to His love for Adam and Eve, “The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them,” [verse 21]. In order for God to make a garment of skin, an animal had to be killed.
The first sin created the need for the first sacrifice.
The final sacrifice – Jesus – abolished sin forever.
Jesus rode in on a donkey not because it was the only animal He could find; on the contrary, His choice was one of intention and a fulfillment of prophecy. We don’t know if He had communicated with the donkey and colt’s owner prior to sending two disciples to fetch them, but we do know that Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem matched His humility. He was not there to conquer the reigning Roman Empire – even though most of the people who were lining the parade route thought that’s why He was there. They were looking for a circumstantial king and not an eternal Savior and Lord.
But don’t we do that? We pray these laundry-lists of prayer requests and expect God to fulfill them, like some genie in a bottle, but when it comes to heeding the call of God on our lives, we want sign and sign that it is God who is speaking to us. We want God to eliminate our problems but when it comes to having God work in us through those problems, we balk. Like a stubborn donkey.
He came on a donkey as an act of humble servanthood to Father God. Philippians 2:2b-8 states, “Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross!”
Because of Jesus, God can take a sinner like me and make me clean – and you as well. On a donkey, Jesus entered His last week on this earth on a mission to destroy sin and death but will return one day – to destroy satan, evil, and all that entails.
Philippians 9-11 states, “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”
Scripture tells us that at the Rapture of the Church the Lord’s blessed feet will not touch ground, but how will Christ return at the Second Coming, when He will come as a victorious conqurer?
On a horse. On a conquering, majestic, warhorse. Jesus will come not as a humble servant to die, but as the King of Kings to be victorious over death, grief, shame, sin and all evil -- and have us live with Him, just like in the Garden of Eden. He will make all things new. Goosebumps. Let’s check out Revelation 19:11-16.
“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter.’ He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Philippians 4:10 mentions that at the mention of Jesus’ Name “every knee shall bow.” I’m having some pretty serious issues with my left knee right now – something about a dislocated kneecap – and it is excruciatingly painful to bend my knees. Yet, it’s a lot easier to do it of my own accord than to trip and fall and have them bend when I don’t do it myself.
When you accept Christ as Savior, repenting of your sins, and surrender your life to Him, you are in effect bending your knees to Him over your whole life, now. Not just when He is standing before you when every one – saved, unsaved, Christian, Muslim, straight, gay, terrorists, serial killers, good people, grandmothers, dead and alive – will bend before the Lord God Almighty, made known only through His Son, Jesus Christ. To surrender one’s life now means living a life not free of trouble, but having hope that this is not all there is, and we have heaven to look forward to, instead of this existence and hell afterwards.
Note above in the Philippians text that at JESUS’ NAME every knee will bow. Not Buddha. Not Mohammed. Not Satan. Not anyone else. Only Jesus is the Way to God the Father. Only Jesus. He is the only one Who is still alive – and is coming back. We forget, sometimes, that the humble Lamb of God is also the mighty Lion of Judah.
In His Glorious Name,
If you want to accept Christ as your Savior, or want to surrender your life to Him and live anew for Him with the joy of your salvation, I would be honored to pray for and with you. Simply contact me here and I’ll be in touch via email or mail.
© 2017 Terrie McKee
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