10 Days with Jesus – Day 3
A Donkey. Not a Horse. A Donkey!
Why would the King of the Jews ride a donkey to the biggest Jewish festival of the entire year? “Come on Jesus – this is your big day. Your chance to make your grand entrance. Your BIG ANNOUNCEMENT. It’s your Kingdom and it’s time to be the King.” But Jesus was a different kind of a King – he was the King of Peace.
10 Days with Jesus is an online journey that will immerse you into the final days of Jesus the Messiah. One thing is for sure, If you spend spend 10 Days with Jesus – you’ll never be the same again!
Jesus is the King of Peace.
518 Years Earlier.
In 518 BC, the prophet Zechariah wrote these words about Jesus, “Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey – riding on a donkey’s colt.” ~ Zechariah 9:9 The prophet Isaiah wrote in 740 BC, “Unto us a child is born. Unto us a Son is given. And his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. His government and it’s peace will never end.” ~ Isaiah 9:6-7
The Jewish people had waited for a King to deliver them from Rome, but Jesus the King came for a much bigger purpose than that – He came to deliver them from Sin.
The LORD’s Meal.
The Passover that Jesus had come to celebrate was rooted in the ancient story of The 10 Plagues. Yep – it was all part of the deliverance story of the Jewish people from Egyptian slavery. God had appointed Moses to prepare his people for deliverance. After 400 years of making bricks for Pharaoh, the Jehovah God was going to deliver them overnight.
The night before God’s deliverance, the Jewish people were to sacrifice a lamb to God Jehovah, eat the meat to celebrate their coming deliverance, and use the blood to paint their doorposts as a sign of their belief. God told his people in Exodus 12:13, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” According to the Exodus story of deliverance, The Angel of the LORD would sweep through Egypt and bring judgment to any household that had not followed the command. He would “Pass-Over” any household that displayed the sacrificial blood of the lamb..
That Passover night in ancient Egypt would change the relationship with God and his people forever. From here on out, they would celebrate the annual deliverance of the LORD by celebrating the Passover feast.
Free for ALL.
The irony of that historic night in Egypt was that although deliverance was available for ALL – not all believed. The same offer is still true today . . .Salvation is available for ALL – but not ALL will Believe.
It’s my prayer dear friend, that as you read these words from Jesus you’ll receive them as true . . . “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me will have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into Life.” ~ John 5:24
Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:16 . . . “God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son (Jesus), so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
Back to the Story of Jesus and the donkey . . . This Passover would be different than any other. This would be the FINAL Passover because Jesus was finally here. John the Baptist called Jesus “The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” ~ John 1:29
Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem as the center of a great processional throng. He was fulfilling a 518 year old prophecy by entering on a donkey. He was fulfilling a 700 year old prophecy by entering as the King of the Jews. He rode a donkey – not a war horse! He came with healing – not judgment. He came to serve others – instead of making them serve him. Jesus was the King of Peace.
As he entered the city of Jerusalem, the crowds were waving palm branches and singing . . . “Hosanna for the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD! Praise God in the highest heaven!” ~ Matthew 21:9 Palm Branches were the symbol of victory by the Greek goddess Nike, but the Jewish people had been waving them every year since the first passover in Leviticus 23.
Little did the crowd know that this particular Sunday would be different. This would be the Sunday that marked the Messiah’s final week on earth. This would be the Sunday that preceded THE SUNDAY of all Sunday’s. Easter was on its way.
Jerusalem . . . we have a Problem.
Not everyone was excited to see Jesus. As with any crowd, the responses to his entrance were all over the map. Mostly they disagreed with his claims to be the Messiah – the Son of God. Let’s be honest . . . If I met a teacher at Barton Springs this week that claimed to be the Son of God, I’d be a little skeptical too! (especially if you’ve seen the peeps at Barton Springs)
A closer look at the Triumphant Entry (another name for Palm Sunday) reveals 4 groups of people on the crowded road to Jerusalem. Not everyone agreed with the King of Peace. Not everyone was ready for the Kingdom of God. Which one are you?
The Believing : This is the only group that got it right. They were the only ones to truly see that God was the Messiah, the Son of God, the King of the Jews. This was the group that cried “Hosanna!” – that means Save Us Now.
The Confused : This disciples were part of this group. Even after 3 years of being with Jesus every day, they still didn’t understand his mission. They were confused by his actions, and wanted him to start acting more like a real King.
The Furious : The most vocal of all was the group of Pharisees that rebuked Jesus for allowing the crowd to worship him. In their eyes, Jehovah God was the only one worthy of worship – and Jesus was NOT from God.
The Curious : The largest group of all asked . . . “Who is this?” Some were in town to celebrate a tradition. Some were coming to join the hype. Some were there to peddle to tourists. But ALL of them were asking . . . “Who is this?”
Each ONE of us must decide who Jesus is.
Each ONE of us is invited to receive the gift of PEACE.
Which ONE are you?
Are you the believing one who accepts Jesus as your Savior and King?
Are you the confused one who is near the King but doesn’t know the King?
Are you the furious one who tells Jesus how to behave and others what to do?
Are you the curious one who is searching for a King to bring you Peace?