About 2,000 years ago a poor man from a tiny town rode into a big city on a borrowed donkey. The story of that ride is more famous than American history’s “midnight ride of Paul Revere”. It is the most famous donkey ride ever. It is remembered and celebrated every year by billions of people worldwide. But why?
The man on the donkey was a miracle worker. He had helped and encouraged and healed hundreds of people. Most of them were very grateful.
The donkey rider was also a teacher. He had told the people many beautiful and inspiring stories with powerful lessons about how to live a happy and productive life. Many people were inspired.
The donkey’s passenger was a compassionate man who made people feel important by showing them much love. He sincerely cared about the broken, the discouraged, the homeless, the immoral, and other rejects of society. Many people felt loved for the first time in their lives in his presence.
The One mounted on the donkey claimed to be God in human flesh — but how? Look at Him — a poor carpenter, without formal education, with no religious credentials, from the wrong side of the tracks, associating with sinners and those half-breed Samaritans. God in the flesh? But . . .
Still, something made his claim ring true. There was a mysterious sense of awe about this Donkey Rider. People acted differently, acted better, in His Presence. Many in meeting Him were changed for the rest of their lives. One man explained it this way. “All I know is, once I was blind but now I see.“
So it is no wonder that a crowd gathered that day to watch that Donkey Rider enter the city of Jerusalem. It is easy to understand their enthusiasm for His ride as they rejoiced and shouted like Pentecostals or American football fans.
Some religious people along the way, however, objected to the celebration. (It just wasn’t proper.) They even told Jesus to tell His followers to be quiet. But Jesus told them that if His followers got quiet, the rocks would cry out. Christians are so quiet and reserved nowadays that I often think that somewhere in the world a bunch of rocks are “getting down” loudly praising the Lord.
Oh, did I mention that the people were also placing palm leaves in front of the donkey to honor the Rider? Also, it happened on a Sunday, the first day of the week.
Well, you may have the historical details now, but actually there is much more to the One on the donkey than information! The Donkey Rider lives today. He rides through our world. He is at your job, in your house, and even in the places where you don’t want Him to see you.
Will you praise Him, honor Him, and obey Him with your lifestyle? Or will you watch and criticize those who do praise and obey Him? Or will you ignore Him? Or will you say you love Him and then yell “Crucify Him” with the “in crowd” this coming Good Friday?
Learn more about how this Donkey Rider is working in groups of real people in the 21st century at this link.