He Comes Riding on a Donkey
by Richard Ettensohn
November 30, Monday – Psalms 1, 2, 3 v 4, 7; Amos 2:6–16; 2 Pet. 1:1–11; Matt. 21:1–11
(ESV Daily Office Readings Online)
The Gospel reading for today is Matthew 21:1 – 11. Saint Matthew records Christ’s entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. This reading is especially appropriate during Advent.
Just as Christ was born in Bethlehem in peace, he comes to Jerusalem in peace, Also, when Christ comes into our lives in peace and he brings peace (John 14:27). Christ’s peace is not as the world gives (John 14:27). Although, as Lord of all, Christ has the right to enter Jerusalem with angels in panoply of war and chariots of fire, he chooses to enter Jerusalem riding a humble animal. In Bethlehem, Mary, Joseph, and the manger animals are his first attendants.
As the sacrifice for our sins, Christ willingly enters Jerusalem with the cross as his destination When Abraham went to sacrifice Isaac, Abraham took a donkey (Genesis 22:3). As Christ goes to sacrifice himself for us, he is riding a donkey.
Although Christ enters Jerusalem in peace, he also enters Jerusalem in triumph. Likewise, Christ’s entry into our lives must also be an entry of triumph. When we receive Christ as our savior, Christ must become the king of our life and all of our prior earthly kings must ultimately bow before him.
Also, Christ finds use for the common and ordinary in the midst of extraordinary events. Even a donkey is chosen to play its part in God’s plan of redemption. The donkey is not a powerful or wise animal but it just a common, humble, useful animal.
So also, we are not special to the world; nevertheless God in His mercy chooses to use us to do extraordinary things for him. Christ even used the shepherds to be his first earthly evangelists (Luke 2:17).
Saint Paul says:
“For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (I Corinthians 1: 26 – 31).
Throughout history, for every powerful, respected and intelligent person that Christ has called to serve him, Christ chooses many more ordinary people who love him to be his disciples and to establish his Church. And, at the end of time, all of the worldly powerful rulers are warned to be subject to Christ or they will “perish in the way.” (Psalm 2:12).
If Christ can use the donkey, he can undoubtedly use even us to serve him.