The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the king of Israel!” Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written: “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.”
At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him. Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him. So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!” John 12:12-19.
JESUS & A DONKEY
Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, a young donkey. They call this “The Triumphal Entry.” This is when the people, not the religious people who wore fancy robes and hung around the Temple at Jerusalem, but the everyday common people, proclaimed Jesus to be their King: “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the king of Israel!”
Why were the common people so enamoured with Jesus? Well, why wouldn’t you be? You’d be waving palm fronds as a sign of praise before Him too if you had seen or heard about Him raising Lazarus from the dead! It says, “Now the crowd that was with Him when He called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. Many people, because they had heard that He had performed this sign, went out to meet Him.”
So here’s a Man, Jesus, who can raise people from the dead, even people who have been dead as long as four days, as was Lazarus. They were calling Jesus the King of Israel. But wait a minute? What’s this? “See, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” A king riding on a donkey, not even a full-grown donkey, a donkey’s colt! For it says, “Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it.”
I like donkeys! P liked donkeys too! She liked Eeyore from the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. A.A. Milne was the author of the Winnie-the-Pooh stories in which Eeyore the donkey featured. He got the idea for Winnie-the-Pooh from his son’s teddy-bear.
A.A. Milne’s son, Christopher Robin Milne, had named his toy bear after Winnie, a bear he used to see at the London Zoo. (Pooh apparently was a swan he met when he was on holiday.) Anyway, Winnie, the bear in the London Zoo, had come from a place in Manitoba, Canada, called Winnipeg – my three children were born there! Winnipeg was shortened to Winnie, Winnie-the-Pooh.
We probably all can each relate to at least one of the characters who make up Winnie-the-Pooh’s friends. Maybe it’s Winnie-the-Pooh himself, where you just bumble along through life but there’s always a golden honey-pot at the end. Or maybe you’re a bit like Piglet, a bit afraid of everything. Or maybe Tigger, all bouncy and bubbly, and there’s Kanga and Roo, Owl and Rabbit and others, including P’s favourite, Eeyore the donkey.
I don’t know what it was about Eeyore that P could identify with. Eeyore the donkey had a detachable tail and he would invariably lose it somewhere and all his friends would have to help him find it again. Then Christopher Robin would pin the tail on the donkey.
And here’s a quote I found that illustrates how Eeyore thought about things: “The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, ‘Why?’ and sometimes he thought, ‘Wherefore?’ and sometimes he thought, ‘Inasmuch as which?’ and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.”
So we see that sometimes Eeyore would think sadly to himself, “Why?” We ask questions like that at times like this – Why? We don’t always have a ready answer. Eeyore would most probably say as he often says, “O well – Thanks for noticin’ me.”
But more importantly, what would Jesus say? Well, as He entered Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, the people were certainly noticing Him! And He’d say what He said to Martha, the sister of Lazarus who He raised from the dead, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in Me will never die.”
We’ve already read: “At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him.”
Are any of us able to understand all of this, any of it? Are you able, as it were, to pin the tail on the donkey? Here’s a Man who can raise people from the dead! Here’s a Man who raised Himself from the dead! Here’s a Man who is promising to resurrect you from the dead just for believing in Him! No wonder the common people are calling Him “King”!
The Bible teaches that Jesus is God in the flesh, that God the Son became a human being. Here’s God, the King of kings riding on a lowly donkey! He’s not riding on a white charger or in a golden chariot. He is “seated on a donkey’s colt.” He’s a humble and gentle Saviour of all who put their trust in Him. If you draw near to Him He will comfort you in your grief.
(Eeyore picture from web)