Mark 11:1-2 – As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here." (NIV)
In mid-morning of a springtime day, when traffic is lightest, my dog and I saunter along our macadam roadway, getting our exercise. Usually, she has her nose to the ground, scenting out the latest rabbit, but occasionally, she will hear an approaching Amish buggy. Then curiosity causes her to raise her golden head to gaze at the horse clip-clopping our way. If a green broke yearling pulls a training sulky towards us, the moment the animal spies my dog, it will shy away.
Green broke colts tend to be skittish while they get accustomed to being harnessed or ridden. This small fact makes Jesus' ride into Jerusalem upon an unbroken colt astonishing. Such an animal would not have taken kindly to anyone on its back for the first time. The usual response would have been to buck, balk, or shy away, nor would it have sauntered docilely amid a shouting, palm-waving, noisy throng.
This got me to wondering. When we are faced with something which would normally make us skittish or even frightened, what calms us? Do we turn to some well-advertised solution? Do we take a swig of strong drink? Down the latest pill? Exercise until we reach an adrenaline high? Or do we take our hint from the throngs travelling alongside our Lord Jesus on the roadway rising towards Jerusalem?
Mark 11:9 – Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, "Hosanna!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" (NIV)
As they accompanied our Lord towards the temple mount, Mark tells us that they used the interjection "Hosanna!" which means "Save!" Simultaneously, a prayer, a plea, and a praise for release from bondage, it provides us a clear application.
First, we begin with honest prayer, confessing our fear, followed by a plea, lifting our need before God, and then, praise to the One who comes in God's name. In so doing, we acknowledge that the One who comes in God's name exercises God's power. In our praise, we affirm that God's supreme power overcomes all obstacles and circumstances. When we pray and praise our Lord God until we feel the burden lift, we find our souls calmed by the presence of Christ's Spirit.
This brings us back to the green broke colt. No one but our Lord could have had such a calming effect upon the creature. Likewise, only the presence of Christ, which is often experienced through prayer and praise, can truly calm our skittish souls.
Prayer: Lord God, through the presence of Your Holy Spirit, calm our skittishness and fear. As we turn to You, infuse our souls with peace. In Jesus' name, we praise You for Your answer. Amen.